There are many things that Kansas grandparents must consider when they decide to seek custody of their grandchildren through adoption. The process of adoption is never “easy,” but it does not have to be difficult or riddled with complexities and lengthy delays. One of the best ways to make the process of adoption easier is by securing the help of an experienced adoption attorney. Kansas has specific guidelines and laws in place to help guide individuals, couples, and families who are considering adoption through the process. Unfortunately, no “cookie cutter” process will work for every family.
Considerations for Grandparents
It is important that Kansas grandparents considering adoption be aware of what the process of adoption entails, and what requirements they may have to meet. The most important considerations are finances and legal authority, both of which have several important factors. Read on to learn more about these considerations and the factors Kansas grandparents need to be aware of.
Of course, adding one or more family members to a household also means extra expenses for food, clothing, insurance, and medical care. In Kansas, adoptive grandparents may qualify for assistance programs like Temporary Assistance for Families (TAF), Medicaid, and cash benefits in certain cases. Kansas’ Child Support Enforcement (CSE) team also can help adoptive grandparents obtain child support payments from parents who are capable of helping support their children financially.
Insurance is one of the most significant concerns for adoptive grandparents. Fortunately, Medicaid is often an excellent source of free or low-cost insurance options. Medicaid also offers KAN Be Healthy program, which is designed to provide insurance coverage for individuals younger than 20 years old. A separate program offered by the State of Kansas is HealthWave, which is specifically designed for children and families living below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
Kansas grandparents most often have no legal authority over grandchildren placed in their care, unless a formal adoption has been finalized. It is important that grandparents caring for grandchildren take the right steps to obtain legal authority in order to ensure the health and safety of the children. There are several ways to obtain legal authority, including:
- Durable Power of Attorney – This option involves a parent temporarily signing over legal authority to a grandparent. A Durable Power of Attorney provides legal authority over education and healthcare decisions.
- Guardianship – Guardianship offers more permanency to legal authority, and is granted to a grandparent when he or she requests that the court appoint him or her as a child’s legal guardian. Guardianship can be sought with or without parental consent. In order to be awarded guardianship, grandparents must prove that they are of capable means and stability to provide for the child.
- Foster Care – Grandparents can ask the court to grant them care of a child that is in the Juvenile Court system. Foster Care is most often a temporary option provided to families in transition, such as regaining financial stability, overcoming addiction, or being released from prison.
- Adoption – One of the most secure options for Kansas grandparents is adoption. Adoption is a permanent, secure, court-managed process designed for cases where parents have lost all legal authority.
Grandparents Must Secure Legal Guidance
In Kansas, grandparents seeking adoption or legal authority must secure proper legal guidance in order to ensure that the process is valid, legal, and secure. Adoption organizations highly recommend securing legal guidance from an adoption attorney who is knowledgeable about state laws and procedures. At McDowell Chartered, our Kansas Adoption Lawyer is dedicated to helping grandparents resolve difficult family matters with favorable resolution. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation and start the process of protecting your family. Call us at (316) 633-4322.