Placement of Children With Relatives - Kentucky

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Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 620.090; 620.140; 600.020(28)

In placing a child, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall use the least restrictive and appropriate placement available. Preference shall be given to available and qualified relatives of a child considering the wishes of the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision, if known.

If custody is granted to a grandparent of the child pursuant to this section, the court shall consider granting reasonable visitation rights to any other grandparent of the child if the court determines the grandparent has a significant and viable relationship with the child.

In determining the disposition of a case regarding a dependent, neglected, or abused child, the court, in the best interests of the child, may order the removal of the child to the custody of an adult relative, fictive kin, other person, or child-caring facility or child-placing agency, taking into consideration the wishes of the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision. If a child is to be placed with an adult relative or fictive kin, the parent or other person exercising custodial control or supervision shall provide a list to the cabinet of possible persons to be considered.

The term 'fictive kin' means an individual who is not related by birth, adoption, or marriage to a child, but who has an emotionally significant relationship with the child or an emotionally significant relationship, prior to placement, with a birth parent, siblings, or half-siblings of the child in the case of a child from birth to 12 months of age.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.462

Before an applicant is approved to provide foster care or relative caregiver services to a child, the cabinet shall do either of the following:

  • Require a criminal background investigation of the applicant and any of the applicant's adult household members by means of a fingerprint check by the Department of Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Request from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet records of all conviction information for the applicant and any of the applicant's adult household members

During a certified foster home's annual reevaluation, the cabinet may do either of the following:

  • Require a background investigation for each adult household member of the certified foster home
  • Register each adult household member of a certified foster home in the rap back system

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Citation: Admin. Reg. Tit. 922, § 1:310

When making an adoptive placement, siblings who have had a relationship with each other shall be placed together, unless the child-placing agency and, if applicable, the State agency that has custody of a child belonging to a sibling group determines that it is more beneficial for siblings to be placed in separate adoptive homes.

If siblings have been separated in placements, the following apply:

  • The case record shall reflect a valid basis for the separation.
  • The decision to separate siblings shall be made by the executive director of the child-placing agency.
  • Continued contact between siblings shall be maintained, if possible.

Relatives Who May Adopt

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.470

A relative is a person related to the child by blood, including a relative of half-blood; first cousin; a parent's sibling; a child of a parent's sibling; a person of a preceding generation as denoted by prefixes of grand, great, or great-great; stepparent; stepsibling; or fictive kin.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.470, 199.462

The adoption of a child by a relative does not require placement by an agency or the permission of the secretary, as other adoptions do. However, the court in its discretion may order a report in accordance with § 199.510 and a background check as provided in § 199.473(8).

Before an applicant is approved to receive a child for adoption, the cabinet shall do one of the following:

  • Require a criminal background investigation of the applicant and any of the applicant's adult household members by means of a fingerprint check by the Department of Kentucky State Police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation
  • Request from the Justice and Public Safety Cabinet records of all conviction information for the applicant and any of the applicant's adult household members

During a certified adoptive home's annual reevaluation, the cabinet may do either of the following:

  • Require a background investigation for each adult household member of the certified adoptive home
  • Register each adult household member of a certified adoptive home in the rap back system