"In the case of child adoption, are the Indiana laws different for an out-of-state child? I hear a lot about international adoption. What is that?"
As should be expected with the matter of legally changing who a child’s parents are to someone other than the biological parents, the controlling child-adoption law is complex in order to ensure that a child’s best interests are met. The sanctity of a biological family is a fundamental constitutional right. If you are considering a child adoption in Indiana, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. lawyers may be able to help.
There are three different types of adoptions. The first two are inter-country adoptions where all of the parties reside in the United States. The third is international child adoption.
In an intrastate child adoption, all of the parties and the child live in Indiana. These are the most-straightforward types of legal proceedings. Logically, they are less complex because everyone necessary to the process, who need to be represented or evaluated, live in close proximity within Indiana.
These second type of child adoption is interstate adoption. A significant layer of protection is added for children, which makes the legal issues that much more complex. However, to address interstate adoptions in a timely way, Indiana, along with several other states, has entered into an Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) that covers these adoptions.
The purpose of the ICPC is to set forth a process for states to communicate with each other to ensure that each child requiring interstate placement has the maximum opportunity to be placed in a suitable environment. A critical part of the ICPC is geared to a home study of adoptive parents who reside in other states.
These are handled by Indiana probate courts. Nevertheless, the total number of child adoptions with Indiana dimensions is very low, totaling less than 400 per year.
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. lawyers understand the finality associated with adoptions and that they generate a significant number of appeals to Indiana’s appellate courts. It is of critical importance that your legal advocate understands the intricate inner workings of this process to minimize the ways an adoption may thus be challenged.
A significant number of these appeals hinge on whether a parent consents and what it takes to legally extinguish his or her legal rights. If you face an adoption appeal, the lawyers of Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. stand at the ready to help you navigate the process. We can critically analyze a final order in adoption and determine if appellate issues turn on sufficiency of the evidence or technical application of the law.
The final type is international child adoption. This is exceedingly complex factually, emotionally and legally; these are governed in part by the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation (Convention) in respect of Intercountry Adoption. However, the Convention only applies between the United States and other countries that have signed onto the pact.
The Convention requires that countries who are a party to it establish a Central Authority to be the authoritative source of information and point of contact for international adoption matters that arise between countries. Every child adopted from a Convention country receives a Hague Adoption Certificate or Custody Declaration.
In each and every circumstance of child adoption, adoptive parents who are Indiana residents may file the adoption decree with the clerk of any county in Indiana. Once the adoption decree is entered on the order book, it has the same effect as if the adoption occurred in Indiana.
If you are considering a child adoption, if you face an adoption appeal, or if you have post-adoption legal issues, Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. attorneys may be able to help.