Indiana Adoption Laws
One of the most important parts of beginning your adoption in Indiana process is getting familiar with the adoption laws in Indiana. These laws will range from different topics such as the requirements to adopt, guidelines for the adoption home study, and the consent process.
Please keep in mind that this information is not a substitute for legal advice, and is only presented to readers as general information. As adoption can be a complicated and overwhelming process, you should always contact an adoption attorney for accurate and up-to-date information.
If you're ready to talk to an adoption specialist about adoption in Indiana, reach out to us through our free online form.
What does the consent process look like?
As part of Indiana’s adoption laws, consent to the adoption must be given for a child that is under 18 years old. In Indiana, the birth mother can consent to the adoption any time after birth, while the birth father is able to consent to the adoption at any point. If the birth mother is still living, her consent is required by law. There are some instances where the consent is irrevocable. Some examples of these situations include:
- Upon signing, if the birth father signs before the birth and it contains the statutorily prescribed language.
- During signing after the baby’s birth, but with a 30-day window to file a petition to withdraw consent.
After notice to the adoptive parents, birth parents have to show that it is in the child's best interest to withdraw their consent.
There are also certain situations where a parent’s consent to adoption is not required in Indiana, including, but not limited to:
- A parent that has been unfit to care for a child
- A parent that has already had their rights terminated
- The birth father of a child who was conceived by rape, incest, or sexual misconduct
- A parent who has abandoned the child for six months before filing the adoption petition.
What rights do I have as a birth father in Indiana?
Birth fathers can play an important part during the adoption process. The state of Indiana puts a large emphasis on whether the biological parents were married at the time of the child’s birth. This law is designed to think of the child's best interest.
It will be important to establish paternity if you and the birth mother are unmarried. This can be established by completing an affidavit at the hospital.
Indiana also has a putative father registry. A putative father is a man who claims to be the birth father but has not legally established his paternity of the child.
In order for a putative father to be aware of any adoption proceedings, he will be required to register with the Putative Father Registry of Indiana before the birth mother consents to the adoption.
After the adoption is finalized, biological parents will not have rights to the child any longer. At this point in the process, the adoptive parents will become the legal guardians of the child. The adoptive parent will be responsible for their new child's health, safety, education, and any other necessary needs that may arise.
Can birth parents receive financial assistance?
While an expectant mother is working with an adoption agency, it is possible that the adoptive parents will help her financially during the process. These expenses may include:
- Living Assistance (including housing, maternity clothing, transportation, and other necessary expenses)
It is important to discuss these expenses with your agency beforehand in order to make sure any payments made are legal according to Indiana adoption laws.
Do you get paid to adopt a child in Indiana?
Adoption subsidies are available if you decide to adopt from foster care in Indiana. These subsidies are typically available for “hard to place” children. This typically applies to children that may be a part of a sibling group, or they may have a physical, mental, or emotional condition.
What adoption laws in Indiana will I need to know as an adoptive parent?
Indiana allows both same-sex and heterosexual couples to adopt a child. There is also no marriage requirement to adopt in Indiana, so a single individual is also able to adopt. However, if you are married, you will be required to adopt jointly. This will not the case for stepparent adoptions. Your chosen agency will give you a better idea of these requirements. To learn more about American Adoptions’ requirements for hopeful parents, call 1-800-ADOPTION or request information online now.
Adoptive parents will also be required to complete a home study. This will show that you are able to provide a loving and welcoming environment for your child. It is important to start this process early, as it can take some time. Please visit our Guide to the Adoption Home Study in Indiana to learn more about this process.
Learning the adoption laws for any state will take some time. If you have any questions regarding the adoption laws for Indiana, please contact a local adoption attorney. You are also able to request free information about our agency programs online.
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