The Avenue to Adoption
November 30, 2020
Through the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF), the state of Kansas offers adoptive services. DCF is a state agency that offers child support, employment and foster care services in many states.
Adopt Kansas Kids is the adoption authority for the state of Kansas and is sponsored by DCF. According to Adopt Kansas Kids, there are 500 children in the foster care system awaiting adoption.
Dcf.ks.org, the department’s website, says that a child who comes into the custody of the department is evaluated by Child Welfare Case Management Providers, private contractors that partner with DCF to assess a child’s situation, determining the safety of the child’s original home.
“Maintaining a child’s connection to his or her relatives, culture and community is essential,” Kansas DCF said. “Relatives are given first consideration as a placement option for a child, so that if the child becomes available for adoption, his or her relatives are in a position to adopt the child.”
Children whose homes are deemed unsafe are put in the foster care system.
“When it is not possible for a child to go back to the family, parental rights may be taken away by the court or voluntarily surrendered,” Kansas DCF said. “At that point, the child is available for adoption.”
Adoptkskids.org describes the adoption process for prospective adoptive parents.
For Kansas residents, the adoption process follows eight steps. First, contact must be made with Adopt Kansas Kids to receive a list of adoption agencies in the area and detailed information on the remaining steps.
The second step is to choose an adoption agency.
“Select the one you’re most comfortable with and can best meet your family’s needs,” Adopt Kansas Kids said. “If you are not interested in providing foster care, make sure your agency sponsors adopt-only families.”
The next step is to fill out the application to provide basic information about the adoptive family, complete standard background checks and enroll in TIPS-MAPP classes (Trauma Informed Partnering for Safety and Permanence Model Approach to Partnerships in Parenting).
Step four is to complete a home assessment.
“This [step] requires a minimum of two visits to your home. You will be asked about your family history and your expectations for children you hope to parent,” Adopt Kansas Kids said. “Through this assessment the agency will determine if it will continue to support you.”
After the home assessment, Adopt Kansas Kids urges prospective parents to search the organization’s website for a child that interests them and to make the interest known.
“If it is determined your family is a possible match for a child, your family will be included in a Best Interest Staffing,” Adopt Kansas Kids said. “At this meeting, the professionals involved with the child select an adoptive family that best meets that child’s needs.”
After this step, the family that is selected for the child has the option to move on with the Pre-Placement Process and Placement, steps seven and eight. Pre-Placement allows the parent to become familiar with the child before making a final decision.
“You will be able to review the child’s file. You will be able to speak with the child’s current foster parent,” Adopt Kansas Kids said. “You will meet the child. You will have the opportunity to get to know the child through visits.”
If the family decides to become the adoptive family, they will undergo the Placement process.
“The child will join your family. The child’s case manager will continue to provide services until the adoption is legalized,” Adopt Kansas Kids said. “Your agency also may continue to provide support.”