It’s no secret that adoption can be a stressful and expensive endeavor. Made for television movies, while sometimes dramatizing the process for the sake of ratings, still capture many truths about what it’s like to adopt. While adopting a child from an agency or from overseas can be a lengthy and legal-laden process, many people also go through a different type of adoption process.
In some cases, a step parent or guardian wants to adopt a child or teen who has been in their care for years. These wishes may or may not be contested by another parent, and regardless of the situation, there are still legal steps that need to be followed.
The Kentucky courts provide a path to adoption regardless of whether you are planning to adopt a child you already care for or want to adopt a new child. Before a child can be adopted, the parent or parents must give up their parental rights or have them terminated by the court. You can’t simply claim adoptive parenthood of someone else’s children, after all.
Usually, that paperwork is done before you file adoption petitions if the termination is involuntary. If a parent is voluntarily terminating parental rights, that might be handled as part of the adoption process.
Adoption is a complex legal process that can greatly impact the future of all involved. It can also change the entire course of a child’s life. While you can file a self-represented adoption petition in the state, it’s not usually advised. Working with an experienced family law professional lets you avoid some mistakes and pitfalls that can negatively impact your adoption.
Source: Kentucky Court of Justice, “Cases,” accessed Nov. 04, 2016