Adoption laws can be quite complex. Often, families need professional help like an adoption lawyer to navigate the process. In this article, we’re going to take a deeper look at Indiana adoption laws, the requirements, and what you need to do to adopt a child in Indiana.

What Will be Required to Adopt?

To adopt in Indiana, some requirements must be met. First, the adoptive parents need to be at least 21 years of age. There aren’t direct income requirements, but parents do need to be able to show that they could take care of a child. Usually, that means that the child will have space within the home, that the home will be able to provide food, shelter, and medical necessities, and that the child will have a stable and non-disruptive environment.

Prospective parents will need to be in good enough health that they can take care of a child. Further, they could be disqualified if they have a criminal history or a record of child abuse. Prospective parents should prepare by making sure that their house is ready for a child, that their financial situation is stable, and that they are in good health and prepared to make a commitment.

Finally, it should be noted that a child 14 or older must also consent to adoption.

What are the Adoption Licensing Requirements?

In Indiana, the adoption licensing requirements include 10 hours of training, criminal background checks, and CPS visits. During the training, they will learn more about the adoption process and becoming a parent. Criminal background checks are used to determine whether there is a history of something like violent crime or child abuse. CPS visits will ensure that the house is ready, clean, and safe enough for a new family member.

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During this time, parents may be directed to fix certain things, such as giving a child more space or baby-proofing a nursery. Both single people and married people may go through the adoption licensing process. But if someone is married, both partners will need to go through the entire process.

The process may be more complicated if someone is living with an unmarried partner, which is more common today. Unmarried couples can adopt jointly, and they can both go through the adoption process, but it’s often up to the agency’s discretion whether they believe it is a permanent and stable living situation.

Non-residents of Indiana are able to adopt hard-to-place children in Indiana without living there. This is meant to create permanent, long-lasting homes for children in Indiana who cannot be placed with people who are interested in finding a permanent family member. But because the process does involve the Indiana adoption services, someone interested in this may want to have an agent within the state.

How Hard is it to Adopt in Indiana?

The process of adoption is often a challenge in any state. While the requirements are straightforward, the process is lengthy. It’s usually recommended that you start early, and the process can take from six to twelve months. During the process of adoption, if you have any financial instability or housing instability, you could end up back at square one. So, you do need to make sure that you’re ready for the process.

If you have a criminal record that does not directly relate to your ability to care for a child, you might need legal assistance to navigate the adoption process. For example, technically a small crime committed when young could disqualify you from adopting in Indiana. If you find that it’s become difficult for you to adopt in Indiana, you should consult with a professional early in the process.

Other than that, it’s not significantly more difficult to adopt in Indiana than it is anywhere else. While the process is lengthy, most prospective parents will be able to get through it. It’s just a matter of time.