The legal requirements for adoption
Age and Residency:A person who is eighteen (18) years old and is a resident of Kentucky and has been a resident for twelve (12) month before filing may file a petition to adopt a child in the county in which such petitioner resides.
Who must join in the Petiton:If the petitioner is married, both spouses must join in the petition to adopt. Except that in step-parent adoptions the biological parent need not join in the petition.
Continuous Residence with the Child:In non-cabinet adoptions the petition can not be filed until the child has resided continuously in the home of the petitioner for at least ninety (90) days immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition. In some circumstances the court may order an investigation report and a background check to be performed.
Consent of Biological Parent:
A voluntary and informed consent of the living biological parent is required if the child was born in wedlock or if paternity has been established. Consent is not required when the parents have been adjudged mentally disabled for not less than a one (1) year, the parental rights of the parents have been terminated, or the biological parent has not established parental rights.
If a minor child is twelve (12) years old, the consent of the child is also required but may be waived by the court.
Problems with Consent:
The adoption process is easier when the parties have the consent of the biological parent. To bypass the consent requirements, the biological parent’s parental right must first be terminated or the petitioner must prove to the court that none of the conditions listed in KRS 625.065 apply.
625.065 Putative father party to proceedings
- The putative father of a child shall be made a party and brought before the circuit court in the same manner as any other party to an involuntary termination action if one (1) of the following conditions exists:
- He is known and voluntarily identified by the mother by affidavit;
- Prior to the entry of a final order in a termination proceeding, he shall have acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity in the action or to the custodial agency or the party bringing the action within sixty (60) days after the birth of the child;
- He has caused his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child;
- He has commenced a judicial proceeding claiming parental right;
- He has contributed financially to the support of the child, either by paying the medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child or financially contributed to the child’s support; or
- He has married the mother of the child or has lived openly or is living openly with the child or the person designated on the birth certificate as the biological mother of the child.
- Any person to whom none of the above conditions apply shall be deemed to have no parental rights to the child in question.
The Legal Effects of Adoption:
Upon entry of the judgment of adoption, from and after the date of the filing of the petition, the child shall be deemed the child of petitioners and shall be considered for purpose of inheritance and succession and for all other legal considerations, the natural child of the parent adopting it the same as if born of their bodies.