Adoption Terms And Information
1. Agency Adoptions. Adoptions through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) or through a licensed child-placing agency are considered agency adoptions. In these adoptions, the biological parent or parents relinquish their rights in a child to CHFS or to a child-placing agency, and CHFS or the agency selects the adoptive parents. The child can be placed with the adoptive parents without an application to receive a child but the adoptive parents are still evaluated to determine their suitability for adoption. Private agencies charge significant fees for these services.
2. Stepparent/Relative Adoptions. A child can be placed for adoption with certain family members by the biological parents without filing an application to place or receive a child with the CHFS. Similarly, a stepparent can adopt a child with the parents' permission without filing an application to place or receive a child. CHFS must approve, but no home study is required.
3. Private or Independent Adoptions. A private or independent adoption is an adoption without the intervention of a licensed adoption agency. The biological parents select the prospective parents and either give their consent to the adoption or allow their parental rights in the child to be terminated by a separate proceeding. An application to place or receive a child must be filed with CHFS for approval. After receiving an application, CHFS requires that most adoptive parents provide their own home study and complete all of the necessary pre-approval paperwork. This must be done by a licensed child placement agency. The purpose of the investigation is to determine suitability of the applicants to receive the child, considering at all times the best interest of the child. Home studies can be done in advance of identifying an adoptive child and are good for a period of one year.
After the investigation is completed a written report is filed by the Secretary of CHFS or licensed agency with the Court. The Secretary is charged with granting or refusing permission for the applicants to receive the child. The Secretary shall make the decision within sixty (60) days after the receipt of the application and to furnish general reasons for any refusal in writing to the applicant. The decision of the Secretary is final unless the biological parents of the proposed adoptive parents appeal to circuit court within ten (10) days after notice of refusal.
4. Multi-State Adoptions. It is possible for a couple living in one state to adopt a child born in another state. If either the biological parents or the prospective adoptive parents live in a state other than Kentucky, it is usually necessary to comply with all of the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, K.R.S. 6150.030, before the placement can be approved by the Secretary.
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