Filing your Indiana stepparent adoption doesn’t have to be difficult.

We understand that filing for a stepparent adoption is an extremely important time in your life. It can be stressful and the process can seem overwhelming. We guarantee that your Indiana stepparent adoption documents will be accurate and that the court clerks will accept them for filing as meeting or exceeding their standards, or you get your money back – 100%. We can make this guarantee because we make it our mission to make sure our documents are complete and up-to-date with the newest court regulations. If we don’t make it right, we’ll refund your money – 100%.

 

Indiana Adoption – Information you should know.

We know how important is it for you to do the research on filing your Indiana adoption online. Our highly experienced staff will help you through the process. Please review the information below to educate yourself on filing a stepparent adoption in Indiana, and then our staff will help you with any questions.

 

In Indiana, the person filing for the stepparent adoption is referred to as the “Petitioner” and the absent parent is referred to as the “Defendant”. The petitioning stepparent will file the legal adoption documents that we prepare for you with the court. This will start the adoption process. An uncontested adoption means that the other parent is not going to file additional documents with the court objecting to the adoption

 

Most of the stepparent adoptions we do for customers have one of the following circumstances:

 

  • The absent natural parent is deceased.
  • he absent parent has abandoned the child or children, by failing to maintain a meaningful relationship with the child(ren), and failing to provide financial support for the child(ren). In many situations, the absent parent’s whereabouts are unknown.
  • The absent parent believes that the adoption is in the child’s best interest, and agrees to sign a consent to the adoption.

 

Please note that if the other parent has regular contact with the child and pays child support, you will not be able to complete a stepparent adoption in Indiana unless the other parent is willing to sign a consent to the adoption.

 

Where will you file your stepparent adoption documents?

 

The adoption documents are filed in the Family Division of the Superior or Circuit Court in the county where you reside. When the stepparent adoption is finalized by the Court, your adopted child will receive a new birth certificate, showing the new parent listed on the birth certificate, and also showing the child’s new name.

 

Prior to filing your Petition for Adoption with the Circuit Court in your county, you must have been a bona fide resident of the state of Indiana for six months prior to the filing of the petition, which residency must be stated in the petition and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.

 

Grounds for the termination of parental rights.

The grounds which typically justify the termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption involve abandonment, failure to support the child, imprisonment, certain abuse, and other grounds. The grounds for the termination of parental rights are different for each state, but all states accept the grounds of abandonment and lack of support, and some states include other grounds.

 

If you are unable to get the written consent of the absent parent, then you can still file for the adoption as long as you have sufficient grounds.

In Indiana, the consent of the absent parent is not required, pursuant to § 31-19-9-8 to 31-19-9-10, as long as one of the following grounds exist:

 

  • The absent parent has abandoned the child for at least six (6) months prior to the filing of an adoption petition.
  • The absent parent has failed to contact or support the child for at least one (1) year when the child has been in the custody of another person.
  • The natural father has failed to establish paternity or has failed to register with the putative father registry.
  • The absent parent has been declared incompetent or mentally defective
  • The absent parent has been convicted of murder, manslaughter, rape, incest, neglect, battery, or causing the suicide, and the victim was the child’s sibling.

 

It is not required to terminate parental rights of a parent who is deceased.

 

Visitation by grandparents or the absent parent.

Most states do not have any provisions for the visitation rights of the parent losing parental rights, or the grandparents associated with that parent. The State of Indiana will recognize agreements for visitation by the parent losing their parental rights, but this is typically up to the discretion of the adopting parents.

 

Indiana Family Court: Address of some IN courts.

Our documents are for the entire State of Indiana . Illinois

 

If your county court is not listed below, then we will provided the court information when we send your documents to you.

 

You must file the adoption documents in the Circuit Court in the county in which you are filing. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:

Marion County Circuit Court: 200 E. Washington St., # W-506, Indianapolis, IN 46204 Phone: (317) 327-4010 Fax: (317) 327-4473

 

St. Joseph County Circuit Court: 1Address coming soon.

 

Joseph County Superior Court (South Bend):101 South Main Street, South Bend, IN 46601 Phone: (574) 235-9893 Fax: (574) 245-6601

 

Allen County Circuit Court:715 South Calhoun Street, #300, Fort Wayne, IN 46802 Phone: (260) 449-7602 Fax: (260) 449-7652

 

Vanderburgh County Circuit and Superior Court:825 Sycamore St., #210, Evansville, IN 47708 Phone: (812) 435-5195 Fax: (812) 435-5459


 

 

Court filing fees.

The court filing fees for an adoption in Indiana are approximately $107.

 

Serving the absent parent.

In many stepparent adoptions, the absent parent may be willing to sign a consent form which consents to the termination of their parental rights and consents to the adoption. If the absent parent is willing to sign a consent this will make the process a little easier because the court will know from the beginning that all parties agree to the stepparent adoption. Many of our adoption customers don’t know the whereabouts of the other parent, or the other parent has such a disinterest that he/she just won’t sign any documents. In this situation, you will file the adoption documents and then serve the absent parent by one of the following options:

 

1. Whereabouts of the other parent are UNKNOWN: If you are unable to locate the absent parent after a diligent search, then you can serve the parent by publication. This means that a notice is published in a local legal publication. Typically publication is once a week for 4 weeks. The publication fee for the newspaper averages around $85, but varies depending on where you live. Upon the filing of the Affidavit, the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.

 

2.The parent just won’t sign, but grounds exist for the adoption: If you know the whereabouts of the other parent, but that parent won’t sign due to disinterest, you can have that parent served by the Sheriff’s department or a private process server. This can be done even if the other parent is incarcerated in jail or a federal prison.

 

Start your Indiana Stepparent Adoption Today!

 


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