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Adoptions

Adoption in Indiana

We know that the adoption process can entail strong emotions, anxieties, and uncertainties. Whether you are an expectant mother who is considering adoption, or prospective parents who are hoping to adopt, we understand the issues and we are committed to doing everything in our power to ensure that your interests are protected.

We can help with many kinds of adoptions, including:

  • Newborn Adoptions;
  • Foster Children Adoptions;
  • Stepparent Adoptions;
  • Finalizations of International Adoptions;
  • Contested Adoptions; and
  • Interstate adoptions in which a child being adopted is arriving from another state or relocating outside of Indiana.

Frequently Asked Questions

We focus on ensuring that the legal details are appropriately handled so that you can focus on all of the other aspects involved with your new and changing family.

We frequently receive questions about adoption proceedings. Here are our responses to some of the frequently asked questions that we receive:

In newborn adoptions, when does the birthmother sign the consent to an adoption?

Under Indiana law, a birthmother’s consent to adoption cannot be given until after the baby is born and will most likely be given between 24 and 48 hours after birth.

In newborn adoptions, can the baby be placed directly with the adoptive family from the hospital?

Yes. In almost all newborn adoptions, the baby is placed with the adoptive parents directly from the hospital.

In foster children adoptions, will I be eligible for a subsidy and, if so, what types of subsidies exist?

Certain families adopting foster children may be eligible for a non-recurring adoption subsidy and a recurring adoption subsidy as well as Medicaid for their adopted children. The determination of whether a family is eligible for these subsidies is very fact-sensitive and dependent on various criteria, including the health of the child or children, the age(s) of the child or children and whether a family is adopting a sibling group.

Why do I need to finalize my international adoption in Indiana?

Once a child has been adopted through international proceedings, it may be necessary to have the foreign decree recognized in Indiana to ensure that a child will receive all the rights that would be afforded to a child adopted in the State of Indiana and to legally and formally change the child’s name on an Indiana birth certificate.  In these cases, we petition the Court recognize the foreign decree and a formal adoption process is not necessary.

However, if a child is not actually adopted in a foreign country or receives an IR-4 Visa, an adoption in the State of Indiana is necessary to formalize the legal relationship between the adoptive parents and the child.  In these cases, parents need to go through the formal adoption process in the State of Indiana; the recognition of the foreign order will not be sufficient to finalize the legal arrangement.

In newborn adoptions, what happens with the baby’s biological father?

If a birthmother is willing and able to identify the biological father, he will be entitled to notice of the adoption and his consent may be required. If a birthmother is unwilling or unable to identify the biological father and the child was conceived in the State of Indiana, the biological father must be registered with the Putative Father Registry to be entitled to notice of the proceedings. If he does not register with the Putative Father Registry in a timely manner, his consent to the adoption will be irrevocably implied.

In foster children adoptions, how are the biological parents’ rights handled?

Typically, the biological parent’s parental rights are terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily prior to the adoption proceedings. If their rights have not been terminated, their consents to the adoption may be necessary.

In stepparent adoptions, do I need to have the consent of the non-adopting parent before proceeding with the adoption?

The consent of biological parents is typically required in adoption cases. However, if the parties petitioning for adoption can prove that the non-adopting parent has failed without justifiable cause to communicate significantly with the child when able to do so for a period of at least one (1) year or has knowingly failed to provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so as required by law or judicial decree, the non-adoption parent’s consent to the adoption will not be required.  Nonetheless, the non-adopting parent will be entitled to notice of the adoption proceedings. 

Attorneys Specializing in Adoptions

Each adoption case is unique; for that reason, it is important that you work with a qualified adoption attorney to ensure that all of the details involved in finalizing your adoption are appropriately handled. If you are considering adoption and would like to discuss it in more detail, please contact one of the following Newby, Lewis, Kaminski & Jones attorneys specializing in adoption.