Before a child may be adopted, the written consent of the biological parents must be obtained. Under certain circumstances, the consent of both biological parents may not be required. Such consent is not required of a biological parent:
(1) Whose parental rights have been previously terminated pursuant to the law;
(2) Who has previously consented to the future adoption of a child;
(3) Whose identity is unknown and cannot be ascertained;
(4) A man who has not been established to be the father and who denies paternity;
(5) Who has a permanent and incurable mental condition which renders the parent unable to provide care for the child;
(6) Who has for a period of six months abandoned or neglected the child who is one year of age or older (this period is 60 days if the child is under one year of age).
Before the court can enter a final decree of adoption, the adopting family must have had lawful custody of the child for a period of 6 months. For the purposes of a step-parent adoption, lawful custody is deemed to begin with the marriage of the parents. The parents must be married for at least six months prior to the granting of the step-parent adoption.
In addition, prior to entering a final decree of adoption the court may require a home-study be conducted on the adopting family. This is a study usually conducted by a social worker or therapist that investigates the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of the adopting parent and the child.
During the adoption proceedings, a Guardian ad Litem will be appointed by the court to represent the child sought to be adopted. It is important for the petitioners to cooperate with the Guardian ad Litem.
When a child is adopted, all relations and rights between a child and its biological parent are terminated. The child legally becomes the “natural” child of the adoptive parent. Specifically, the biological parent no longer has any right to have contact with or information about the child, and no longer has any responsibility to provide financial support for the child. Further, the child loses all rights of inheritance from the biological parent.
Step parent adoptions can be done when the child is a minor, or after the child becomes an adult at age 18 years old. If the child sought to be adopted is 14 years of age or older, the child must also provide a written consent to the adoption.
To make an appointment, please call us at 816-256-5440.
We are available to help you with your family law or estate planning needs in the following Missouri counties: Platte, Clay, Jackson, Buchanan, Andrew, Clinton, DeKalb, Holt, Nodaway and Ray.
We are available to help you with your family law or estate planning needs in the following Kansas counties: Leavenworth, Wyandotte, and Johnson.
Kiske Law Office, LLC
7211 NW 83rd St.
Kansas City, MO 64152
Kiske Law Office, LLC
1911 Jules St.
St. Joseph, MO 64501
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