Regardless of whether you’re adopting a stepchild you’ve been raising, adopting out of the foster care system, or desiring to start a family when natural biology has not succeeded, there are many laws that apply to your situation. You are best served with a knowledgeable, qualified attorney who will guide you through the adoption process and avoid the heart break that can be encountered through poorly developed adoption plans and lack of preparation..

While Kentucky doesn’t have an adoption fraud statute that addresses taking money from multiple couples for the same baby or a non-existent baby. However, it’s also illegal in Kentucky to pay for a baby.

The accompanying table outlines the main adoption laws in Kentucky.

If you’re looking to adopt, Kinberger Law can provide the help you need. We recommend you also contact the Cabinet of Health and Family Services or an adoption agency.

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.

Same-sex or other unmarried couples aren’t permitted to do a stepparent-like adoption in Kentucky, such as adoption your partner’s biological child. Although, a single LGBT individual can adopt a non-biological child, and there’s no explicit prohibition against same-sex joint adoptions.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption

If the child is placed through the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services or one if its agencies, there’s no home residency requirement. In other cases, the child must reside continuously in the adoptive parents’ 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 that 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. However, it’s a longer period of five years if the child is a different ethnological ancestry and the adoptive parents had no knowledge of this prior to the adoption