Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

13.52 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Application

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 13-Adoption Services
13.52 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Application

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Legal Authority/Introduction






Practice Guidance

  • Prospective adoptive parents have the right to contract with  a licensed child placing agency to complete their home study and background checks.
  • Central office staff will not make an assignment to local DCBS if a private agency has already completed the assessment, or if the applicant states that they are going to contact a private agency for assistance. 



Central office staff:

  1. Notifies field staff of the request for an independent non relative adoption assessment once income is verified via the 1040;
  2. Forwards a copy of the application to the appropriate adoption staff within five (5) days after receipt in central office. 
  3. Ensures all required forms (i.e. DPP-187, birth records or DPP-105, most recent federal tax return or other income verification, DPP-108-A, DPP-107, DPP-190, a current custody order and verification of current marriage, divorce or death of spouse are received before an application can be considered officially filed;
  4. Does not accept a DPP-187 application unless the proposed adoptive parents apply to receive both children if twins are available for adoption;
  5. Does not accept more than one (1) application for the same child;
  6. Processes the first DPP-187 application received and a subsequent application will not be accepted until the previous application has been withdrawn by a written request from one (1) of the parties involved;
  7. Enters the case in iTWIST within five (5) days of receipt of a completed independent non relative application;
  8. Assigns the case to the appropriate R&C FSOS or designee, and mails or scans a copy of the assignment to that person.  The assignment should document the fifty (50) calendar day due date for local office completion of the DPP-199 Independent Non Relative Adoption Assessment; 
  9. Creates a hard copy file for the adoption and maintains the file, in central office, throughout the life of the case;
  10. Maintains a log of all active non relative adoption applications;
  11. Meets with the Adoption Services Branch Manager or the Office of Legal Services as appropriate for any case that presents concerns regarding the prospective adoptive parent's ability to meet the needs of the child(ren);
  12. Presents the adoption packet to the cabinet Secretary or designee. Cases should be approved/denied by Secretary's office within sixty (60) calendar days;
  13. Mails a copy of the approval/denial letter to the following:
    • Applicant;
    • Any attorney listed on the DPP-187; and
    • Appropriate R&C FSOS or designee.
  14. Sends the signed petition, along with a letter requesting the court report, to the R&C FSOS or designee; and
  15. Seals and archives cases completed by adoption decree/judgment or dismissal  

The R&C FSOS or designee:

  1. Receives the assignment from central office staff and assigns to the SSW; and
  2. Monitors the case to ensure compliance of the mandated fifty (50) calendar day completion timeframe for the DPP-199.

The SSW:

  1. Sends a letter to the adoption petitioner(s) advising that the family will need to contact worker to schedule an appointment for a home visit.  The letter should also advise petitioner of the following;
    1. All household members need to be interviewed, including the child(ren) to be adopted;
    2. Timeframes for completion of the assessment, and consequences of untimely submission;
    3. The need for additional documentation such as:
      1. Names and contact information for three personal references, including one relative;
      2. Names and contact information for any adult children residing outside of the home;
      3. Names and contact information of two credit references; and
      4. A DPP 157 Background Check for applicants of foster/adoptive parents for each applicable household member. 
  2. Completes a minimum of one home visit. The visit(s) shall include:
    1. Interviews of all household members;
    2. Walk through of the home, including observation of the child's bedroom to ensure that all safety and risk factors are clearly mitigated with documentation and summarized within the assessment;
    3. Procurement of all requested documentation; i.e., DPP-157, DPP-190, DPP-197, personal references, credit references etc.;
    4. Completion of the DPP-199 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Assessment;
    5. Documentation of the child’s background, needs, and the ability of the potential adoptive parent to meet child’s needs.
  3. Sends the DPP-157 Background Checks for Applicants of Foster/Adoptive Parents to Records Management, documenting the date sent in iTWIST;
  4. Sends a certified letter to the birth parent(s) advising of the need to interview them. The letter should also advise the birth parent(s) of the following:
    1. The need to obtain family health history and consent for future contact forms;
    2. DPP-191 Information to be Obtained from the Placing Parent form;
    3. DPP-191A Information to be Obtained from the Placing Parent for Independent Adoptions form; and
    4. DPP-192, Biological Parent Consent Form, along with a return, stamped envelope;
  5. Makes at least two varied attempts to locate the biological parents.  These attempts may include:
    1. Certified Letter;
    2. Phone call;
    3. Home visit;
    4. Internet Search;
    5. Absent Parent Search; or
    6. Lexus Nexus search.
  6. Meets with the birth parent(s) if possible to:
    1. Obtain the health history of the biological parents and other relatives on the DPP-191 Information to be Obtained From Placing Parent;
    2. Obtain the DPP-191A Information to be Obtained from the Placing Parent for Independent Adoptions;
    3. Obtain a signed copy of the DPP-192 Biological Parent Consent Form; and
    4. Acquire any information required to complete the DPP-199 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Assessment.
  7. Makes a positive or negative recommendation for approval of the adoptive placement;
  8. Discusses the assessment and any concerns with the appropriate FSOS or designee; 
  9. Presents the DPP-199 Independent Non-Relative Assessment for signature by the R&C FSOS or designee;   
  10. Mails the DPP-199 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Assessment and all attachments to central office; 
  11. Completes the court report and cover letter stating if the cabinet recommends the adoption petition be granted;
  12. Mails the following to the circuit or family court judge in the county where the adoption was filed;
    1. Original court report;
    2. Cover letter, signed by the FSOS or designee;(1)
    3. Copies of pages four(4) and six(6) of the DPP 191; and
    4. Original DPP-192.
  13. Mails only a copy of the cover letter to the attorney for the petitioner, which advises that the court report is complete and what the Cabinet’s recommendations are; 
  14. Mails to the adoptive parents, pages four (4) and six (6) of the DPP 191 when available; and  
  15. Enters the DPP-199, court report and all relevant information into iTWIST and uploads all documentation into TWIST.

Contingencies and Clarifications

  • Non-residential birth parent’s addresses should be listed on the DPP-187 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Application.  If the address is not listed, the SSW can contact the attorne listed on the form to obtain last known address. 
  • In any case that a birth parent(s) reside out of state, it is not the responsibility of the SSW to attempt to interview them. The SSW should contact central office staff to advise that a parent has been found to reside outside of Kentucky.
  • If the birth parents reside out of state, the attorney arranging the adoption may conduct the  interview, or make arrangements for a state public or private adoption agency to interview the parents.
  • If background checks are not received within four weeks, SSW can contact Records Management to follow up on the status of request. 


  1.  To ensure filing into the correct court case, the cover letter should include:
    • Adoption petitioner’s name(s);
    • Child whose being adopted name;
    • County; and
    • Civil Action Number.



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