Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption Laws in Kansas

Adoption is a uniquely important and structured legal process with beginnings just as uncommon. It is not like deciding to buy a new home, or filing a personal injury claim. Even though it is rooted in family law, most people firmly decide to adopt a child before even looking into the laws, regulations, and procedures. Of course, this is absolutely fine, as the goal of adoption is clearly more significant than the path there.

However, if you are thinking about adopting a child in Kansas, you can cut out much of the stress of the legal process by knowing a few things to expect beforehand. Please take a moment to review this list of frequently asked questions about adoption laws in Kansas, compiled by our Johnson County family lawyers from Martin & Wallentine, LLC. If you have more questions, do not see the question you have in mind, or if you know you are ready to start the adoption process but want legal guidance, you should also contact our firm by dialing 913.764.9700.

Adoption Law FAQ

  1. Who can legally file for adoption in Kansas?
    Anyone who is over the age of 18 years old can file to adopt an eligible youth or child. There is no age cap for the adopter, meaning you can still adopt someone even if you are an elder who requires nursing home care. The court generally does not prefer to allow young adults (18 to 21) to also adopt teenagers.
  2. Will Kansas conduct any background checks when I file to adopt?
    Yes, you should expect that the adoption agency will want to know more about you before you are approved for adoption. The two most common background checks are criminal record and financial history. Someone who appears to be unstable due to criminal tendencies or a lack of income could be disapproved for adoption.
  3. Does a child need to consent to be adopted?
    A child who is 14 years of age or older needs to actually consent to an adoption before it can be finalized. Furthermore, Kansas will take steps to ensure that child is also of sound mind at the time of consent. That is to say, if there is any reason to believe that the child was coerced into signing the adoption paperwork, the adoption services may stop the process.
  4. My spouse wants to adopt a child but I don’t – what do I do?
    If your spouse is interested in adopting a child but you absolutely are not, you might be worried that you could be forced into parenthood. However, in Kansas, a married couple can only adopt a child if both willingly consent to it. If you don’t want to adopt, all you need to do is refuse to consent. It is worth noting that after both spouses consent to adoption, you must also adopt jointly, meaning you both become legal parents, not just one of you.
  5. I don’t own a home – can I still adopt?
    Yes. Adoption agencies need to see that you have residency but that does not mean you need to own a home or be paying off a mortgage. It is perfectly fine for you to live in a rented apartment, or a room rented out of a house, and still be eligible to adopt a child.
  6. Do my housemates influence my chances of adopting a child?
    The adoption agency does not want to move a child out of an orphanage or foster care and into a potentially dangerous or emotionally unstable household. To this end, if you live with someone who uses illegal drugs, drinks heavily, has a violent criminal past, or displays other negative character traits, it is possible that your adoption will be denied because of them.
  7. What do I do if I want to put my child up for adoption?
    How to put your child up for adoption depends on the age of your child. In Kansas, there is a 45 day “safe haven” law. Basically, if your child is less than 45 days old, you can surrender physical custody at just about any fire station, health department, or center that provides medical treatments or care – no questions asked. Your child becomes an “abandoned child” by law and will be put into foster care or orphan care for eventual adoption. If your child is 46 days old or more, you must go through official channels with the Kansas adoption agency to put your child up for adoption.

Remember: Martin & Wallentine, LLC and our Johnson County adoption attorneys are here to help you with any questions or concerns you may have about adoption. Contact our office whenever it is convenient for you to retain our legal services.