Adoption finalization is the last step in the Kansas adoption process. Once finalization is completed, you’ll be able to celebrate your child’s official and permanent status as a legal member of your family!
Even after you’ve been placed with your child, adoption finalization doesn’t occur until the following have been completed:
The birth parents have consented to the termination of their parental rights, no sooner than 12 hours after the birth of your child with their lawyer present
You have received clearance in accordance with the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) and/or Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), if applicable
An adoption finalization hearing will be scheduled in your local district court with your Kansas adoption attorney about six months after the initial placement of your child. Your American Adoptions adoption specialist and your adoption attorney will notify you about when and where the hearing will take place, and let you know if there’s any additional paperwork you need to get in order before that date.
At the adoption finalization hearing, a judge will issue the final decree of adoption that signifies your child is an officially recognized member of your family. This is the last step of the Kansas adoption process.
To mark the event, some adoptive families treat their adoption finalization hearing as a family celebration; they may invite extended family and friends, have a party, or invite a photographer to take family photos of the occasion.
The hearing leading up to the final decree of adoption is brief, typically only about 30–60 minutes long. Here’s what usually happens in a Kansas adoption finalization hearing:
Your family, adoption attorney, and sometimes your social worker are sworn in before the judge
You’re asked to introduce yourself and answer some questions, often including why you wanted to adopt, and explain your intentions to provide your child with a safe and loving home
The judge will conclude with any final questions, and sign the final decree of adoption
The judge may invite your family to take a group photo with the final adoption decree
That’s it! Your child’s adoption is final and the Kansas adoption process is complete.
After adoption finalization, you can file for an amended birth certificate and social security card for your child. Your American Adoption specialist will continue to be available to you as a resource for information and support, should you need them.
American Adoptions can also facilitate ongoing communication between you and your child’s birth family if you need additional help, and help you navigate post-adoption life with your new family member. For additional questions about how to finalize an adoption in Kansas, call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information.
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