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Grandparent Adoption Rights in Kansas – Discussed by a Kansas Attorney

Grandparent Adoption Rights in Kansas – Discussed by a Kansas Attorney
August 11, 2016 James Greenier

In Kansas, there are a variety of ways in which an adult can adopt a child. The most common types of adoption are private, public, foster-to-adopt and kinship. If a child’s grandparents decide it would be in the best interest of the child to adopt him or her, this would fall under the category of kinship adoption. Kinship adoption is available to relatives of a child who wish to adopt him or her. The relative(s) seeking to adopt a child through kinship are often favored due to the court’s desire to keep family’s united as much as possible. Grandparents’ have many rights when it comes to the care of their grandchild and the adoption process is generally rather simple. A grandparent’s rights may also change if an unrelated third party adopts their grandchild.

Termination of Parental Rights

Oftentimes the relationship between a child and his or her parent(s) is not as healthy, stable or reliable as the child deserves. Unfortunately, sometimes multiple attempts are made for reunification or treatment for the parents to no avail and other care options need to be explored. Depending on the child’s relationship with his or her grandparents, a grandparent (or kinship) adoption may be a beneficial choice. In order for a grandparent to adopt a child and legally assume the rights to the child, the child’s parents’ rights must first be terminated. This requires that the parents must voluntarily consent to the adopt and offer their rights for termination. According to Kansas statute, in order for a parent’s rights to be terminated the court must find by clear and convincing evidence, that the parent is unfit “by reason or conduct which renders the parent unable to care properly for the child and that the conduct or condition is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future.”

Grandparent Adoption Process

In Kansas, a petition must be filed with the court to initiate the adoption process. In addition, notice must be given to the biological parents regarding the termination of their rights and a hearing will be held. The judge will assess the circumstances of the child’s situation, the relationship he or she has with her parents and grandparents and make a decision based on the acquisition of the parent’s consent and the best interest of the child. If a parent is no longer living, is unavailable or unfit to care for their child the court will also evaluate these factors in making a decision.

Grandparents’ Rights to Adopted Grandchild

Conversely, if you have a grandchild that has been adopted you may be surprised to know that your legal rights have changed. If an unrelated third party adopts a child, the child’s biological grandparents’ rights are also terminated in addition to the child’s parents’ rights.  Depending on the type of adoption that has been filed or finalized, a notice of pending adoption and termination of rights may be required by law.

Contact a Wichita Attorney to Answer Your Grandparent Adoption Questions Today

With over 40 years of adoption experience in Kansas, Attorney Tom McDowell has helped many grandparents successfully adopt their grandchildren. Call Kansas Family Law Attorney Tom McDowell at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to properly file for adoption.