Fostering or adopting a child in Indiana may prove rewarding and fulfilling for you as well as the fostered or adopted child. Still, you must meet certain eligibility requirements to move forward. The adoption process also varies based on whether you seek to adopt an infant, an older child or a child who hails from another nation.
Regardless of the age and nationality of the child you wish to foster or adopt, you may find that the process is complex. Do not let this deter you: With more than 13,000 children currently eligible for adoption in Indiana alone, there is an urgent need for parents to care for them.
Licensing requirements for foster parents
You do not have to have a spouse to foster a child in Indiana, but you do have to complete 10 hours of training before moving forward with the process. You also must complete and submit a licensing packet within your home county.
You must undergo a background check and another review conducted by Indiana’s Child Protective Services before becoming a foster parent in the state. You must also take part in a home study that involves a county or agency representative visiting your home to make sure it is an appropriate environment for a fostered child.
Licensing requirements for adoptive parents
If you wish to become an adoptive parent, you must complete an application packet and submit it to the county or agency handling your adoption case. You must also finish 16 hours of adoptive parent training and pass a criminal and child services background check before moving forward with the adoption. As is the case with a prospective foster parent, you also must undergo a home study before becoming eligible to adopt in Indiana.
When completing your applications and participating in your home study, make sure to be transparent about all aspects of your life. By staying honest and producing all required paperwork on time and in its entirety, you may be able to streamline the process and increase your chances of a favorable outcome.