If you want to adopt a child in Indiana, you have the option of adopting from foster care.
Adopting a child from foster care is much more affordable than a private adoption, but it can also be a lengthy process. If you don’t want to foster first, you’ll need to undergo a few hoops to have a child permanently placed with you.
Unlike foster care itself, adoption means you’re responsible for the child until 18. But many people choose to adopt from foster care rather than foster because they don’t want to undergo the experience of bonding with a child only for them to be placed elsewhere.
There are advantages and disadvantages to adopting from foster care, whether you choose to adopt a child from Indiana or cross state lines to adopt from another jurisdiction. Let’s take a deeper look.
What Will be Needed to Adopt?
There are several factors to consider when adopting a child from foster care, and it may be worth contacting a family law attorney in advance.
First, you don’t necessarily need to adopt a child from the Indiana foster care system. It’s possible that you go through an interstate adoption if there are no children available in the Indiana care system. But some locations have restrictions on this. If you go through Texas, for instance, you need to go through Texas’ process rather than Indiana’s.
The process of adopting a child from foster care will begin with a thorough background check. You’ll fill out forms, be interviewed, and need to go through elements of your life such as: whether you’re married, your occupation, your health history, and your family background. You may also need to discuss your current health.
In turn, you’ll receive information about the child’s history. You may be furnished with medical records or care records. The next step will be going through home studies to ensure that your home is safe for a child.
Note that the actual requirements to adopt a child in Indiana are not that stringent or set in stone. You need to be at least 21 years old, and you can be single, married, or divorced. You don’t need a specific income. You just need to be able to show that you can take care of the child. But the bottom line is going to be whether or not you’re able to provide a safe environment for a child.
How Much Will It Cost to Adopt a Child from a Foster Care Facility?
The cost of adopting a child in Indiana from the foster care system will vary depending on which county you are located in and how much assistance is offered to you. Some agencies offer scholarships and financial aid to help with adoption costs.
When you go through private agencies, you usually need to pay both fees for the home study and fees for placement. These can vary from $20,000 to $30,000 depending on the child.
In general, a public agency adoption should cost around $2,500. A private agency will cost around $25,000. International adoption will cost around $40,000. So, you can see that adopting from foster care is generally less expensive, but it’s still a considerable sum.
How Long Will This Process Take?
This is one of the most common questions that parents ask about adopting children from foster care. While you should expect the entire adoption process to last at least six months, there are no guarantees on how long it may take your case to move forward or be finalized.
There are many variables that could affect the time it takes to adopt a child from foster care. These might include finding an agency, waiting for the right child to become available, and preparing for any home studies or medical exams.
Unfortunately, you can’t speed up this process. By its very nature, it’s a complex one and there are a lot of factors to consider. But having the right legal help can at minimum ensure that the process is not any more drawn out than it has to be.