Each state’s adoption laws can vary, so it is important that if you are considering adopting a child in Kansas that you become familiar with Kansas adoption laws.
Kansas adoption laws are in place to protect the birth parents, the prospective adoptive parents, and the child being adopted. You will want to find an adoption agency or an adoption lawyer who is very knowledgeable in the Kansas adoption laws.
We will cover some of the legal specifics for those adopting in Kansas involving newborn adoptions through the domestic adoption process, as well as adopting an infant or older child through the foster care system.
With so many aspects of Kansas adoption laws and their corresponding policies, it is impossible to cover them all in one article. We will, however, dive into many facets of the adoption laws in Kansas.
You are strongly encouraged to contact a licensed adoption agency or an adoption lawyer for specific adoption laws and policies in Kansas, as laws and policies do change.
Can you adopt without a lawyer? How much do adoption attorneys cost? Learn all that and more by visiting Adoption Lawyers in Kansas: Do You Need an Adoption Attorney? where we also give you step-by-step instructions on how to vet an adoption lawyer.
Adoption Requirements in Kansas
- No age minimum requirement specified.
- Must be at least ten years older than the child.
- One may be single or married.
- LGBT couple may adopt.
- A background check is required.
It is common knowledge that adoption is costly, but that is not to be confused with a false expectation that a prospective parent should be well off financially. Financial security is important and expected when applying to adopt a child, yet being upper class is not one of those qualifications.
Financial security simply means that you can pay your bills, cover your rent or mortgage and that you have a reliable means of income and transportation. What matters most is that a child is loved, cared for, and kept safe and comfortable.
Learn more about adoption attorneys in our article What Does an Adoption Attorney Do? We Find Out.
Adoption Consent in Kansas
Below is a summary including key points of the adoption consent laws in Kansas put together for your convenience and is intended to be quicker to digest. For a complete listing of all adoption consent laws in their legal format and their entirety, visit Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 59-2129; 59-2136(d): Adoption courtesy of the Kansas Legislation Sessions.
It goes without saying that consent to adopt is a huge part of the adoption process. We may forget, however, that there is more involved than the birth mother’s consent.
Another aspect may come into play that you will want to keep in mind.
- The adoptee who is 14 years of age or older must give their consent to the adoption. An exception to this would be if the child is mentally incompetent.
- The presumed father has the right to consent to the adoption.
- The agency to which the adoptee has been relinquished or which holds permanent custody and which has placed the adoptee for adoption.
Kansas Subsidies for Foster Care Adoption
Adoption assistance, otherwise known as adoption subsidies, is available for foster children in Kansas who suffer from physical, mental, and developmental challenges.
These children are at a heightened risk of health problems, learning disabilities, as well as mental health issues. Subsidized adoption assists adoptive families with medical access, special equipment, therapies, tutoring, and other support services.
In the US, about 90% of the children in foster care are eligible for adoption assistance.
Special Needs Eligibility in Kansas
A child with special needs may qualify for adoption assistance if the child meets one or more of the following circumstances, courtesy of NACAC.
- Noted emotional, physical, or mental issues.
- Two years of age or older and member of a racial or ethnic minority group.
- Siblings of two or more being placed for adoption in the same home at the same time.
- Seven years of age or older with a substantial emotional bond or psychological connection to the foster family and the Department has decided that it would be in the child’s best interest to remain with the family.
- A previous adoption disruption or multiple placements.
- Due to underlining issues in the past, the child is likely to suffer emotional, physical, or mental struggles in the future.
Children adopted from private adoption agencies may be eligible for an adoption subsidy, but only if the children are eligible for federal (title IV-E) adoption assistance.
Kansas Adoption Advertising Laws
Adoption advertising is defined as using a public medium to express an interest in adopting a child or sharing that a child is available for adoption either by print or electronically.
Common means of advertising include:
- Printed Flyers
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2123(a)(1), (b)-(c): Use of Advertisement
Only those who are licensed to provide adoption-related services to adopt a child, find an adoptive home for a child, or place a child for adoption are allowed to advertise providing they list under what authority their license is issued.
An exception to this is the Kansas Department for Children and Families or to an individual seeking to
adopt a child.
Courtesy of ChildWelfare.gov.
Birth Parent Expenses in Kansas
In all states, no person or agency is allowed to accept payment for assisting, placing, or organizing the placement of a child, as this is illegal.
Chapter 59. Probate Code § 59-2128: Petition for Adoption; Consents, Background Information, Accounting, Residency Affidavit, Filing, courtesy of FindLaw.
Kansas laws state that adoptive parents may cover expenses related to childbirth medical expenses for the birth mother or child and living expenses that are deemed reasonable, which may include the following:
- Legal fees
- Adoption agency fees
- Prenatal visits
- Living expenses
- Hospital costs
Adoptive parents are typically required to file a complete record of expenses related to the adoption that they are covering, and this must happen before making a payment toward those expenses.
Your licensed adoption liaison will help to ensure that all financial aspects of the adoption process run smoothly and legally.
What do you do, though, if said expenses are paid and the birth mother changes her mind in the end? Adoption Disruption insurance is available for adoptive parents to protect them from such a misfortune for those adopting domestically.
Accessing Adoption Records in Kansas
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2122: Who May Access Information
Providing good cause is shown, the following may request adoption records:
- The adoptive parents filing for adoption and their attorney
- And adult adoptee
- The Department for Children and Families
- Other state authorities when good cause is proven
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2122: Access to Nonidentifying Information
At the birth parents’ request, the department may contact the adoptive parents of the minor adoptee or the adult adoptee if there is a health or medical need.
The department may also reach out to the adult adoptee at the request of the birth or genetic parents for any reason.
It is important to note that such information will not include the birth or genetic parents’ identifying information.
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2122: Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Identifying information shall not be shared with the birth or genetic parents without the permission of the
adoptive parents of the minor child, or the adult adoptee, or the legal guardian of the adult adoptee.
Courtesy of ChildWelfare.gov.
Post Adoption Contact Laws in Kansas
Adoptive parents have a right to decide who has contact with their adopted child and when. Many times in an open adoption, the adoptive parents and the birth family have a mutual and informal agreement regarding contact with the adopted child.
Upon reviewing the state statutes, this issue is not addressed. It would be best to seek an adoption lawyer or other licensed adoption representative to obtain their professional advice regarding adoption advertising in the state of Kansas.
When are Adoption Birth Certificates Issued in Kansas?
When your adoption is finalized, court proceedings should immediately include beginning the process of obtaining a new birth certificate for the adopted child that reflects the child’s new last name and adoptive parents.
Do not hesitate to ask your adoption attorney or adoption agency if you need to initiate that process, or if the courts will do that on your behalf.
DISCLAIMER: The above state law information is provided to our readers as a courtesy and is meant to help offer some insight as to what to expect during your adoption journey. This information is not meant to be viewed as legal advice. In addition, possible changes to state laws may have taken place since the publishing of this article in July 2021.