Adopting a child can be a challenging but rewarding process for any hopeful parent. Therefore, all prospective parents considering adoption in Kansas City should fully research their chosen adoption process before committing to this kind of life-changing journey.

To help ensure that prospective adoptive parents are ready for adoption, state adoption laws and adoption professionals set certain adoption requirements that these parents must meet. These requirements for adoption do not often prohibit someone from adopting who is prepared to; it’s just a way to ensure that children will be placed in a safe and loving home.

As an adoption attorney, Kevin Kenney can speak to you in detail about the legal requirements to adopt a child in Kansas and Missouri, as well as any other requirements from adoption professionals. You can always speak to Kevin about your individual situation and whether you meet local adoption requirements by calling his office at 913-671-8008.

Whichever adoption process you choose to complete and whichever adoption professional you work with, there are some basic Kansas and Missouri adoption requirements you’ll have to meet. Read on for answers to some of the more common questions about these adoption requirements.

1. How old do you have to be to adopt in Kansas or Missouri?

Many hopeful parents wonder if there is an adoption age limit or a certain minimum age they have to be to adopt. In Kansas and Missouri, there are no age requirements for adoption, except that an adoptive parent must be a legal adult. Some adoption professionals will set certain age adoption requirements within their own programs but, in general, anyone over the age of 18 is eligible to become an adoptive parent.

2. Do you have to be married to adopt in Kansas or Missouri?

There are no requirements that a prospective adoptive parent be married in Kansas or Missouri. Any single parent who passes legal screenings and other agency requirements is eligible to adopt. However, single hopeful parents may experience a longer wait time if they choose to adopt through private domestic infant adoption. Single parents who choose to pursue foster care adoption will usually have a shorter wait time and more adoption opportunities.

Prospective adoptive parents who are married must jointly adopt a child together. However, if you are a married LGBT couple pursuing international adoption, recognize that you may be unable to adopt a child together in a foreign country that hasn’t legalized same-sex marriage. In these cases, attorney Kevin Kenney can help you complete any necessary re-adoptions in the U.S. to establish both parents’ rights.

On the same note, other countries may have different marital requirements for adoption than Kansas and Missouri, so single parents considering international adoption should work closely with their agency to find an appropriate country to adopt from.

3. Can same-sex couples adopt in Kansas or Missouri?

There are no laws banning LGBT adoption in Kansas or Missouri. Hopeful LGBT parents have just as much right to adopt as heterosexual parents, and attorney Kevin Kenney can always help complete the legal process of a same-sex adoption. He will protect your rights and interests throughout.

Kevin also partners with LGBT-friendly adoption agencies who can help you find the perfect adoption opportunity for your family. While certain adoption agencies can discriminate against LGBT couples, Kevin will always refer you to professionals who welcome adoptive parents like yourselves.

4. Can someone with a criminal history adopt in Kansas or Missouri?

All prospective adoptive parents will go through a screening and background check process before being approved to adopt, and that includes a criminal background check. If you’re wondering whether someone who has committed a crime or a felon can adopt a child, that eligibility will be determined by the type of crime committed, the sentencing and the history of the prospective adoptive parent. It’s best to speak with an adoption professional to determine whether your personal history may impact your ability to adopt.

5. What do I need to adopt a child in Kansas or Missouri?

As mentioned, one of the first adoption requirements hopeful parents need to meet is clearance from background screenings. Some adoption processes require different levels of background checks and clearances, so speak with Kevin to learn more about the legal adoption requirements for your preferred adoption process.

An important part of the screening process is the home study investigation, through which adoption professionals can ensure a prospective adoptive family is ready to bring an adopted child into their home. While this qualification for adoption is usually waived in stepparent and relative adoptions, any hopeful parent looking to adopt a child unrelated to them will need to complete this step. Kevin can always refer you to an appropriate home study professional to complete this adoption requirement.

The adoption professional you use may have additional adoption requirements, as well, so make sure that you speak to them in depth about their program and qualifications for adoption before beginning the process. Research is an important step in finding the adoption process and professional that’s right for you.

These are just some of the more common questions people tend to have about adoption requirements in Kansas and Missouri, and it’s normal to have more specific questions that weren’t answered here. Every adoption situation is different, so the best way to learn about your specific requirements for adopting a child is by speaking to your adoption professional.

Please contact attorney Kevin Kenney today to learn more about the legal requirements to adopt in Kansas and Missouri.