Having children and building a family are goals most people want to achieve, but the gift of parenthood is sometimes not a given. Sometimes the only solution is to adopt a child. Whatever your situation, you have to realize that child adoption in a state like Indiana may not have the same guidelines as those in California or New York state.

Who Can Adopt in Indiana?

According to Indiana law, both single individuals and married couples can adopt. If they are married, then both spouses should consent to it.

However, one of the spouses may decide if the other is legally incompetent or they are only legally separated. A stepparent may also choose to adopt the child of their partner, and they may not need the consent or approval of the other spouse.

Same-sex couples can also legally adopt in the state.

Should the Adoptive Parent Live in Indiana?

Indiana has a residency requirement, which means only those who live in the state can adopt state-born children. The exception is if the child is one of those who are hard to place.

A hard-to-place child is someone who possesses a barrier for adoption. It may include age, race, and health and mental issues. If someone outside of Indiana wants to adopt from this state, they should do so from their resident state.

Indiana law recognizes children adopted from other countries. But it needs to be under a lawful decree, which the court of clerk enters into the record book.

Who Can Place the Child?

Only a few types of people can place the child for adoption. These include lawyers from Indianapolis, the Division of Family Resources and the Department of Child Services.

Of course, adoptive parents can approach a legal or state-recognized adoption agency. The birth parents of the child may also initiate the process.

Dealing with birth parents has caveats and rules. For one, the birth mother can begin the adoption only after she has given birth. The father, meanwhile, can agree to the adoption anytime.

A birth father cannot revoke an enforceable agreement or contract as soon as they sign it. Biological mothers, meanwhile, may still have 30 days or a month to file a petition to revoke the consent.

The process is not automatic, however. It still goes through the court, which has to decide whether returning the child to the birth mother is to their best interests.

What Is Home Study?

mother teaching her child to color

Before the state places a child for adoption, the agency or the authorities perform a home study. It is a process of assessing many aspects of prospective parents. These include their lifestyle, finances, attitude toward their children, relationship, and criminal liability.

During this period, the adoptive parents may have to go through education seminars, interviews, and background checks. The state may need to delve into their FBI records and scour the sex offender’s list.

This can be a long process, which may take weeks to months. Depending on factors such as who are planning to adopt, a home study may be shorter than the others.

Any adoption process can be daunting, especially for adoptive parents. But with the right people guiding you, it will be less stressful. You can also increase your chance of making a dream come true: growing a happy family.