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November 22, 2019 Digest

Posted By Administration, Monday, November 25, 2019

Kansas Court of Appeals


NO. 120,797—NOVEMBER 22, 2019

FACTS: Mother met E.D. while doing field work in Africa. She obtained a six-month visa so that E.D. could receive medical care in the United States. Mother adopted E.D. in 2011. The next year, Mother arranged for a couple she knew (Guardians) to parent E.D. while Mother traveled for work. They became E.D.'s legal guardians. Mother kept in contact with E.D. until 2014, when her communications became concerning and the Guardians limited Mother's contact with E.D. A court proceeding allowed Mother to have supervised visitation with E.D., but Mother only rarely exercised her visitation rights. The Guardians were concerned because E.D. was living in this country illegally. They attempted to work with Mother to start E.D.'s citizenship process but were unable to make any progress. The Guardians then filed a motion seeking the termination of Mother's parental rights so that they could adopt E.D. The district court granted both requests, and Mother appeals.

ISSUES: (1) Jurisdiction for the district court to terminate rights; (2) sufficiency of the evidence

HELD: The Guardians filed a single petition which sought both the termination of Mother's parental rights and permission to adopt E.D. The only issue identified in Mother's notice of appeal was the termination of her parental rights. There were no errors in the process related to the termination of rights and Mother's complaints to the contrary are without merit. Because Mother's notice of appeal did not identify any deficiency caused by the filing of the consent to adopt a day after the petition was filed, the court need not address that issue. There was sufficient evidence to support the district court's finding that Mother failed to assume a parental role in the two years prior to the adoption.

STATUTE: K.S.A. 2018 Supp. 59-2112(b), -2112(c), -2112(d), -2128(f), -2129(a), -2136(d)(1), -2136(h)(1), -2136(h)(2)

Tags:  adoption  jurisdiction  sufficiency of evidence  termination of rights 

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