Skip to main content

5 steps to prepare for adopting a step-child in Kentucky

In the state of Kentucky, anyone who is 18 and a resident of the state (or resided in the state for 12 months prior to filing for a step-parent adoption is eligible for asking permission to adopt a child in the Circuit Court (in the Family Court) in the county where the person lives. If you’re seeking a step-parent adoption, your husband or wife actually is named as an “opposing” party on the petition (it sounds as if you’re “fighting” your spouse for the adoption but in reality, you’re seeking the step-parent adoption together.

Due to the special relationship between a step parent and step child (which is also applicable to a grandparent, sister, brother, aunt, uncle, great grandparent, great aunt, or great uncle), you will not be required to


Use the following steps to help you prepare for adopting your step-child:


  1. Be prepared to assert that you and your spouse are in both a healthy financial and emotional position to be able to care for the minor child. You must be able to demonstrate that you will be ready, willing, and able to provide for the child’s needs and that you will provide the love, care, affection, and advantages that would be given to the step parent’s own biological children.
  2. Gather all personal data/information including: Full names, addresses and dates of birth of the step parent who is seeking the adoption, and both of the biological parents (there are some exceptions to including information for both biological parents, but those circumstances are rare, and its best to assume you need all this information), the child being adopted, and the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services in your county.
  3. Gather information regarding the place of birth of the biological parents and the step-parent seeking the adoption.
  4. Locate the minor child’s certified birth certificate. If you don’t have one, contact the Vital Statistics office to request a certified copy by providing the minor child’s information. There is a small fee associated with the request.
  5. Determine whether the biological parent whose rights you are seeking to terminate will be consenting to the adoption or will be objecting. This is a key piece in determining how your case will proceed and often directly impacts the cost involved with the attorney that you hire. Even if a parent does not consent, an adoption is still possible. There are additional criteria that have to be met under Kentucky law when a biological parent refuses consent or fails to respond entirely.

After you’ve done your preparation work, a local family law attorney can be an invaluable resource in making your adoption a smooth process.

At Walker Ante Law, adoption is one of our most cherished works. We truly value the small role we get to play in creating a new family dynamic and giving children a sense of belonging and having two full-time parents that we feel every child should have. We hope you’ve found this information helpful and useful in your journey!


This is an advertisement and does not constitute legal advice for you or your matter. If you have specific questions about how this information applies to you, you should seek the advice of an attorney.

Maria Ante

I am a practicing attorney, licensed in KY and OH. I'm a solo practicing attorney, with a general practice and focus on small business law, family law/domestic relations, criminal defense, estate planning, and personal injury. I currently live in Hebron, KY with my husband, Tim, our son, Beau, our daughter, Rory, and our two Siberian Huskies, Truman and Sprocket. Reading and exercising are my passions. I love running and basketball, I practice yoga, and I enjoy many other fun physical activities!

Leave a Reply