Adoption In Indiana
- To initiate an adoption in Indiana, a Petition for Adoption must be filed in the Probate Court. That Petition will contain information about the children to be adopted and the person(s) who are wanting to adopt, such as race, name, date of birth, where born, whether the children own any property, whether the children’s names will be changed, whether the persons who want to adopt are married, where they are employed, etc.
- In addition, the Petition will state whether the natural mother and father of the child have given consent to the adoption or whether their parental rights have been terminated by a court, whether the person(s) who want to adopt are able to take care of the children and whether s/he/they have been convicted of a crime that would affect the adoption. Original, notarized copies must be placed in the court’s files in order for the adoption to occur.
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Paperwork and fee requirements
- There is a $107 filing fee that will need to be paid to the clerk of the court to file the Petition for Adoption mentioned above.
- In addition, the court also must have a copy of a Home Study, which is basically a report showing that the home in which the children are to be placed is suitable. The cost is $100 for a stepparent or blood relative adoption or $200 for other adoptions, but if the children are wards of the state, the Office of Family and Children will take care of this cost. This fee is paid to the Office of Family and Children (unless a different agency does the study).
- In addition, the Indiana State Board of Health must do a search of the Putative Father Registry for each child. The cost of this search is $50 per child.
- Finally, an adoption medical history report also must be filed with the court for each child. This report does not need to be done by a physician. Anyone with knowledge about the child’s medical history can complete this document. There is a $20 fee paid for this that goes to the Indiana Department of Health.
- If an ad must be run to give notice of the adoption, that ad, which can be run in the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper, will cost approximately $86.
A waiver hearing is necessary to place a child in the prospective adopting home except where a licensed child-placement agency or a county Office of Family and Children is sponsoring the adoption, and except for step-parent adoptions, blood-relative adoptions, and interstate adoptions approved by the Indiana Office of Family and Children.
Placement of the child in the home for at least three months is required before a final hearing is held, and a couple must be married for a year or more before an adoption.
When the paperwork is all in order and is in the file, then the court will set a date for a final hearing, which in Marion County will always be on a Thursday. At the final hearing, a record of adoption must be submitted for each child. This document will be submitted to the State Department of Health’s Vital Statistics office in order to change the child’s birth certificate. In addition, a $6 check per child adopted will need to be brought to the final hearing and made out to the Department of Health in order to get a copy of the new birth certificate. Each additional copy desired is $1.
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