The short answer is, it depends. Generally speaking, a court may only grant a petition to adopt a child if written consent to adoption is executed by the child’s parents. However, like most everything in life, exceptions apply. But when do these exceptions apply? What are the circumstances when a parent’s consent is not required? In this blog, we provide a brief overview of when a parent’s consent to adoption is required and when consent may be waived. Adoptions in Indiana are governed by statutory law. Thus, when going trying to determine whether consent is required, it is necessary to review ...
July 28, 2020CD
For many of us, Grandparents played an important role in our lives. Now more than ever, grandparents seem to be actively involved in the raising of their grandchild(ren). In many instances, a grandparent may be raising their grandchild all together. If you have found yourself in such a situation, or you know someone who is, you may be wondering, “can I get custody of my grandchild?” This blog provides a brief overview for grandparents who are exploring options for obtaining custody of a grandchild they are raising. A few things to point out before discussing the different options. First, Indiana makes ...
November 8, 2019CD
Today, more than ever, children are being raised by third parties, including step-parents. When the non-custodial, biological parent does not stay involved in his/her child’s life, this often leads the step-parent (and child) to want to adopt. If the other biological parent is deceased or consents to the adoption, there is no legal barrier to prevent the adoption (assuming the other statutory requirements for adoption are met, such as having a home study). This blog address when a (living) biological parent’s consent is not required for the adoption filing, the biological parents right to contest his or her lack of ...
August 15, 2018CD
YOUR RIGHT TO “LEGAL NOTICE” FOR DUE PROCESS Almost everyone has received mail that they might be entitled to be in a Class Action law suit. Because of the sheer notice of lawsuits filed in Indiana (and other states) in the course of a year, the Indiana Supreme Court has decided a key case about what you must know to comport with the law. Specifically, in the Adoption of B.C.H (2014), the Indiana Supreme Court accepted transfer of a case the Court of Appeals affirmed. Among other legal holdings, the case held that a person may have actual notice of a legal ...
April 8, 2015Adam Hayes
Adoption (which is hand in hand with termination of parental rights) is unique in that it can completely sever forever and all time a natural (or prior adoptive parent) parents (constitutional and fundamental) right to raise his or her own child with limits on a state’s right to interfere. The way adoption does this in legal terms is by consent of every person with a legal interest in the adoptive child’s right. In many cases, written consent under the Adoption Act1 may be waived. However, unless given in writing or found unnecessary by an adoption court under the statutory provisions, an ...
February 19, 2015CD
Ciyou & Dixon, P.C. - Attorneys At Law, Bryan L. Ciyou and Lori B. Schmeltzer to present oral argument of B.C.H adoption before the Indiana Supreme Court, Thursday, September 25th, at 09:45am. Click here to review the Indiana Court of Appeals opinion. Click here to watch the Oral Argument before the Indiana Supreme Court.
September 25, 2014CD
According the Census Bureau, in 2009, 7.8 million children lived with at least one grandparent, a 64% increase since 1991, when 4.7 million children lived with a grandparent1. While the census only addresses grandparents raising their grandchildren, this is a strong indicator of trends in society wherein more third parties (grandparents, aunts/uncles, friends, etc.) are raising the children of other people. When these situations present themselves, there are many legal issues that need to be addressed. First, as a general rule, there is a strong presumption both in the United States, and in particular in Indiana, that a child’s best interests ...
June 5, 2014CD
After review from the House of Representatives of the Indiana legislature, the proposed legislation, Senate Bill 27, was returned to the Senate with the House’s proposed changes, for approval before a final vote. Senate Bill 27 addresses some issues that may arise during adoption proceedings to streamline the judicial process, and protect the natural parent’s constitutional rights to raise his or her child. Under current Indiana law, if third parties file a Petition for Adoption of a Minor child, while a Petition to Establish Paternity in the natural Father is also pending, the matters must be consolidated and heard by the ...
April 10, 2014CD
The story of Baby Veronica has been making headlines in the recent weeks following a transfer of the case from the South Carolina Supreme Court, to the United States Supreme Court, and the resulting United States Supreme Court decision overturning the ruling by the South Carolina courts. In the case of Adoptive Couple vs. Baby Girl, Biological Father and Mother ended their relationship while Mother was pregnant.1 Biological Father chose to relinquish all parental rights to the baby before birth, provided no support to the Mother and child during the pregnancy and thereafter for four (4) months. For all intents and ...
September 3, 2013CD
There are two general types of adoptions of a minor child. The new family adoption, and the step-parent adoption. First, the new family adoption, which terminates both the Mother and Father’s parental rights, and the new family (new mother and father) acquire the same parental rights as the biological parents once had.1 The second type of adoption is commonly known as “step-parent” adoption. A step-parent adoption only divests one parent of his or her parental rights in lieu of the step-parent acquiring parental rights. For example, biological mother and step-father wish for step-father to adopt mother’s child; the biological father’s rights terminate, ...
June 25, 2013CD