If a couple or an individual is considering adding to their family through adoption, there is helpful information available about the process in Indiana. This includes the types of adoption families can pursue, the length of the adoption process and the court process.
Types of adoption
In Indiana, there are four types of adoption available. These are public agency adoption, domestic private adoption, international adoption and independent adoption.
The public agency adoption process takes place through the state and there are flexible eligibility requirements for parents. Domestic private adoption is directed and supervised by a private, licensed adoption agency.
An international adoption is the process of adopting a child who is not a U.S. citizen and takes place either through an adoption agency or an attorney. Independent adoption occurs through birth parents and prospective adoptive parents. The process is often completed with an attorney’s help. With all of these types, the timeline to adopt may depend on the age and circumstances of the child.
Before an adoption can take place, the child’s biological mother must consent to the adoption. If the child’s father has been determined through a paternity action, his consent is also required. In some circumstances, the court may involuntarily terminate the biological parents’ rights.
The prospective adoptive parents must file a petition to adopt and pay a filing fee. The court will hold an adoption hearing to determine whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest and to confirm that all of the requirements have been met. If they have been met, the court will issue a final order, giving the adoptive parents all of the same rights and responsibilities of a birth parent.
If prospective adoptive parents need assistance to navigate the adoption process, an experienced family law attorney can help.