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An adoption can be granted if a parent or parents agree to voluntarily terminate their parental rights, or if their parental rights have been previously terminated involuntarily. An adoption can also be granted when a parent has disappeared from the child’s life and does not appear at a hearing to contest the adoption. Before an adoption can be granted, service must be performed upon the parent who would lose their rights, so you must have some idea where that parent last resided. Stepparent adoptions are the most common type of adoption, however nonrelatives can also adopt children. Adult adoptions are very rare but can be granted.

When one is adopted, they become the legal child of the adopting parent for purposes of legal and physical custody and for inheritance purposes. When a child is adopted, they are no longer related to the replaced biological parent for any of those purposes. The biological parent would lose all rights to the child. Both Kentucky and Indiana have additional requirements for adoption, including a home visit to the adopting parent’s home, background checks and medical history requirements.