A variety of parents and families are formed every day and many of which wish to legally solidify their family through adoption or creating a custody or parenting plan. In regards to same-sex couples, one parent is usually the biological parent of the child and the other parent wishes to adopt the child to afford them the same legal rights as the child’s natural parent. Regardless of the parenting setup of a same-sex couple, legal parental rights are only automatically afforded to the natural parent of the child. In some states, a second-parent adoption provides that the non-biological parent can adopt the child and receive rights equal to the biological parents without taking any away from them, giving the child two legal parents with equal rights.
Second-parent adoption is currently not available in Kansas, however your family may have alternative options that can support similar outcomes. Co-parenting plans are available in Kansas allowing both partners to have their parenting rights legally recognized. The Kansas Supreme Court stated in a recent ruling that the rights of same-sex couples are protected in regards to their recognition as co-parents considering their contribution of raising the child collectively. The case involved two women who raised a child together and had a co-parenting plan in place. The outcome resulted in the court deciding to uphold the parenting plan after the couple faced a custody dispute due to their separation. Although adoption is not recognized in Kansas, co-parenting plans are for same-sex couples and putting one in place can help you legally protecting your custody rights.
Although such rights are not guaranteed considering the court’s allotted discretion in such matters, establishing a parenting plan can help ensure the best interest of the child is protected as much as possible. A Kansas Adoption Attorney can help you explore your most feasible options and devise a parenting plan that best suits your needs and the needs of the child you and your partner have raised and are raising together. The Court’s recent ruling reiterates that the child’s future was more secure with the love and care of two parents and therefore legally recognized the parenting contract the couple put in place.
If you wish to create a co-parenting plan to help secure the needs and best interest of your child, the court may assess a few factors to validate your request. The court may evaluate other evidence that relates to the proffered established family unit. Such evidence would include domestic partnership registration, documented healthcare proxies, wills or powers of attorney, child expenditures on behalf of the family unit, photos of the family engaging in activities, hobbies, holidays and events shared together.
Contact an Experienced Kansas Adoption Attorney to Have Your Questions Answered
The adoption or custody process can be complicated and confusing. Alleviate any stress you are experiencing by contacting the Kansas Adoption Lawyer at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to discuss your options and have all of your Kansas adoption and custody questions answered.