Kentucky Adoption Guide

The ultimate guide to adoption in Kentucky.

Kylee Hooper June 08, 2016

Welcome, Kentuckians! This guide was written to provide you with a single place to find information about adoption within your own state. It will walk you through everything from laws that will impact your adoption to reviews of adoption service providers in Kentucky. 

We’ve divided this guide into five parts: first, general information about adopting in Kentucky, then sections dedicated to domestic infant adoption (starting in Slide 6 ), foster adoption (Slide 18 ),  international adoption (Slide 27), and stepparent adoption (Slide 30). And don’t miss our slide filled with links to helpful adoption resources (Slide 34).

Are you interested growing your family through domestic infant adoption? Click here to connect with an adoption professional who can answer your questions.

Please note:
1. Please note:

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and reliability of the information provided in this slideshow guide, you should not rely on it to make decisions. Instead, you should rely on licensed professionals in making decisions relative to adoption. The information in this guide is subject to change without notice. Adoption.com is not responsible for the consequences of relying on this information. In no event shall Adoption.com be liable for any direct, indirect, special, or incidental damage resulting from, arising out of, or in connection with the use of this information.

Did You Know?
2. Did You Know?

Post-It Notes are manufactured exclusively in Cynthiana, Kentucky. The exact number made annually of these popular notes is a trade secret.

Adoption in Kentucky at a Glance 
3. Adoption in Kentucky at a Glance 

Kids in foster care available for adoption in 2012: 2,779      
Foster adoptions completed in 2012: 780      
International adoptions completed in 2012: 209     

Foster Statistics, International Statistics  

Can I Adopt in Kentucky?
4. Can I Adopt in Kentucky?

Adoption requirements in the state of Kentucky are as follows:

Age: 21+    
Marital Status: Can be married or single    
Finances: Must have an income sufficient to care for a family    
Housing: Must have safe, stable housing   
Other Requirements in State: Must attend an informational meeting before beginning the process.      
DISQUALIFYING CRIMES: As part of the adoption process, you will need to successfully pass a background check to ensure that children will be safe in your care.

Developing a Support System
5. Developing a Support System

It’s essential to have a good network of family, friends, and neighbors to support you through your adoption process.

It’s also important to connect with other adoptive parents. You can begin making these connections in our forums. You may also want to consider joining a support group for adoptive parents.

Domestic Infant Adoption in Kentucky
6. Domestic Infant Adoption in Kentucky

Before you get started, click here to learn more about the overall process of adopting an infant in the United States. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back to get the details about adoption in Kentucky.

 Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help
7. Domestic Infant Adoption: Get Professional Help

In Kentucky, you can adopt privately or through an agency.

Some people pursuing a private adoption find it beneficial to work with a professional adoption facilitator, an individual or organization that matches birth parents with adoptive parents in exchange for a fee. In Kentucky, only the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, a child-placing agency, or an adoption attorney may be used as an adoption facilitator.

You can browse and read reviews about adoption service providers in Kentucky here.    

For more information about picking an adoption agency, learn about the Top Fifteen Things to Look for In An Adoption Agency.

Source


 Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study
9. Domestic Infant Adoption: Complete a Home Study

Regardless of whether you complete your adoption privately (through an attorney) or through an agency, you will need to complete an adoption home study.


Your home study social worker will help educate you about adoption and ensure that you (and your partner, if applicable) meet the requirements outlined on slide four.

Click here to learn more about the Home Study process.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word   
10. Domestic Infant Adoption: Spread the Word  

Advertising is strictly prohibited in Kentucky.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment
11. Domestic Infant Adoption: Relinquishment

Parental rights can be relinquished 72 hours after the birth of the child when using an independent adoption attorney. Parents who use a licensed agency can sign consent at any time but must wait until their petition is filed with the courts to finalize relinquishment of parental rights. Consent can be revoked up to 20 days after the state approves the case with the courts.

Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights   
12. Domestic Infant Adoption: Birth Father Rights  

Kentucky does not have a putative father registry. Typically, the birth mother will declare whether or not the birth father will be informed of the birth and adoption plan. A man married to the birth mother is considered a legal father, whether or not he’s the biological father. The rights of the legal father and/or the birth father must be terminated before an adoption can take place. If the birth father is unknown or unnamed, the birth father’s parental rights should be terminated after 60 days after the birth of the child. If a father does not assert his rights after 60 days, it is difficult for the challenge to be successful. However, if the father has lived with the birth mother, his name is on the birth certificate and he’s paid medical bills, he will have a better chance of keeping his parental rights.

Source

Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses
13. Domestic Infant Adoption - Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Hopeful adoptive parents and/or an adoption agency may provide money to cover the expenses for an expectant mother. There are, however, requirements governing such support.

Birth parent expenses are allowed for reasonable, maternity, and adoption related expenses.

Payments made for a birth parent's needs by hopeful adoptive parents are reimbursable and are paid through the agency or attorney.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements   
14. Domestic Infant Adoption - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements  

Post-adoption contact agreements are not addressed in the state statutes.

Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization 	  
15. Domestic Infant Adoption - Finalization  

Finalization of adoption usually takes around three months.

If a child is adopted through an agency, a minimum of two post-placement visits must be made before the adoption can be finalized, and post-placement visits should be made monthly. If a child is adopted through an independent adoption, one post-placement visit and a court report is required before the adoption hearing. To finalize an adoption hopeful adoptive parents must go to court and be approved by the judge.

Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Kentucky from Out-of-State
16. Domestic Infant Adoption – Adopting in Kentucky from Out-of-State

With private (usually domestic infant) adoptions, it is always possible to adopt a child within Kentucky, even if you live in a different state from the child.

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

Foster Adoption in Kentucky
17. Foster Adoption in Kentucky

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of adopting children through foster care. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about foster adoption in Kentucky.  

Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Kentucky
18. Foster Adoption - Children Available for Foster Adoption in Kentucky

Thousands of children are currently in foster care. Many of these children are waiting to be adopted by a forever family.  

Kentucky currently features children in Adoption.com's photolisting. You can find it here.

Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help   
19. Foster Adoption - Get Professional Help  

You can complete a foster adoption either through a private agency that is licensed to provide foster care services or directly through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services.       

To find adoption agencies in Kentucky and to read reviews, check out Adoption.com’s Reviews page.  

You will still need to complete a home study as part of this process.

Becoming Part of the Foster Care System 	  
20. Becoming Part of the Foster Care System  

In order to become part of the foster care system, you will need to go through training. After you are approved to be a foster family, you will receive children into your home. Some of these children will be considered "legal risk" placements, meaning their parents have not yet relinquished their rights.

Those hoping to be foster parents will receive training by The Department for Community Based Services. This training is designed to help parents meet the needs of children. Each year, approved foster parents are required to receive a minimum of six hours of training.

Finalization 	  
21. Finalization  

Petition to finalize your adoption as soon as you can; this typically takes three months.

Foster - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements   
22. Foster - Post-Adoption Contact Agreements  

Post-adoption contact agreements are not addressed by the state.

A post-adoption contact agreement is a voluntary agreement that can be entered into by adoptive and birth families. The agreement outlines details about how much contact the birth and adoptive families will have after the adoption is finalized.

In instances in which the child’s biological parents’ rights have been involuntarily terminated, the well-being of the child needs to be first and foremost in everyone’s minds if a post-adoption contact agreement is created. Caseworkers and therapists should be consulted in making decisions about contact after adoption.

Adoption Assistance   
23. Adoption Assistance  

Adoption assistance is available to those who adopt children with qualifying special needs. In order to qualify children must meet at least one of the following regulations:

1. At least 2 years old and part of a minority ethnic group
2. At least 7 years or older and has a significant tie with the foster family
3. Member of a sibling group with 2 or more children to be placed with the same family
4. Physical or mental disability
5. Emotional disorder
6. Documented risk of developing future physical, mental, emotional disorder
7. Previous adoption disruption or multiple placements

The max monthly payments depends upon the condition of the child. For exact monthly amounts available click here.

For more information, click here.

Foster Adoption – A Note about the ICPC
24. Foster Adoption – A Note about the ICPC

The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) was adopted in the 1960s to provide for oversight and protection of children placed for foster care or adoption between states.

If you are adopting a child from another state, you will need to receive permission from the ICPC office in the state where the child is from. Your agency or attorney will send the office copies of your home study and some other paperwork. They will need to approve your packet before you can bring your child home.

Read more about the ICPC here.

International Adoption in Kentucky
25. International Adoption in Kentucky

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of international adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about international adoption in Kentucky.

International Adoption - Photolisting
26. International Adoption - Photolisting

There are millions of beautiful children across the world who are hoping to find a forever family.

Click here to meet some of them through our Photolisting.

International Adoption - Get Professional Help
27. International Adoption - Get Professional Help

With international adoptions, your only choice is to complete your adoption through an agency. Because of the Universal Accreditation Act, all adoption agencies completing international adoptions are required to be credentialed according to federal standards. Make sure to check with any agency before working with them to ensure they have this accreditation in place!

In selecting an international adoption agency, there are Four Essential Criteria you should probably consider. Click here to browse through reviews of adoption agencies in Kentucky.

In order to be approved to adopt internationally, you will need to complete an international adoption-specific home study.

International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements
28. International Adoption - Post-Adoption Requirements

Adoptions finalized abroad will be recognized in Kentucky if you go through an agency licensed to provide international adoption services.

You will also need to request a U.S. birth certificate for your child.

Read more about post-adoption requirements here.

Stepparent Adoption in Kentucky
29. Stepparent Adoption in Kentucky

Before you get started, click here to familiarize yourself with the overall process of stepparent adoption. Then, because laws and processes vary from state to state, come back here to get the details about stepparent adoption in Kentucky.

Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights
30. Stepparent Adoption - Terminating Parental Rights

In order for you to adopt the child of your spouse, the corresponding biological parent’s rights will first need to be terminated, either voluntarily or involuntarily.

You will need to consult with an adoption attorney about your desire to adopt. He/she can help you decide if it’s likely that the biological parent would be willing to relinquish rights OR if it would be feasible to pursue involuntary termination of his/her parental rights.

Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt
31. Stepparent Adoption - Petitioning to Adopt

Once parental rights have been terminated, you can file a petition to adopt with the courts. You and your spouse will both testify in court regarding the stability of your marital relationship, the bond you’ve developed with your stepchild, and your desire to become the legal parent of your stepchild.

You will generally not be required to complete a background check or home study as part of the stepparent adoption process.

Adoption Resources
32. Adoption Resources

Adoption Forums           
Kentucky Wiki     
Parent Profiles
Adoption Stories

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Kylee Hooper

Kylee Hooper is not quite a mother, but she adores babies, and hopes to be able to either foster or adopt someday. When she isn't writing, reading, or editing; she is normally playing her harp or creating an adventure.


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