How to Adopt a Child in Kansas

The process of adopting a child in Kansas can be a bit daunting, but we’re here to help. Check out our blog for all the information you need to get started.

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Introduction

The process of adopting a child in Kansas generally involves the following steps:

1. Choose an adoption agency or attorney.
2. Attend a required information meeting.
3. Complete a home study.
4. Be matched with a child.
5. Attend a placement hearing and finalize the adoption.

If you are interested in adopting a child from another country, there are additional steps involved in the process. You can learn more about these steps by contacting an adoption agency or attorney specializing in international adoptions.

The Process

Adopting a child can be a beautiful and rewarding experience. It is important to do your research so that you understand the process and what to expect. The first step is to contact a licensed adoption agency in Kansas. They will help you determine if you are eligible to adopt and guide you through the process.

Choose an Adoption Professional

Adoption professionals are required by Kansas law. They bring expertise, objectivity and experience to the adoption process. You will work with your adoption professional throughout your adoption journey, so it’s important to choose someone you feel comfortable with and who shares your adoption philosophy.

There are several types of adoption professionals in Kansas:
-Licensed child-placing agencies
-Licensed attorneys
-Kansas Department for Children and Families staff members who are specially trained in working with adoptive families
You may also work with an unlicensed professional, such as:
-A friend or family member
-An independent/private attorney not licensed in Kansas
-An independent/private child-placing agency not licensed in Kansas

Any of these types of professionals can help connect you with a child, but only licensed child-placing agencies, licensed attorneys and DCF staff members can place a child in your home.

Complete the Home Study

After you have gathered all of the necessary paperwork, you will need to complete a home study. A home study is an assessment of your family conducted by a licensed social worker. The social worker will visit your home, get to know your family, and ask questions about your personal lives and backgrounds. They will also ask why you want to adopt and what type of child you are hoping to adopt. The social worker will then prepare a report that will be used by the adoption agency to determine if you are suitable adoptive parents.

Be Matched with a Child

After you have completed the home study and been approved, your agency caseworker will work with you to identify a child or sibling group who may be a good match for your family. After you have been given information about a child or children, you will have the opportunity to ask questions and gather more information. If you decide to proceed with an adoption plan, your caseworker will help prepare you for meeting the child.

Finalize the Adoption

The final adoption process will vary slightly depending on whether you adopt through an agency or independently. In both cases, the adoptive family will need to appear in court to finalize the adoption.

If you adopt through an agency, your agency will likely make all the arrangements for you and may even accompany you to court. If you’re adopting independently, you’ll need to make your own arrangements. In either case, your adoption attorney can tell you what to expect and help ensure that everything goes smoothly.

Once the adoption is finalized, your child will officially be a member of your family!

Costs

You must be at least 21 years old to adopt in the state of Kansas. The first cost you will incur is the homestudy fee, which is $750 for a single person or $850 for a couple. This fee covers the social worker’s time to meet with you in your home, review your paperwork, and write the required report.

Agency Fees

Most agencies in Kansas charge a placement fee, which can range from $0-$3,000. This fee may be paid in installments or all at once. Some agencies also charge a supplemental fee to help with specific expenses related to your adoption, like the cost of a home study or the birth mother’s medical expenses.

Adoption Expenses

There are manyKickstarter is a crowdfunding platform that helps people bring their creative projects to life. Kickstarter can be a great way to finance your adoption, but it’s important to remember that adoption expenses can add up quickly. Here are some common costs you might encounter when adopting a child in Kansas:

-Home study: $1,500-$3,000
-Adoption agency fees: $5,000-$40,000
-Birth mother expenses: $0-$9,000
-Legal fees: $1,800-$4,000
-Travel expenses: $1,500-$10,000
– miscellaneous costs (e.g., birth certificate, passport): $500-$2,000

In total, adoption expenses can range from $10,000 to $60,0000. It’s important to create a budget and to research grants and other financial assistance options before beginning the adoption process.

Kansas Adoption Laws

Kansas is a great state to adopt a child because the laws are very favorable to adoptive parents. You can work with a licensed adoption agency or adopt through the foster care system. The state also offers a tax credit for adoptive families. Keep reading to learn more about how to adopt a child in Kansas.

