Each state regulates its own adoption laws. Kansas is no exception.
If you intend to adopt across state lines, you may want to familiarize yourself with both states’ adoption laws. If you have any questions about Kansas adoption laws, you can call 1-800-ADOPTION for free information.Please note that this article is not intended as legal advice. Consult an attorney if you have immediate legal concerns about your adoption.
Here’s a basic overview of the domestic adoption laws in Kansas and how they may affect your adoption:
While there is no law specifying a minimum age to adopt in Kansas, the adoptive parent(s) must be at least ten years older than the child being adopted.
A married individual can’t adopt on their own without the consent of their spouse. This also applies to people who are separated but not formally divorced from their legal spouses and those who wish to adopt their spouse’s biological child through a stepparent adoption.
Single parents may petition to adopt on their own. There are no specific adoption laws in Kansas regarding adoption and same-sex couples.
All prospective adoptive parents must be approved to adopt through the home study process, which requires clearances including Kansas criminal background checks and more.
Potential adoptive parents must also meet the individual requirements of the adoption professional that the wish to work with, as well as the requirements for the type of adoption they wish to pursue, be it domestic, international or foster care adoption.
In Kansas, any minor whose parents have had their parental rights terminated may be adopted.
When a prospective birth mother makes an adoption plan for her baby, she must wait to consent to the voluntary termination of her parental rights until at least 12 hours after the birth. The birth father may consent at any point within six months prior to the birth, in accordance with Kansas adoption laws.
Consent to the adoption and termination of parental rights must be issued in writing. The consenting parents must be represented by independent legal counsel (financed by the adoptive parents) and be fully informed about the adoption process by the attorney.
Only licensed child-placing agencies are allowed to advertise to expectant mothers looking to place a child in Kansas.
The adoptive parents are financially responsible for:
Medical expenses of the birth mother and child in relation to prenatal care, pregnancy and birth
Reasonable living expenses for the birth mother to support her during the pregnancy, which may include help with rent, bills, groceries and more
The birth parent(s)’ attorney fees
Although American Adoptions has a Risk-Sharing program that financially protects adoptive parents in the event of a disrupted adoption, Kansas adoption laws do not require the birth family to repay any paid expenses if they decide to parent.
Expenses paid by the adoptive parents to the birth parent(s) are determined on a case-by-case basis, and those requested expenses must be deemed reasonable by a Kansas judge. Some expectant mothers will have greater financial need than others, so it’s reasonable that their necessary living expenses may be greater.
Payment in exchange for the placement of a child is illegal. However, according to adoption laws in Kansas, reasonable living expenses may be paid for the expectant mother to help offset the financial pressures of pregnancy.
To learn more about adoption laws in Kansas, or to understand which laws may apply in your individual circumstances, call 1-800-ADOPTION now to speak with an adoption specialist.
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