Indiana Adoption Lawyer

As Indiana Family Law Adoption lawyers, we are able to assist clients throughout all stages of the adoption process.   This includes domestic adoptions, foreign adoptions, stepparent adoptions, and even adult adoptions.  To learn more about how we help and the Indiana adoption process, please call Dollard Evans & Whalin at 317-770-7070 and set up a free initial consult.

Where is an adoption filed?

Typically an adoption is filed in one of the following places:  in the county where the person asking to adopt the child resides; (2) where a licensed child placing agency or governmental agency having custody of the child is located; or (3) where the child resides.

What must be included with an adoption filing?

A petition for adoption must include (1) The: (A) name of the child/person if known; (B) sex, race, and age if known, or if unknown, the approximate age of the person/child; and (C) place of birth; of the child sought to be adopted. A petition for adoption must also include the new name to be given the child if a change of name is desired. A petition for adoption must include whether or not the child possesses real or personal property and, if so, the value and full description of the property.  It must also include  (A) name, age, and place of residence of the person attempting to adopt the person/child (also called the petitioner); and (B) if that person is married, place and date of their marriage.  A petition for adoption must also include the name and place of residence, if known, of: (A) the parent or parents of the child; (B) if the child is an orphan: (i) the guardian; or (ii) the nearest kin of the child if the child does not have a guardian; (C) the court or agency of which the child is a ward if the child is a ward; or (D) the agency sponsoring the adoption if there is a sponsor.  The petition must also include the time, if any, during which the child lived in the home of the petitioner for adoption. The petition for adoption must indicate whether the person asking for the adoption (petitioner) has been convicted of: (A) a felony; or (B) a misdemeanor relating to the health and safety of children; and, if so, the date and description of the conviction.   Other things that will be included might include things like criminal record search, putative father search affidavit, and health records or medical reports (that includes things like neonatal, psychological, physiological, and medical care history).

Who must be notified of an adoption proceeding?

A person whose consent to adoption is required under IC 31-19-9-1.  This includes the following individuals:

(1) Each living parent of a child born in wedlock, including a man who is presumed to be the child’s biological father if the man is the biological or adoptive parent of the child. (2) The mother of a child born out of wedlock and the father of a child whose paternity has been established by: (A) a court proceeding other than the adoption proceeding, except as provided in IC 31-14-20-2; or (B) a paternity affidavit executed under IC 16-37-2-2.1; unless the putative father gives implied consent to the adoption under section 15 of this chapter. (3) Each person, agency, or local office having lawful custody of the child whose adoption is being sought. (4) The court having jurisdiction of the custody of the child if the legal guardian or custodian of the person of the child is not empowered to consent to the adoption. (5) The child to be adopted if the child is more than fourteen (14) years of age. (6) The spouse of the child to be adopted if the child is married.

I don’t think the parent will consent to adoption.  When is consent to an adoption not necessary?

Consent to adoption is not required from any of the following: (1) A parent or parents if the child is adjudged to have been abandoned or deserted for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the date of the filing of the petition for adoption.   Abandoned or deserted has a legal meaning that an experienced Indiana family law lawyer attorney or Indiana adoption lawyer attorney can explain to you.  Our attorneys have experience with these kinds of adoptions.

Consent to adoption is not required of a parent of a child in the custody of another person if for a period of at least one (1) year the parent: (A) fails without justifiable cause to communicate significantly with the child when able to do so; or (B) knowingly fails to provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so as required by law or judicial decree.

Consent to adoption is not required of the biological father of a child born out of wedlock whose paternity has not been established: (A) by a court proceeding other than the adoption proceeding; or (B) by executing a paternity affidavit under IC 16-37-2-2.1.

Consent to adoption is not required of the biological father of a child born out of wedlock who was conceived as a result of: (A) a rape for which the father was convicted; (B) child molesting (IC 35-42-4-3); (C) sexual misconduct with a minor; or (D) incest.

Consent to adoption is not required  of the putative father of a child born out of wedlock if the putative father’s consent to adoption is irrevocably implied due father: failing  to file a paternity action  under IC 31-14; or (B) in a court located in another state that is competent to obtain jurisdiction over the paternity action; not more than thirty (30) days after receiving actual notice  of the mother’s intent to proceed with an adoptive placement of the child, regardless of whether the child is born before or after the expiration of the thirty (30) day period.

Consent to adoption is not required  of  the biological father of a child born out of wedlock if the: (A) father’s paternity is established after the filing of a petition for adoption in a court proceeding or by executing a paternity affidavit under IC 16-37-2-2.1; and (B) father is required to but does not register with the putative father registry established by IC 31-19-5 within the period required by law.

Consent to adoption is not required  of a parent who has relinquished the parent’s right to consent to adoption as provided in this chapter.

Consent to adoption is not required  of a parent after the parent-child relationship has been terminated under law.

Consent to adoption is not required  of a parent judicially declared incompetent or mentally defective if the court dispenses with the parent’s consent to adoption.

Consent to adoption is not required  if a legal guardian or lawful custodian of the person to be adopted who has failed to consent to the adoption for reasons found by the court not to be in the best interests of the child.

Consent to adoption is not required  of a parent if: a petitioner for adoption proves by clear and convincing evidence that the parent is unfit to be a parent; and (B) the best interests of the child sought to be adopted would be served if the court dispensed with the parent’s consent.   This will take evidence presented to the Court that an experienced Indiana family law adoption lawyer will know how to present to the Court.

Consent to adoption is not required of a child’s biological father who denies paternity of the child before or after the birth of the child if the denial of paternity: (A) is in writing; (B) is signed by the child’s father in the presence of a notary public; and (C) contains an acknowledgment that: (i) the denial of paternity is irrevocable; and (ii) the child’s father will not receive notice of adoption proceedings. A child’s father who denies paternity of the child under this subdivision may not challenge or contest the child’s adoption. (b) If a parent has made only token efforts to support or to communicate with the child the court may declare the child abandoned by the parent.

This is only a small bit of information regarding adoptions in Indiana.  Call Dollard Evans & Whalin for Your Indiana Adoption Consultation.  Let us provide you with the legal representation you will need for your adoption case.   There are few things in our practice more enjoyable then helping a family legally unite itself as one.

If you are interested, please call 317-770-7070 to discuss your case for free with one of our lawyers.   Hire our firm, so that we can provide you with the representation you need for your family law/adoption case.