Indiana Family Law & Criminal Defense Lawyers

Home 9 Adoption

 adoption lawyer indiana

Adoption Lawyers in Indianapolis

For some, deciding to adopt a child and provide them with a loving home is easy. However, the process of going through with the adoption can be lengthy and complex. There are many legal issues you could run into along the way that can set you back, which is why working with a adoption lawyer is often a wise choice.

At Zentz & Roberts, P.C., our Indianapolis adoption attorneys understand the unique challenges that come with adopting a child in Indiana and are here to help. If you need assistance, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation – 317-220-6056.

How Does the Adoption Process in Indiana Work?

adoption in indianaBefore you can go through with the process of adopting in Indiana, you must first meet certain requirements. These include:

  • Having the financial means to adequately care for a child.
  • Having a home that is suited to caring for a child.
  • Passing a background check, which includes passing a criminal record and sex offender check, as well as an FBI fingerprint scan.
  • Undergoing a home visit.

Petition for Adoption

When you decide to adopt, one of the first steps you should take is to contact a local adoption lawyer who can guide you through the process, help prepare you, and ensure you are meeting all the necessary requirements. From there, your next step will be to file a Petition for Adoption.

Some of the information you will need to include in your petition includes:

  • The name, sex, age, race, and place of birth of the child.
  • The new name of the child (if a new name is being given).
  • Whether or not the child possesses real or personal property.
  • The name, age, and place of residence of the adoptive parents.
  • The name and place of residence of the child’s parents, guardian, nearest kin, the court or agency of which the child is a ward, or the agency sponsoring the adoption.
  • Whether the adoptive parents have been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor.
  • Whether or not a child support order or medical support order is in effect for the child.


Temporary Custody

While the adoption is pending finalization, and if the child is not under the supervision of the Department of Child Services, you can file a motion for temporary legal custody. This can be done at the time of filing the petition or any time after.

Obtaining Consent

Once the petition is filed, you must then obtain written consent in certain situations from specified individuals or prove why consent from those individuals is not needed. Individuals that you might need to obtain consent from can include:

  • The living parents of the child born in wedlock.
  • The birth mother of the child born out of wedlock and the father of the child for whom paternity has been established.
  • Each agency or local office with lawful custody of the child.
  • The court with jurisdiction over the custody of the child if a legal guardian or custodian is not empowered to give consent.
  • The child that is to be adopted (if they are more than 14 years of age).
  • The spouse of the child if they are married.

However, there are certain conditions under which consent is not required such as:

  • If the child is adjudged to have been abandoned or deserted for at least 6 months immediately proceeding the date of the filing of the petition for adoption;
  • If for a period of at least 1 year, a parent fails without justifiable cause to communicate significantly with the child when able to do so;
  • If for a period of at least 1 year, a parent knowingly fails to provide for the care and support of the childwhen able to do so as required by law or judicial decree;
  • If the biological father of a child born out of wedlock has not established paternity;
  • If the child was born out of wedlock and conceived as a result of:
    • A rape for which father was convicted,
    • Child molesting,
    • Sexual misconduct with a minor, or
    • If it is proven by clear and convincing evidence that a parent is unfit to be a parent
    • If the child’s biological father denies paternity of the child before or after birth of the child

Notice of Adoptionadoption

After filing the Petition for Adoption, you may also be required to provide notice to the following, if applicable:

  1. The person whose consent is required.
  2. The putative father.
  3. A grandparent of the child.
  4. The agency of which the child is a ward.
  5. The local office of the Department of Child Services.
  6. The entity, agency, facility, or person of which the child is a ward if the child is the subject of a juvenile delinquency proceeding.

Home Study Visit

While the above requirements are in process, you will also need to schedule a home visit with a licensed child-placing agency. After the visit, a report will be written that details the investigation of the home and a recommendation as to whether or not they believe adoption is advisable. In certain situations, such as a step-parent adoption, the home study visit may be waived by the court.

How Long Does the Adoption Process Take?

adoption processThere is no set time frame for adopting in Indiana. Every case is unique, and it can also depend on the specific type of adoption taking place, such as international, private, or interstate. International adoptions, for example, will take much longer, whereas a domestic adoption can take anywhere from three to six months. But even that is just an estimate, and a domestic adoption can take longer than six months.

