Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Kentucky

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.585(3); 199.470; 199.490; 199.515; 199.520

A petition for adoption under § 199.470 shall be required for a child born outside the United States without a decree, judgment, or final order of adoption issued by a court or other governmental authority with appropriate jurisdiction in a foreign country, or for any child born outside of the United States who does not qualify for U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States.

Any person who is age 18 and who is a resident of this State or who has resided in this State for the prior 12 months may file a petition to adopt a child in the circuit court of the county in which the petitioner resides. If the petitioner is married, the husband or wife shall join in a petition for leave to adopt a child, unless the petitioner is married to a birth parent of the child to be adopted.

If a child is placed for adoption by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services, by an agency licensed by the cabinet, or with written approval by the secretary of the cabinet, the petition may be filed at the time of placement. In all other adoptions, the petition shall not be filed until the child has resided continuously in the home of the petitioner for at least 90 days immediately prior to the filing of the adoption petition.

No petition for adoption shall be filed unless prior to the filing of the petition the child sought to be adopted has been placed for adoption by a child-placing institution or agency or the cabinet or the child has been placed with written approval of the secretary.

The petition shall include the following:

  • The name, date, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address of each petitioner, and, if married, the date and place of their marriage
  • The name, date, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address, if known, of the child sought to be adopted
  • The relationship, if any, of the child to each petitioner
  • The full name by which the child shall be known after adoption
  • A full description of the property, if any, of the child to the extent known by the petitioner
  • The names of the parents of the child and the address of each living parent, if known
  • The name and address of the child's guardian, if any, or of the cabinet, institution, or agency having legal custody of the child
  • Any further facts necessary to locate the person or persons whose consent to the adoption is required or who needs to notified of the proceeding

After the report of the guardian ad litem, if any, for the child and the report required by § 199.510 have been filed, the court at any time on motion of its own or that of any interested party may set a time for a hearing on the petition to be conducted.

After hearing the case, the court shall enter a judgment of adoption, if it finds that the facts stated in the petition were established; that all legal requirements, including jurisdiction, relating to the adoption have been complied with; that the petitioners are of good moral character, of reputable standing in the community, and of ability to properly maintain and educate the child; and that the best interests of the child will be promoted by the adoption and that the child is suitable for adoption. In the judgment, the name of the child shall be changed to conform with the request of the petition.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.490

There shall be filed with the petition certified copies of any orders terminating parental rights. Any consent to adoption shall be filed prior to the entry of the adoption judgment.

A copy of the written approval of the secretary of the cabinet or the secretary's designee shall be filed with the petition.

Background Studies

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.510

Upon filing a petition for the adoption of a minor child, the clerk of the court shall forward two copies of the petition to the cabinet. The cabinet, or any person, agency, or institution designated by the cabinet or the court shall, to the extent of available facilities, investigate and report in writing to the court regarding the following:

  • Whether the contents of the petition required by § 199.490 are true
  • Whether the proposed adoptive parents are financially able and morally fit to have the care, custody, and training of the child
  • Whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child and the child is suitable for adoption

The report of the investigation shall be filed with the court as soon as practicable but no later than 90 days from the placement of the child or 90 days after the filing date of the petition, whichever is longer.

Placement Supervision and Reporting

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.520

Upon entry of the judgment of adoption, from and after the date of the filing of the petition, the child shall be deemed the child of petitioners and shall be considered for purposes of inheritance and succession and for all other legal considerations the natural child of the parents adopting the child the same as if born of their bodies. Upon granting an adoption, all legal relationship between the adopted child and the birth parents shall be terminated, except the relationship of a birth parent who is the spouse of an adoptive parent.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 213. 056

The State registrar may issue a record of foreign birth for a person born outside the United States registration area who is subsequently adopted by a Kentucky resident and whose record of birth cannot be obtained from the country of birth. The cabinet may refuse to accept any application for a record of foreign birth on which the applicant fails to provide such information as the cabinet may require.

Each birth certificate filed under this section shall include all Social Security numbers that have been issued to the parents of the child.