Adoption In Missouri vs Kansas

Congratulations on considering adoption! It is a big step to add someone to your family legally. This article will discuss the different ways adoption can look and the processes required.

Adoption in Kansas

Independent Adoption

Adopted parents spending time with child
In Kansas, an independent adoption is where a biological parent or legal guardian places a child for adoption with someone(s) other than a stepparent.

It is considered an agency adoption if performed through an adoption agency, but the same steps apply functionally.

The parent who gives birth to the child must wait at least twelve hours before they can consent to adoption.

In the eyes of the law, it is vital to provide the parent with time to think and consider their bond with the child before making a decision that is very difficult to recant.

Need help?   Consult with a family law attorney.

Proceeding Without the Consent of the Other Parent

Sometimes a child is in a single-parent household for any number of reasons. The single parent may still give their child up for adoption in Kansas.

In this case, if the other parent is unknown or unreachable, the court must appoint an attorney to represent the absent party. Further, the court must order the publication of the notice of the hearing if the other parent is unidentifiable.

If nobody claims to be an absent parent, the court can terminate their parental rights. If someone steps forward, the court determines parentage to determine if this is the parent.

Adopting a Stepchild

The spouse of a biological parent can petition the court for adoption; the biological parent’s consent is required in this.

Unlike independent adoption, the biological parent retains their rights over their child but gives the child a new parent as a spouse.

If the second biological parent is unidentified, the court has discretion as to if it will appoint an attorney to represent the unknown other parent.

Adoptions in Missouri

Adoption by Consent

Adoption by consent in Missouri is similar to Kansas.

Consent may be given by the mother, a presumed father, someone who has filed a notice of intent to claim paternity, a person who filed an action to establish their paternity within fifteen (15) days of the child’s birth, or the child’s current adoptive parents.

Adopting is a relatively simple process if one of these is met. If there is consent, then the process may be more straightforward.

Adoption Without Consent

Adoption may be granted without the full consent of both biological parents under these circumstances.

  1. A biological parent’s rights have been legally terminated
  2. A biological parent has waived the necessity of consent for future adoptions
  3. A biological parent’s identity is unknown and cannot be found at the time of the filing of an adoption petition
  4. A biological parent does not execute consent and does not appear in court after proper service of process is filed.
  5. A biological parent has a mental condition that makes giving proper care to the child more complex, and the condition is not likely to improve
  6. A parent willfully abandons their child; or
  7. A parent continuously neglects their child for six months before the adoption petition’s filing.

Forms to consent to waive parental rights must be written, signed, notarized, or witnessed by two adults not in the adoption proceedings, the witnesses must be identifiable and verified, and the consent must be given after the child is more than 48 hours old.

Adoptions in both states are similar but slightly different.

To fully understand the complexities of the law, legal representation is a must. Family law attorneys are exceptionally skilled in law and willing to help you in this significant step in your life.

Click here to schedule a free consultation with a skilled family law attorney who can help you through this process.

Congratulations once again on deciding to take this step.

by Suzanne Hale Robinson

Owner and Managing Partner, at Hale Robinson & Robinson.