News Briefs

Kansas adoptions average 1,000 over past four years, a surge of 270 per year

By: - October 5, 2022 9:58 am
Laura Howard, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said the average number of children adopted in Kansas averaged 1,000 during the past four years. That represented an increase from an average of 733 adoptions from 2011 to 2018. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

Laura Howard, secretary of the Kansas Department for Children and Families, said the average number of children adopted in Kansas averaged 1,000 during the past four years. That represented an increase from an average of 733 adoptions from 2011 to 2018. (Sherman Smith/Kansas Reflector)

TOPEKA — The number of Kansas children completing adoption averaged 1,000 during the past four years, an increase from about 730 in the prior eight years.

The administration of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly, who is seeking reelection against Attorney General Derek Schmidt, said statewide figures climbed due to investment in training and support to foster care staff and prospective adoptive families.

The Kansas Department for Children and Families released information indicating the Kelly administration improved adoption rates compared to Republican administrations of Govs. Jeff Colyer and Sam Brownback, who served from 2011 to 2019.

DCF deployed staff in 2019 to identify, track and monitor youth who experienced barriers to adoption. The process included home studies, resources to help complete adoption procedures and case management to assist with finalization of adoptions.

In addition, DCF revised adoption subsidy policies for children with disabilities and in need of specialized medical care. These children are eligible for monthly subsidies.

“We have removed barriers in the adoption process for children with special needs by updating policies and growing eligibility,” said Laura Howard, secretary of the Department for Children and Families. “The adoption assistance and subsidies available for families who are trying to adopt children with special needs are vital.”

She said that during the past three years DCF broadened community partnerships with an adoption resource center to assist families with needs that grew after adoptions were finalized.

From 2011 to 2018 in Kansas, the average number of adoptions in the state was 733 per year and ranged from 620 in 2013 to 777 in 2012. The average grew to 1,000 per year in Kelly’s term as governor and ranged from 846 in 2021 to 1,210 in 2019.

Kelly said the strategy was to take an all-hands-on-deck approach to preparing families to meet needs of children in foster care.

“My administration is doing everything we can to make it easier for Kansas families to provide a loving, stable home to children who need one,” she said. “By providing vital resources for families and deepening relationships with our providers, we’re making it possible for more Kansas children to be adopted.”

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Tim Carpenter
Tim Carpenter

Tim Carpenter has reported on Kansas for 35 years. He covered the Capitol for 16 years at the Topeka Capital-Journal and previously worked for the Lawrence Journal-World and United Press International. He has been recognized for investigative reporting on Kansas government and politics. He won the Kansas Press Association's Victor Murdock Award six times. The William Allen White Foundation honored him four times with its Burton Marvin News Enterprise Award. The Kansas City Press Club twice presented him its Journalist of the Year Award and more recently its Lifetime Achievement Award. He earned an agriculture degree at Kansas State University and grew up on a small dairy and beef cattle farm in Missouri. He is an amateur woodworker and drives Studebaker cars.

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