Every matter involving your family is of great importance. Many people decide to grow their family by going through the adoption process, and formalizing an adoption is a significant step in the lives of everyone involved.
However, completing an adoption can be tough and stressful for anybody, and it’s essential to have a skilled Indiana adoption lawyer helping you during this critical time. The adoption lawyers at Hessler Law have years of experience helping families in your position, and we know how important it is for your adoption to be completed without unnecessary delay.
Indiana adoption law intends to protect children who may be adopted into new families. Therefore, the legal procedures can be complicated and time-consuming since the courts want to make sure the child will be properly cared for. Indiana law allows for anyone in the state to adopt, but the courts are granted significant discretion in how to proceed with the adoption petition. For example, the court can decide how long a home study conducted by the state should last to make sure that the child will be living in a safe environment.
A Family Lawyer Can Help You With All Types of Adoption
Every adoption case is unique, and your lawyer must understand how they are handled in the Indiana courts. Many parents wish to formally adopt a child they know and for whom they are currently providing care and support. The adoption of a non-infant minor can be complicated in that the child’s parents or grandparents may not wish for the adoption to proceed.
Many adoptions in Indiana involve recently born infants. If you are seeking to finalize an infant adoption, you may be concerned with establishing custody as soon after birth as possible. As adoption lawyers with years of experience, our team at Hessler Law, PC has helped many families complete adoptions with the following scenarios:
- All parties involved are in Indiana – In an intrastate adoption, the entire process should fall within Indiana laws and in the state’s courts.
- The child lives out of state – In an interstate adoption, bringing an out-of-state minor to live with your family requires your lawyer to make sure that all laws are satisfied in both Indiana and the other jurisdictions in question. For example, your home study must meet the requirements of the courts in every state involved to be successful in the adoption process.
- International child adoption – This is the most legally complex type of adoption, and it can be extremely stressful for both the children and the parents involved. Your Indianapolis family lawyer will have to work with foreign courts to make sure that the process does not stall, and it agrees with any international agreements, such as the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children.
The Adoption Process In Indiana
Indiana legal codes regarding adoption are meant to protect the children involved primarily, and there is a lot of discretion given to the courts regarding how they proceed through each case. We have seen courts take many different approaches in completing adoptions, but in general, the process involves the following steps:
- Your lawyer files an application for adoption in accordance with the courts involved. This includes courts in counties out of state and courts in other countries for international adoptions.
- The adopting parents undergo criminal background checks. They may also have to undergo other requirements by child protective services agencies involved.
- The home study process is completed in conjunction with the court’s orders. Your home does not have to be perfect, but it must be found to be a reasonably safe environment for a child.
- Any challenges to the adoption are filed. This is where the adopting parents will have to go to court to deal with any difficulties that come up in their adoption process.
Indiana law allows a legal or biological parent to contest a child’s adoption before it is finalized, or even up to six months after the court gives the adoption decree. If this happens, the court will still primarily consider the well-being of the child over the rights of either the biological or adoptive parents. Having an experienced Indiana adoption lawyer will allow you to make a strong case to counter any challenge from another parent.
It is important to note that biological parents cannot challenge your adoption if they have been found by the state to be unfit parents, abandoned their child, or failed to support or communicate with the child.
Adoption Eligibility Requirements
Indiana law states that any resident can be an adoptive parent in the state. You can be married, single, or divorced, and you can also have other biological or adopted children. While these rules are similar to other states, it is possible that other countries will require you to prove more details, such as specifics about your marriage, before they allow you to adopt one of their citizens. The law requires that both people in a marriage consent to adopting a child, and step parent adoption requires that the natural or adoptive parent approves of the step parent being allowed to adopt.
Many people are concerned about the financial requirements and general adoption costs that they might face as they try and grow their family. It’s important to know that although you are required to be financially able to add a child to your household, there is not a specific income requirement for adoptive parents. However, the court can make your adoption lengthy and costly by what they decide to require. For example, some home studies are completed at close to no cost, but others have been known to cost thousands of dollars.
Costs can add up quickly in cases with children who have special needs, or where a foreign court seeks extra assurances before allowing the adoption to be completed. Your adoption lawyer can work with the courts to help make this process as easy and fair as possible for both you and the child.
An Adoption Lawyer From Hessler Law Can Help Your Family
Adoption can be a wonderful way to protect the future of a child you love while also growing your family. Indiana law allows for an adoption to proceed so long as it can be shown that it is in the child’s best interests.
Our team at Hessler Law, PC understands how vital it is for you and your family to complete your adoption successfully and promptly, and we want to help you through this process. To speak with an experienced Indianapolis family lawyer, contact us right away at (317) 886-8800 to schedule a free case evaluation.