316-633-4322 or Email Us

Can a Biological Parent Contest a Stepparent Adoption? – Discussed by a Kansas Adoption Attorney

Can a Biological Parent Contest a Stepparent Adoption? – Discussed by a Kansas Adoption Attorney
March 31, 2016 James Greenier

A common type of adoption in Kansas and states across the United States is stepparent adoption. In addition to a private or agency adoption, stepparent adoption allows the stepparent of child to obtain legal rights of a child and make legal decisions on their behalf as a natural parent would. Most adoptive stepparents have concerns with how much control over the adoption process a child’s other biological parent can have and question whether or not that parent can contest the adoption altogether. Considering the subjective circumstances each matter can have, a stepparent adoption can be simple or it can become rather complex. Discussing your matter and its unique issues with an experienced Kansas adoption attorney can help alleviate complications at the outset and ensure your adoption matter is successful.

Adoption requires the other biological parent to terminate their parental rights in order for the stepparent to obtain parental rights; therefore the court takes this very seriously and requires the natural parent’s consent. In terms of consent on behalf of the other biological parent, the simplest and most ideal way to proceed with stepparent adoption occurs when all parents are in agreement. Unfortunately this is not always possible due to the absence of objection of a child’s parent, and the adoption approach may have to be facilitated differently. For example, according to Kansas’s state laws, if the biological mother of the child consents to the adoption by a spouse and that child has a presumed or legitimate father, adoption is generally permitted only if the presumed or legitimate father consents to the adoption. However, if the presumed or legitimate father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent for two consecutive years immediately preceding the filing of the stepparent adoption petition, his consent is not required.

In addition, if a father is aware of his child’s birth and has knowingly failed to provide a substantial portion of child support ordered by the court, a rebuttable presumption arises that that father has failed or refused to assume the duties of a parent. Regardless of the circumstances presented to the court, the judge always has the best interest of the child in mind and will make his or her decision based on that criteria. Stepparent adoptions can present many different situations and depending on interested parties in the matter, grandparents may even have an opinion on the adoption and long-term care of the child. Given the convoluted nature some matters present, it is recommended that you discuss your wishes and your circumstances with a qualified Kansas adoption attorney in order to create the most successful outcome.

How an Experienced Kansas Adoption Attorney Can Help With Your Adoption Today

Our firm recognizes the excitement of growing your family through the legal process of stepparent adoption, and hopes we can support your family at the outset and throughout the process. Kansas Adoption Attorney Tom McDowell has experience with the intricacies the legal process presents and has helped many couples successfully adopt. Call McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can assist you with your family’s Kansas stepparent adoption today.