Adoption

A single or married person can adopt in Indiana but if you are married your spouse must join in the adoption.  If the child being adopted is 14 years or older then the child must consent also.  

Indiana has an Adoption Program for hard-to-place children who are in the custody of the state.  The agency helps clarify the Indiana policies, assist in interviewing families waiting for children and can help identify adoption resources available for children and their families.

A step-parent may also be eligible to adopt the birth child of his or her spouse.  The law can be complex and confusing so it is best to contact an attorney.  The courts look to what is in the best interests of the child as well as in some cases the necessity of having the natural parent’s consent.

The period of time of home residency is within the sole discretion of the judge hearing the adoption but one year is usually a good rule of thumb.  It may be necessary to have a home study completed before a judge will approve an adoption but in many cases this cost can be waived.

Prospective parents of an adoption in Indiana must be a resident of Indiana and at least 21 years of age.  Non-residence usually can only adopt hard-to-place children.

The Indiana State Department of Health will amend the child’s birth certificate after an adoption is finalized.  All petitions for adoption must complete a Comprehensive Medical Report.  All of these steps can be completed with the help of an attorney.

When everything is finalized by the judge it is a joyous occasion indeed and it is not unusual to take pictures of the momentous occasion right in the courtroom.