A stepparent adoption may present itself when the spouse of the child’s biological parent wishes to step legally into the role of the child’s other biological parent and obtain rights to the child. This can help solidify and unify the family dynamic and is a way for families to feel the most connected possible. The parents may also wish for the child to share their last name and curtail confusions the child may have.
Compared to other forms of adoption, stepparent adoption is usually a more streamlined and simplified process. Considering various facets of the adoption procedure may be waived the process can move much more quickly and efficiently. The following helps to outline the process in order to prepare you and your family for the legal procedures that may lie ahead. An experienced and qualified adoption attorney who is well-versed in Kansas’s state-specific adoption laws can also assist in moving through the process successfully.
The Stepparent Adoption Process in Kansas
A standard adoption typically involves a variety of stages and requirements that prospective adopting parents must abide by and complete. Examples of these include a home study, an extended waiting period, and an adoption hearing. In instances of stepparent adoption, many of the aforementioned, and other, facets of the adoption process may be waived in order to simplify the process overall.
One vital requirement of adoption that cannot be waived or bypassed is acquiring the consent of the other biological parent. To gain legal parental rights of a child, the other natural parent must consent to the adoption and ultimately terminate his or her rights in order for the adoption to proceed. In instances where the other birth parent refuses to consent, the adoption may not be allowed without their rights being terminated for another reason. Other such reasons for termination may include the parent not being fit, able, available, or willing for an extended period of time, or failure to support the child as required. If the absent parent is male, many people choose to attempt termination of rights by protesting that is not legally the presumed father of the child.
Although other requirements of stepparent adoptions may be easier to accomplish, consent can be a trickier area to grapple. Many times the other parent is willing to offer consent because they know it is in the best interest of the child, or they are unable. However, that may not always be the case and parents may refuse to consent on account of them being required to terminate their parental rights as well. Terminating a parent’s rights is a very serious and weighted decision, hence why the court does take the process lightly.
Contact Kansas Adoption Attorney Tom McDowell Today to Further Understand Stepparent Adoption in Kansas
The stepparent adoption process can be simplified and streamlined in many instances, and our firm’s goal is to support adoptive stepparents in any way possible. If 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.