Indiana Adoption Laws

For prospective parents, adopting a child can be a joyous celebration of an expanded family. But the legal requirements surrounding adoption can make it a complex and potentially confusing process as well. State laws defining who can adopt, who can be adopted, and how one can adopt can seem impenetrable. So here is is a brief summary of adoption laws in Indiana.

State Laws

The legal regulations regarding adoption, including who is allowed to adopt and the special requirements for adoptive parents, are generally similar from state to state. Indiana law requires spouses to join in adoption and consent of adoptive children 14 and older. Adoption is such a complicated and significant process; you may want to contact an attorney for assistance in understanding the process and your legal requirements as an adoptive parent.

Adoption Laws in Indiana

Below are some of the basic rules surrounding Indiana adoption. See Details of State Adoption Laws to learn more.

Code Section

31-19-1-1, et seq.; No

Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any resident of state. If married, spouse must join. Spouse must consent if such spouse is natural or adoptive parent. Nonresidents of state may adopt hard to place child as defined in §31-19-2-3.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

Period of supervision within sole discretion of court hearing adoption petition

State Agency/Court

Public Welfare/Probate (in counties with one)

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

6 mos. after entry or decree or 1 yr. after adoptive parents obtain custody, whichever is later

Eligibility for Adoption in General

In most states, any single adult or a married couple together is eligible to adopt a child. A stepparent may also be eligible to adopt the birth child of his or her spouse. In some states, married persons are allowed to adopt without their spouse’s consent if their spouse is legally incompetent or if they are legally separated from their spouse. Many states have adoption courts, which look to serve the best interests of a child when it comes to adoption decisions.

Related Resources for Adoption Laws:

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw’s Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws, and get a more general overview in our Adoption section. If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Indiana adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.