Adoption rate in Indiana is higher in the last three years than it has been since 2009 (based on the available data from Indiana Department of Child Services). Since 2018, the number of adoptions crossed the 2,000 mark. Last year, Indiana DCS granted 2,317 adoptions — only 89 adoptions short of 2019.

Indiana ranks highest in the country for the number of adoptions from foster care. The state has been committed to streamlining the adoption process, but it maintained the steps necessary for ensuring that adoptive parents are thoroughly vetted.

A practicing family court lawyer in Indianapolis can give you valuable legal advice and guidance as you go through the process of adoption. One of the areas where their input will be valuable is in fulfilling the licensing requirements of the state.

Licensing for Fostering

The state doesn’t require adults to have a spouse to become a foster parent. Applicants are only required to fulfill and submit the licensing packet issued by their county of residence.

These are the basic requirements for becoming a licensed foster parent in the state of Indiana:

  • At least 21 years old
  • Must pass a criminal history and background check
  • Be able to prove financial stability
  • Own or rent a house that meets the state’s standards for safety and other relevant metrics
  • Must be a resident of Indiana (non-residents who wish to adopt a child born in Indiana must file in their state of residence)
  • Complete the requisite 10 hours of Resource & Adoptive Parents Training (RAPT I, RAPT II, and RAPT III)
  • Fill out the forms and provide other documentary requirements in the licensing packet
  • Submit the licensing packet to the DCS

A DCS foster care representative will get in touch after you submit the licensing packet. Expect a visit to your home as they will have to verify the details of your application.

The representative will interview you and the rest of your household, ask questions about your routines, family dynamics, expectations, goals, and so forth. We recommend that you be as honest and transparent as possible with your child services officer.

They will also check your home arrangements and make sure that you can provide an appropriate and safe environment for any potential foster child.

All of these are part of the home study that all foster parents should participate in and pass in to receive their license to foster in Indiana. The entire process can take some time; completing the three-inch licensing packet in itself can be challenging. But if you’re determined and driven to provide a good home for children who need it most, you can overcome the difficulties and work with the DCS.

You can also hire an Indiana family court attorney to help with your license application. Experienced lawyers can help make the process faster and smoother with their guidance and tips on how to make your house the best home for foster children.

Licensing for Adoption

Indiana residents who wish to adopt a child in the state and foster parents who want to make their foster kids become legal members of their family must first apply for a license to adopt in the state.

The requirements for an adoption license are similar to the requirements for a fostering license, but with a few differences:

  • Complete 16 hours of adoptive parent training instead of 10
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass a child services background check
  • Participate in and pass a home study conducted by an Indiana DCS representative

Obtaining a license for adoption may be faster if you’re already a licensed foster parent. If it’s your first time filing an application with the DCS, we recommend working with a family court lawyer so that you don’t overlook or make mistakes in your licensing packet.

Always keep in your mind and heart your reason for wanting to foster or adopt a child. It will see you through any roadblock in the licensing process.

Our attorneys Indiana family court attorneys at Taylor Chadd Minnette Schneider & Clutter PC are always ready to assist you on this matter. Call us at 765.361.9680 or get in touch via our contact form.