Indiana adoption laws


Single individuals or married couples petitioning jointly unless the spouse is married to the biological or adoptive mother or father of the child. Adopting parent/s must complete the county or agency issued application, 26 hours of training, a homestudy process, and undergo criminal background and CPS checks. Nonresidents of Indiana may only adopt hard-to-place children.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Only for “hard-to place” children.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Only the Dept. of Child Services, the Division of Family Resources, a licensed child-placing agency, a licensed attorney, or a birth parent or pre-adoptive parent acting on his or her own behalf may have a role in placing a child.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, living (housing, utilities, maternity clothing, pregnancy/adoption related travel, other necessary. $3000 max. unless approved by court). Lost wages if job loss due to pregnancy, but offset by living expenses and unemployment benefits. 2nd or 3rd trimester to 6 weeks postpartum. Adoption deception by birthmother is crime punishable by jail time, restitution.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Birthmother: Any time after birth; birthfather: Any time.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon signing, if birthfather signs before birth and it contains the statutorily prescribed language. Upon signing, but with a 30-day window to file a petition to withdraw consent, if signed after birth. After notice to adoptive parents, birthparent must prove it is in the child’s best interest to withdraw consent. If birthparent confirms consent for the court, he/she loses the right to petition. Return not automatic.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, for children two or older. Enforcement is under the jurisdiction of the court.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, a decree within or outside the U.S. is recognized by Indiana as long as the adoption decree is issued under due process of law after any Indiana court clerk files and enters the decree upon the order book.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? Not addressed in state statutes.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available for a hard-to-place child, who is generally defined by one of the following: 2 years or older, member of a sibling group of two or more, has or is at high risk for developing a medical, physical, mental, or emotional condition at time of adoption petition as documented by a licensed professional. Assistance begins when adoption is finalized. Child must be in the custody of the state of Indiana.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Indiana?


Bureau of Family Protection and Preservation
402 West Washington Street, 3rd Floor, Room W364
Indianapolis, IN 46204