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Kentucky Adoption Laws

Often, adoption is a joyous occasion for the prospective adoptive parent. Whether you're a stepparent adopting a stepchild you've raised, or you want to adopt out of the foster care system or through an adoption agency, there are many laws that apply to your situation depending on the type of adoption. Understanding these laws can help guide you as to when and how to adopt.

Read on to learn more about Kentucky-specific adoption laws.

Kentucky Adoption Laws

The following table outlines the main adoption laws in Kentucky.

Code Section Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 199: Protective Services for Children – Adoption
Who May Be Adopted Any child or adult can be adopted.
Age that Child's Consent Needed Any child 12 years old or older must consent to their adoption. However, the court at its discretion can waive this requirement.
Who May Adopt Any person over 18 who is a resident of or who has resided in Kentucky for 12 months immediately before filing for adoption can adopt in Kentucky. A married couple must petition jointly, except when it's a stepparent adoption or the court can waive the requirement if it would deny the child a suitable home.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption If the child is placed through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services or one of its agencies, there's no home residency requirement. In other cases, the child must reside continuously in the adoptive parent's home for 90 days before filing the adoption petition. However, temporary custody pending a decision can be available in some cases.
State Agency The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is the state agency responsible for adoption services in Kentucky.
Adoption Court Adoption proceedings take place in the local circuit court in the county where the petitioner, the adoptive parent(s), resides.
Time Limit to Challenge The time limit or statute of limitations to challenge an adoption proceeding is one year.

If you're looking to adopt, you should contact an experienced Kentucky adoption lawyer, as well as the Cabinet of Health and Family Services or an adoption agency.

Note: As state laws change frequently, it's important to verify any laws you're researching by conducting your own legal research or contacting an attorney.

Research the Law

Related Resources for Adoption Laws:

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws and get a more general overview in our Adoption section.

Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Kentucky adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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