Adoption Services We Can Help With

As top-rated Indianapolis adoption lawyers, we understand that the decision to adopt a child is a critical part of your life. If you choose us as your adoption lawyer, we will take the time to help you fully understand the Indiana adoption process and all applicable laws and ensure the adoption goes as smoothly as possible. At Zentz & Roberts, P.C., we specialize in a range of legal adoption services, including:

Private adoptions

private adoptionsAdopting a child is perhaps one of the most important decisions you will ever make. As prospective adoptive parents, you are opening your hearts and home to a child while providing them with the safety and security they may not otherwise have.

With private adoptions, the key difference is that the birth parent’s rights will be terminated in probate court. Additionally, private adoptions tend to move along at a faster rate. When you go with an adoption agency, the process takes place outside of the courtroom, and the agency might not provide the birth mother with a lawyer. Instead, the legal custody of the child will go directly from the biological parent to the adoptive parents.

At Zentz & Roberts, we respect, honor, and understand the individual needs of each birth mother and adoptive parent.

Stepparent adoptions

The stepparent adoption process is a straightforward one. After the adoption, any and all legal rights or duties the previous parent had regarding the child are then terminated.

All stepparent adoptions take place in the court in the county where the child resides, the individual seeking the adoption resides, the natural parent resides, or the Petitioner’s attorney’s office is located. The child’s last name can also be changed during this process, and a new birth certificate would then be issued with the adoptive parent as the child’s natural parent following the conclusion of the process.

Foster parent adoptions

foster care and adoptionsIt’s not uncommon for foster parents to decide to legally adopt a child to which they opened their home. However, foster care laws can make it difficult to determine when a child can go from being in foster care to being adopted by a foster parent.

One of the first steps in foster parent adoption is filing a petition in court. Our experienced Indiana adoption lawyers can help you with this process, which includes completing the necessary paperwork, filing, and preparing for a home study to make sure that living with you permanently is in the best interest of the child.

If any issues arise in the process, we are here to help you and the child transition under your care.

Grandparent adoptions

It is possible for a grandparent to legally adopt their grandchildren. However, specific steps must first be taken before this can be made a permanent situation. The child’s best interest must also be taken into consideration.

The child’s last name can also be changed in this process, and a new birth certificate would then be issued with the adoptive parent as the child’s natural parent following the conclusion of the process.

In certain cases, the consent of either birth parent is not a requirement to proceed with a grandparent adoption.

Single-parent adoptions

There are many reasons why an individual might want to adopt a child on their own. Many individuals, for example, are not interested in waiting to find a partner or spouse before starting a family of their own. However, single parents often face more challenges when it comes to adopting a child compared to married couples.

That said, Indiana does permit single-parent adoptions. The state also allows single adoptions for individuals of the LGTBQ+ community.

As single-parent adoptions can be challenging, working with an experienced Indiana adoption lawyer is advised to give you the best chance of having the adoption approved.

How Much Does an Adoption in Indiana Cost?

The cost of every adoption is different as, again, each situation is unique. It can also depend on the type of adoption you pursue and if you choose to work with an attorney or an adoption agency.

If you choose a domestic adoption, for example, some of the fees and costs you can expect can include:

  • Application feesadoption family
  • Home study fees
  • Agency fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Court fees
  • Post-placement supervision fees
  • Medical costs (for newborn adoptions)

If cost is a concern, there may be fee waivers and financial assistance available, depending on your situation. Our team can provide you with more information if you have questions regarding costs.

Why You Should Hire an Adoption Lawyer or Firm

client testimonialAdoption lawyers can play a critical role in the adoption process. In addition to knowing the ins and outs of local adoption laws and laws pertaining to international, interstate, and other kinds of adoptions, an adoption lawyer can also:

  • Help you complete all necessary paperwork and ensure they are filed with the correct agency, entity, facility, or individual.
  • Help you prove that you meet the basic requirements for adoption.
  • Help you prepare for a home study.
  • Advise you about taxes and finances on adoption.
  • Advocate for your rights and help you successfully navigate the entire process to ensure smooth and efficient adoption.

Zentz & Roberts P.C. – Adoption Lawyers in Indianapolis

As an Indiana adoption lawyer, our goal is to act as a catalyst that allows new Indiana families to be built on the firm foundation of what matters most – the love of a child. When you are ready to speak with a skilled Indiana adoption attorney, contact us as soon as possible at 317-220-6056. We are here, and we are ready to help.

***Please note: This page is not intended to give specific legal advice but is meant for information purposes only. Contact us to discuss your case***