Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption - Kansas

Date: August 2020

Who Must Be Studied

Citation: Admin. Regs. § 28-4-176

Each member of the prospective adoptive family must be included in the home study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2132

In independent and agency adoptions, the court shall require the petitioner to obtain an assessment of the advisability of the adoption by one of the following court-approved licensed professionals:

  • Social worker
  • Marriage and family therapist
  • Professional counselor
  • Psychologist or psychotherapist
  • Child-placing agency

The person performing an assessment shall possess a minimum of 2 years of experience in adoption services or be supervised by a person with such experience or, if licensed by the Behavioral Sciences Regulatory Board to diagnose and treat mental disorders in independent practice, possess a minimum of 1 year of experience in adoption services or be supervised by a person with such experience.

If there is no one authorized pursuant to this section available to make the assessment and report to the court, the court may use the Kansas Department for Children and Families for that purpose.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2113; Admin. Regs. § 28-4-176

A petition to adopt a child may be filed by any adult or a married adult couple jointly.

In regulation: The agency shall provide orientation to prospective adoptive parents to acquaint them with the agency's policies and practices, the approximate time the assessment will take, eligibility standards, the types of children available, and the availability of a subsidy.

Elements of a Home Study

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2132; Admin. Regs. § 28-4-176

In making the assessment, the investigator is authorized to do the following:

  • Observe the child in the petitioner's home
  • Verify the financial information of the petitioner
  • Clear the name of the petitioner with the child abuse and neglect registry and, when appropriate, with a similar registry in another State or nation
  • Determine whether the petitioner has been convicted of a felony (as later described)
  • Clarify any genetic and medical history filed with the petition

In regulation: The agency shall require prospective adoptive parents to submit an application that shall be designed to obtain information about their family, their home, their financial status, and references to initiate a home study. The agency shall conduct a social study with the family in their home. The study process shall include a face-to-face interview with each member of the household. The agency shall have on file a written assessment of the adoptive home that shall assess the following areas:

  • Motivation for adoption
  • The family's attitude toward accepting an adoptive child
  • Emotional stability, physical health, and compatibility of the adoptive parents
  • Ability to cope with problems, stress, frustrations, crises, and loss
  • Information on medical or health conditions that would affect the applicant's ability to parent a child
  • Record of convictions other than minor traffic violations
  • Ability to provide for a child's physical and emotional needs
  • Adjustment of the petitioners' own children, if any, including their school reports
  • Positive feelings about parenting an adoptive child
  • Capacity to give and receive affection
  • Types of children desired and kinds of handicaps accepted
  • Types of children who would not be appropriate for placement with the family
  • References
  • Recommendations for number, age, sex, characteristics, and special needs of children best served by the family

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2132

In making the assessment, the investigator shall determine whether the petitioner has been convicted of a felony for any act described in chapter 21, articles 54 (crimes against persons, including murder, manslaughter, assault, battery, or kidnapping); 55 (sex offenses, including rape, sexual battery, or sexual exploitation of a child); or 56 (crimes affecting family relationships or children, including incest, abuse, abandonment, or endangerment of a child); § 21-6104 (unlawful disclosure of tax information); §§ 21-6325 and 21-6326 (unlawful interference with a firefighter or emergency medical services attendant); § 21-6418 (permitting a dangerous animal to be at large); §§ 21-6419 through 21-6421 (selling, promoting the sale, or buying of sexual relations); and § 21-6422 (commercial sexual exploitation of a child) or within the past 5 years been convicted of a felony violation of chapter 21, article 57 (crimes involving controlled substances) or any felony violation of any provision of the Uniform Controlled Substances Act prior to July 1, 2009, and, when appropriate, any similar conviction in another jurisdiction.

When Studies Must Be Completed

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2132

The assessment and report required by this section shall have been completed no more than 1 year prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.

Postplacement Study Requirements

Citation: Admin. Regs. § 28-4-176

The agency worker shall establish a time schedule for visits to the adoptive family after the placement of a child in order to be able to make clear recommendations for the finalization of the adoption.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 59-2132

The assessment and report required by this section may be waived by the court upon review of a petition requesting such waiver by a relative of the child.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 59-2120; 59-2132

Interstate placements of children shall comply with the procedures contained in the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children, as set forth in § 38-1202.

In the case of a nonresident who is filing a petition to adopt a child in Kansas, the assessment and report required by this section must be completed in the petitioner's State of residence by a person authorized in that State to conduct such assessments.

Foster to Adopt Placements

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

Links to Resources

State regulations