Dual adoption/termination of parental rights actions governed by KRS Chapter 199 - published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

C.J. v. M.S. and Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Adoptive parents filed a dual petition seeking to terminate biological mother’s parental rights and to adopt minor child. Following a full evidentiary hearing, the family court entered simultaneous, separate orders terminating Biological mother’s parental rights and granting adoptive parents’ petition to adopt child. The parties characterized the action primarily as a termination action, citing to and relying on the termination of parental rights statute, KRS 625.090.

The Court Appeals clarified that, although a dual petition was filed, the case was an adoption case governed by KRS Chapter 199 and not a termination of parental rights case governed by KRS Chapter 625. The Court emphasized that the distinction is important because the parties, style, manner of service, and jurisdictional prerequisites are different under each of the two statutes. The Court of Appeals ultimately found that all the requirements of the Adoption Statute were satisfied.

Digested by: Emily T. Cecconi