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Understanding the basics of Indiana adoption

There are certain basics to understand about adoption in Indiana. Maybe you are an employed single individual who has just entered the third decade of your life. Perhaps you are a married college graduate, parent and homeowner looking to add to your family. These basics apply either way. 

Adoption cases fall under family law. According to the Department of Child Services, adoption in Indiana has certain legal requirements you must fulfill. 


You need the permission of the child’s mother if she is alive. You also need permission from a father who has proven paternity or who is the legal father through a paternity affidavit. In some cases where the biological/legal parents are alive, DCS may take away their legal rights. Then, you must receive the consent of the DCS office responsible for the child. The exception is if the court deems it unnecessary. 


Indiana also requires an observation period. A DCS or child placing agency agent monitors you and your family’s interaction with the child. If you want to adopt a ward, the law demands a home study and written approval of you as an adoptive parent. 


The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services explains who can adopt in Indiana. In general, if you are a resident of Indiana you can adopt a child in the state. In special cases where a child is difficult to place, you may be able adopt even if you are not an Indiana resident. 

However, there are more factors taken into consideration than these. For example, spouses have to petition for adoption together, but this is not true if one of them is the adoptive or biological parent of the adoptee. Any unique factors may be up to the judge in your case.