A stepparent adoption allows for the stepparent of a child to adopt their spouse’s natural child and obtain the applicable legal, parental rights. At the outset of exploring a stepparent adoption, it is imperative to understand what the adoption laws in Kansas require in order to ensure you are adequately prepared and have the ability to adopt. Adoption laws are state regulated, and therefore can be different depending on the state you are filing in and must be researched accordingly.
Required Parental Consent
The laws in Kansas parallel most laws in the United States, and function to protect the best interest of the child in conjunction with the rights of the child’s biological parents. As such, a prospective adoptive stepparent and a child’s biological parent must first seek and obtain the consent of the child’s other biological parent. Although there are other available options if consent cannot be obtained, this is the most critical requirement and necessary issue to address in order to proceed with an adoption. According to Kansas’s adoption laws, a natural parent’s consent is not required in the following circumstances:
- When parental rights have been previously terminated pursuant to the law;
- Who has previously consented to the future adoption of a child;
- Whose identity is unknown and cannot be ascertained;
- A man who has not been established to be the father and who denies paternity;
- Who has a permanent and incurable mental condition which renders the parent unable to provide care for the child;
- Who has for a period of six months abandoned or neglected the child who is one year of age or older (this period is 60 days if the child is under one year of age).
Other Stepparent Adoption Requirements
In order for a Kansas adoption to occur, the adoptive family must have maintained lawful custody of the child for at least six consecutive months. In regards to stepparent adoption, custody is deemed to begin at the time the parents are legally married, therefore the parents must have been married for at least six months in order to proceed with an adoption. The court also requires that a home study be conducted at the household of the prospective adoptive family. A caseworker or agency representative may conduct the evaluation and the goal is to assess the environmental, mental and physical well-being of the household and all the parties therein. A home study includes an assessment of the potential living arrangements in addition to interviews with both the parents and the child.
Contact Kansas Call Kansas Adoption Attorney Tom McDowell Today to Further Understand Adoption in Kansas
The adoption process does not have to be complicated or difficult, and our firm’s goal is to support adoptive parents in any way we can. If your matter is complex or intricate, or obtaining the required parental consent has presented challenges, Kansas Adoption Attorney Tom McDowell can help. Call attorney Tom McDowell today at (316) 633-4322 to have your adoption questions answered according to the laws in Kansas in order to successfully grow your family through adoption.