In many families, grandparents are aside from parents, a child’s favorite caregivers in addition to being the caregivers that both the child and their parents trust the most. When grandparents are available to provide child care, parents often gladly permit them to do so instead of looking for help from outside the family in the form of daycare, a nanny, or a babysitter. In situations where parents may be unable to care for their children, it is often the grandparents who step in and take over responsibility for raising the children.
If a situation arises in your family where your grandchildren’s parents are unable to care for them, raising them as your own may seem like the natural next step. In fact, it may seem so natural that you may feel as though there is no need for a formal legal proceeding to adopt them. While this may work out fine initially, it is important that grandparents in this situation take legal action to adopt their grandchildren so that they are legally recognized as the children’s’ parents. Legal status as a child’s parent is essential, because it enables you to obtain medical care for the child, enroll them in school, and access state benefit programs if your family needs them.
Many birth parents are grateful and appreciative that their children’s grandparents have taken responsibility for raising them. In these situations, there may even be regular contact between the child and their birth parents. In other cases, though, the relationship between the child’s birth parents and their grandparents has deteriorated, and the birth parents may try to interfere with the grandparents’ efforts. If the grandparents have adopted their grandchildren, the grandparents may be able to limit or prohibit contact between themselves and the birth parents or the child and the birth parents.
Adopting your grandchildren in Kansas does not have to be accomplished through the standard adoption process. Grandparents may petition the court for a kinship adoption. Kinship adoptions are often less expensive than traditional adoptions, they take less time, because family, or kin, are viewed by the court as preferred caregivers. Grandparents who seek a kinship adoption often do so with the aid of a Kansas adoption attorney. The process of kinship adoption begins when the attorney that represents the grandparents petitions the court for the adoption of the grandchildren by the grandparents. Some of these kinship adoption cases move quickly, especially when the birth parents relinquish their parental rights voluntarily. If this does not seem likely in your situation, rest assured that in cases where the parents’ rights are terminated involuntarily, or where the parents are found by the court to have abandoned their child, a grandparent’s petition for adoption may still be able to move forward.
Grandparents who are thinking of adopting their grandchildren need legal support that they can count on. If you are thinking of adopting your grandchildren, you can learn more about adoption in Kansas by contacting a Kansas Adoption Attorney. If you have legal questions about adoption, Kansas Adoption Attorney Thomas McDowell is here to help you. Please call our office today, at (316) 633-4322 to make an appointment for your initial consultation.