13.52 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Application



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 the local Department for Community Based Services (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 tax form; 1​
  2. Forwards a copy of the application to the appropriate adoption staff within five (5) working days after receipt in central office. 
  3. Ensures all required forms, (i.e., DPP-187 Independent Adoption Application, birth records, or DPP-105 Medical Information on Childs Birth), 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 a 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DPP-187 application received and a subsequent application will not be accepted until the previous application has been withdrawn by a written request from one (1) of the parties involved;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 TWIST within five (5) working days of receipt of a completed independent non-relative application;
  8. Assigns the case to the appropriate recruitment and certification (R&C) FSOS or designee, and 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 Home Study;  
  9. Maintains a log of all active non-relative adoption applications;
  10. Meets with the Adoption Services Branch manager or the Office of Legal Services (OLS), as appropriate, for any case that presents concerns regarding the prospective adoptive parent's ability to meet the needs of the child(ren);
  11. Presents the adoption packet to the Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Cabinet/CHFS) secretary or designee. Cases should be approved/denied by the secretary's office within sixty (60) calendar days;
  12. 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.
  13. Sends the signed petition, along with a letter requesting the court report, to the R&C FSOS or designee; and
  14. 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 with 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 the worker to schedule an appointment for a home visit. The letter should also advise the  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; and
    3. The need for additional documentation such as:
      1. Names and contact information for three (3) 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 (2) credit references or a credit report; and
      4. A background check for applicants of foster/adoptive parents for each applicable household member. 
    4. Completes a minimum of one (1) 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 threats and risk factors are clearly mitigated with documentation and summarized within the assessment;
      3. Procurement of all requested documentation, i.e., background check, DPP-190, DPP-197, personal references, credit references etc.;
        1. ​​A DPP-157 for those applicants who have resided in KY for the last five (5) years or more. Applicants who have resided outside of KY within the last five (5) years will need to be fingerprinted using the DPP-162 and DPP-163 forms. 
      4. Completion of the DPP-199;​ and  
      5. Documentation of the child’s background, needs, and the ability of the potential adoptive parent to meet the child’s needs.
    5. Sends the DPP-157 Background Checks for Applicants of Foster/Adoptive Parents to the Division of Administration and Financial Management (DAFM) Records Management Section, documenting the date sent in TWIST;
    6. Uploads the DPP-162 and DPP-163 forms into KARES for the individuals who have lived outside of KY within the last five (5) years;
    7. 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;
    8. Makes at least two (2) varied attempts to locate the biological parent(s).  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.
    9. 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.
    10. Makes a positive or negative recommendation for approval of the adoptive placement;
    11. Discusses the assessment and any concerns with the appropriate FSOS or designee; 
    12. Presents the DPP-199 Independent Non-Relative Assessment for signature by the R&C FSOS or designee;   
    13. Mails or emails the DPP-199 and all attachments to central office; 
    14. Completes the court report and cover letter stating if the Cabinet recommends the adoption petition be granted;
    15. 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; 2
      3. Copies of pages four (4) and six (6) of the DPP 191
      4. Original DPP-192;​ and
      5. Date documentation is filed with the court. 
    16. 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; 
    17. Mails to the adoptive parents, pages four (4) and six (6) of the DPP 191 when available; 
    18. Enters the DPP-199, court report, and all relevant information into TWIST and uploads all documentation into TWIST under the home study tab;
    19. Notifies the Adoption Services Branch when the documents have been uploaded into TWIST, or sends a copy of the documentation to the Adoption Services Branch via a scanned email;
    20. Maintains contact with the adoptive family and/or the court with enough frequency to be informed of the adoption hearing date. Share the hearing date information with the Adoptions Services Branch; and
    21. Assists with obtaining the adoption judgment and providing a copy to the Adoption Services Branch if a copy is not received from the clerk. 

    ​Contingencies and Clarifications

    • Non-residential birth parent addresses should be listed on the DPP-187 Independent Non-Relative Adoption Application. If the address is not listed, the SSW can contact the attorney listed on the form to obtain the last known address. 
    • In any case that a birth parent(s) resides 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 parent(s) resides 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 (4) weeks, SSW can contact the DAFM Records Management Section to follow up on the status of the request. 


    1. The applicant may submit their most recent taxes or another form of proof of income.   
    2. To ensure filing into the correct court case, the cover letter should include:
      • Adoption petitioner’s name(s);
      • the child whose being adopted name;
      • County; 
      • Civil action number; and 
      • Date the documentation is filed with the court.  



    4.  Uploads the DPP-162 and DPP-163 forms into KARES for the individuals who have lived outside of KY within the last five (5) years;

    ​9.  Creates a hard copy file for the adoption and maintains the file, in central office, throughout the life of the case;

    16.  ​Enters the DPP-199, court report, and all relevant information into TWIST and uploads all documentation into TWIST under the home study tab;
    17.  ​Notifies the Adoption Services Branch when the documents have been uploaded into TWIST; or sends a copy of the documentation to the Adoption Services Branch via a scanned email;