Who May Be Adopted

In Kansas, any child under the age of 18 may be adopted, as long as the child is not married and is not the legal child of the adopting parent(s). The child must have resided in Kansas for at least six (6) months prior to the filing of the adoption petition. If the child is found to be an abused or neglected child as defined in Kansas law, or if there are extenuating circumstances that make it in the best interests of the child to be adopted by a specific person or persons, these residency requirements may be waived.

Who May Adopt

In order to adopt a child in Kansas, state law requires that the person or persons seeking to adopt:
-be at least 18 years of age;
-be a resident of the state for at least six months prior to the adoption proceeding; and
-be financially and emotionally able to provide proper care and support for the child.

Open vs. Closed Adoption

There are two types of adoption: open and closed. In a closed adoption, the birthparents’ and adoptive parents’ identities are sealed. They may or may not have ongoing contact with one another, but if they do communicate, it is through an intermediary, such as an adoption agency or attorney. In an open adoption, both the birthparents and adoptive parents have direct contact with one another.

The amount of contact varies depending on the preferences of the birthparents and adoptive parents, but usually includes some form of communication after the adoption is final. Open adoptions often allow for greater flexibility in the type of relationship that can be established between the parties. It is important to note that even in an open adoption, however, there is no guarantee that a relationship will be established or maintained between the birthparents and adoptive parents or between the child and either set of parents.

Open vs. closed adoptions used to be more black-and-white before Kansas lawmakers passed a new law in July 2013 that gives judges more discretion in making placement decisions based on “the best interest of the child.” The new law also outlines certain factors that should be considered when placing a child for adoption, including:
-The child’s physical, mental, and emotional needs;
-The functions that family will serve for the child;
-Which home will better assist in promoting continuity and stability in the child’s life; and
-Whether it is likely that placement in one home will result in serious emotional or psychological harm to the child.

Birth Parent Rights

In Kansas, a child cannot be adopted without the consent of each living parent, unless the parental rights have been terminated by a court. If only one parent has legal custody of the child, that parent may proceed with the adoption without the consent of the other parent. If both parents have legal custody, they must both consent to the adoption. The consent of a parent who has abandoned or deserted a child for at least six months prior to the adoption proceedings is not required. The consent of a parent who has been judicially determined to be incompetent is also not required.

A birth parent may withdraw his or her consent to an adoption up until the time of the final decree of adoption. However, if more than six months have elapsed between the placement of the child with the adoptive parents and the filing of the petition for adoption, the withdrawal of consent must be in writing and must be filed with the court.

If a birthparent changes his or her mind after signing an irrevocable release or surrender for adoption, he or she may contact an attorney to attempt to revoke the document. In order for an irrevocable surrender or release for adoption to be set aside, there must be proof that it was obtained through fraud, duress, or misrepresentation.

Intercountry Adoption

In order for a U.S. citizen to adopt a child from another country and bring that child back to the United States, the adopting parent(s) or their agent must comply with the laws and regulations of both the United States and the foreign country.

For more information about adoption in Kansas, please contact:

The Kansas Department of Children and Families
Bryan White, Director
1320 SW Topeka Blvd.
Topeka, KS 66612-1505
Tel: 785-296-3360Fax: 785-291-3699

The laws governing intercountry adoption in the United States are contained in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), as well as the Stevenson-Wydler Technology Innovation Act of 1980, as amended by the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA). The IAA created certain pilot programs designed to encourage improved cooperation between the United States and other countries in intercountry adoptions that meet applicable standards. Currently, there are 80+ countries with which the United States has entered into agreements or pilot programs pursuant to section 101(b) of the IAA. The IAA also requires that U.S. accrediting entities be recognized by the Secretary of State for performing home studies in Hague Convention countries and for placing children from those countries with adoptive families in the United States, as well as ensuring that only accredited agencies or approved persons place children from non-Hague Convention countries with adoptive families in this country

Conclusion

Now that you know the steps to take to adopt a child in Kansas, you’re one step closer to becoming a parent. The process may seem daunting at first, but with the help of a qualified adoption agency, you can complete the process and welcome your new child into your home.

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