Would it surprise you to learn that nearly seven percent of Indiana children live with their grandparents? Like many grandparents, you may want custody or to adopt your grandchildren, especially if they are in danger or their parents abandoned them.
As a close relative, you do receive preference in the adoption process. Therefore, this is what you should know about grandparent adoptions in Indiana.
Termination of parental rights requirement
To adopt your grandchildren, their biological parents need to give up their parental rights or the court needs to take them. The courts may remove children from their parents’ homes due to substance abuse, death, abandonment, incarceration, mental health challenges, poverty, irresponsibility, death and mental, physical or emotional abuse of the child.
Teens who become pregnant, terminally ill parents or those who suffer from other challenges may also voluntarily revoke their parental rights.
Although the process is shorter for you as a grandparent than if you wanted to adopt someone unrelated to you, you do still have to prove you have the financial, physical and mental capacity to care for the children. You need to have the ability to provide health insurance and education as well.
The adoption process
The adoption is private, but you need to notify the parents and get their consent if they still have their parental rights. Prepare for a fight if the parents do not consent.
You may have to complete a home study and submit paperwork proving that you can adequately care for the children and are healthy enough to care for them until they are legal adults. Then, you need to sit through a hearing or trial for approval.
The courts always focus on the best interests of the children. Therefore, consider your circumstances before you start the process.