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The Adoption Finalization Process in Kansas

By Laysha Macedo

In the initial steps of an adoption plan, the end result is evident: bringing a child into a family’s life. With plenty of helpful resources, knowing how to get the adoption process “started” is clear. However, the last steps in finalizing the adoption process might not be as evident or obvious. How exactly does adoption become final? At Adoption Choices of Kansas, we hope to provide clarity and information necessary to birth parents. 

The process of adoption is detailed, and its finalization is no different. Here, we break down the steps you need to take in order to end the adoption process successfully.

What is Adoption Finalization? 

Adoption Finalization, in simple terms, is the point at which adoptive families have custody of the adoptee. It is the last step of the adoption process where the goal of placing the child with a loving family has been achieved.

In Kansas, specifically, there are a number of steps to reach this final stage in the adoption plan. With the adoption type determined and the adoptive family chosen, the path leading to the adoption starts as the due date nears. The finalization of the process begins to occur rapidly.

Support Given During and After the Adoption Process

It is important to note that carrying a pregnancy to term takes a toll on birth mothers. Your care is of the utmost importance, which is why there is assistance available to you during and after. As the birth mother, there are resources and support—financial and holistic—available to use during and six weeks after the birth of the child, and consent is given for adoption. Some of the resources for you include housing, rent assistance, counseling, and transportation.

Part of the support also encompasses the plan for delivery! Questions such as “who will be with you in the room?” are important to consider to have the most helpful environment during the birth. You should also have a Birth Parent Counselor present for your needs at the time.

In the delivery room is where finalization begins.

Termination of Parental Rights

As mentioned before, consent needs to be given by the birth mother or birth parents for adoption. Consent, in this context, refers to the termination of parental rights and relinquishing—giving up the baby formally—the child for adoption. The step begins once the birth of the child happens. The birth family needs to consent to the adoption 12 hours after the birth of the child by signing irrevocable consent. Irrevocable consent may sound like an intimidating legal term, but it essentially means that the birth mother is voluntarily terminating her parental rights. This gives way for the adoptive parents to adopt the child and take on the responsibility of being parents. 

It is important to note that consent can only be revoked if it can be proven that the birth mother signed consent under duress or any kind of influence. Once consent is signed, it is difficult to undo, so it is important to understand the terms of the documentation.

The 12-hour waiting period is given to give extra time to the birth mother if there is any possibility that she will change her mind or something comes up at the moment. This may be a small bump in the road, but it is necessary for the process to be finalized as it is meant to be.

Home Study with Adoptive Families

On the adoptive family’s end, a home study is an important step for finalizing the adoption. Completing a home study to assess that the family meets the needs of the adoptee. This process includes interviews and home visits over a three-to-six-month period prior to and post-placement. Completing the home study checklist is essential to the transition of the child into the family. Once completed and the child is placed in the home, visits from a social worker will happen from time to time until the final court hearing to officially finalize the adoption.

The Final Stage of the Adoption Process

After all of these steps, the long-awaited court hearing is the final step in the adoption process. About six months after placing the baby with the family, the judge grants the adoptive parents legal parental rights over the adoptee through the adoption decree. With this remaining step, the child has been officially adopted and is now legally part of the family.

Adoption Choices of Kansas is Here for You

Adoption finalization is an extended but necessary part in the adoption process. From birth parents to adoptive parents, everyone has a role. Following the steps explained here is vital to having everything in order for the adoption. If you are a birth mother considering adoption, adoption services in Wichita, or any support throughout Kansas, be sure to reach out to Adoption Choices of Kansas. We will provide you with the services and support you need, from choosing parents to seeking legal support. 

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