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What do I need for voluntary relinquishing of parental rights? in Kansas

Hutchinson, KS |

My X husband signed over all rights to visitation, etc. in our non contested divorce in order to get out of paying child support. then last September agreed to my daughter taking my last name. Now, he is wanting nothing to do with her and wanting to relinquish his remaining "parental rights" and no longer be attached to my daughter. What do I need to do this? I live in Kansas. I'm engaged and we've talked about him adopting my daughter but that is not anytime time in the near future. I was told that Kansas does not like "bastardizing" children but my x has no rights other than the "parental rights" to say he is her father as I found out he's a convicted sex offender amongst other issues.

Attorney Answers 1


The only way for someone to voluntarily relinquish parental rights is by consenting to the child's adoption by another person – either for a step-parent adoption by the new spouse of the "other" parent, or by consenting to adoption of by a third party if there is no "other" parent.

You were somewhat misinformed about Kansas law. You were incorrectly informed that when parental rights are terminated, the child is "bastardized." The child is not "bastardized." The child is simply without one of the child's previous legal parents. You were, however, correctly informed that the Kansas courts will not allow a "voluntary termination" of parental rights -- except through an adoption process in which another adult assumes the responsibility to support the child.

Even when a parent does not have any right to see or visit with a child, that parent continues to have an obligation to support the child. State and federal laws provide strong public policy rules that parents continue to support their children and cannot "extract themselves" from that responsibility.

But Kansas law does not necessarily govern your situation. You indicate that you are now living in Kansas. But you don't indicate in what other state your divorce occurred or where your ex-husband then lived or is now living. Those are important issues to know where and under what laws a full answer to your question would be based.

You should contact the lawyer who handled your original divorce and find out what, if any, procedure is available under the laws of that state.

This response does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice only in Kansas. Seek legal advice from an attorney in your state or the state in which your legal claim exists.

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