“Every child deserves a home and love. Period.” -- Dave Thomas
The act of adoption is one of the kindest and noblest acts that can be undertaken, as to adopt someone is to legally make them a child of one's own, with all of the rights and responsibilities that entails. The most consequential adoptions are those of young children, but individuals of any age may be adopted provided they consent to it. The primary purpose for which adoptions are undertaken in Kansas is familial unification, but may also occur for estate planning and more esoteric personal reasons. The law of adoption is Kansas is divided by the kind of adoption being undertaken, for which there are three types: stepparent, independent, and agency. They are also divided between adoptions of minors and adults, but for the latter, the consent of the parties is generally all that is required.
A stepparent adoption is a narrowly class of adoption in which the spouse of one biological parent adopts one or more of his or her spouse’s minor children. A stepparent adoption requires the consent of both biological parents, but allows for the presumption of consent even over the objections of the non-spousal parent in certain instances. Stepparent adoptions are generally low-key and informal, with the primary source of litigation arising from disputes over whether consent can be presumed.
Independent adoptions are all adoptions of minor children which are not done by a stepparent and do not involve an adoption agency. The consent of the biological parents is required and cannot be presumed, though it can be overcome upon a clear and convincing showing of parental abandonment. Parties conducting independent adoptions must demonstrate their fitness and ability to adopt the child(ren) and several home assessments are statutorily required, though they may be waived under certain circumstances. Independent adoptions are generally more formal than stepparent adoptions, due to the enhanced statutory burdens placed upon would-be adopters.
Agency adoptions are all adoptions of minor children which are conducted by an adoption agency, including most international adoptions. The actual process is similar to an independent adoption, with the main differences being additional filings required of the adoption agency to certify that the proposed adoption is not part of a for-profit human-trafficking program. Like independent adoptions, agency adoptions are generally more formal than stepparent adoptions due to the greater number of statutory requirements in order to allow them to proceed.
The decision to adopt a child – even an adult child – is a major one, with significant ramifications for your family and your estate plan. Since 2013, the Law Office of Christopher J. Velez has been helping individuals and families in Southwestern Kansas to successfully enlarge their families through adoption. And would like the chance to help you do the same.
Call (620) 277-3315 to find out what the Law Office of Christopher J. Velez can do for you in your adoption matter.