Are you facing an unplanned pregnancy in Indiana? Are you thinking about adoption? This is a loving choice that offers many benefits for expectant/birth mothers. As you consider this path, you may encounter the term “abandonment laws.” What does this mean? Read on, as we break down abandonment laws in Indiana and how adoption can be a positive path for you.
Adoption has come a long way over the years. Today, the adoption community uses the term “placing baby for adoption” instead of “putting baby up” or “giving baby up” for adoption. Afterall, adoption is anything but giving up. Still, the dated term is often used in pop culture and everyday conversation. If you are thinking about making an adoption plan for your child, you are considering his/her future and putting their needs before your own. You have your child’s best interest at heart, making you a loving mother already.
Understanding Abandonment Laws
In Indiana – and other states around the country – the law clearly states that for a child to be placed for adoption, the expectant/birth mother and legal father (if applicable) must consent to the adoption.
There are two factors wherein the need for consent is negated. This consent is void when one of two scenarios are witnessed: abandonment and failure to communicate. Failure to communicate is only used in context of a child who is in the custody of another person who is not the child’s parent or legal guardian. In this guide, we will focus on abandonment laws in Indiana and what you need to know.
State laws vary when it comes to what qualifies as abandonment. Generally, there needs to be a period during which a parent does not have any contact with their child and does not pay child support. In Indiana, abandonment must last for at least six months immediately preceding the filing of a petition for adoption. If a parent were to leave their child unattended for a weekend, or even a few months, that would not be considered abandonment.
The legal concept of abandonment states that if a person is not acting like a parent, then that person cannot stop a child from being adopted by a person who is ready, willing, and able to parent the child. This concept is commonly used when an expectant/birth mother wants to place her child for adoption, and all that is needed to complete the process is the consent of the biological father.
If a birth father is uninvolved in the child’s life, or is difficult to locate, the abandonment laws in Indiana give the state family court a way to move the adoption proceedings forward while meeting consent requirements.
For guidance through the adoption journey, it is important to seek professional counsel. A full-service adoption agency, such as Adoptions With Love, provides expectant/birth mothers with experienced adoption attorneys at no charge. They can answer any questions you may have about abandonment laws in Indiana and adoption in general.
The Positive Choice of Adoption
If you are thinking about placing your baby for adoption in Indiana, you are considering a brave, selfless, and thoughtless path. Adoption is not right for everyone. It requires much strength, love, and devotion. While it is one of the hardest decisions you will ever have to make, it can be very rewarding. Making an adoption plan for your baby is not abandonment; it is a loving choice.
Expectant/birth mothers who choose adoption can experience the joy in seeing their child grow. At Adoptions With Love, expectant/birth mothers can hand-select their child’s adoptive family. If you wish, you can speak with – or even meet with the prospective parents – before making your final decision.
You can also determine the type of adoption you would like. There are three basic types of adoption plans:
- Open adoption
- Semi-open adoption
- Closed adoption
Most adoptions today are open. This looks different for everyone, open adoption means there is ongoing communication between birth and adoptive families. If you would like to receive updates from your child’s adoptive family with photos and messages via email a few times per year, that can be arranged. After meeting your child’s adoptive parents, you may wish to continue your relationship with texts or phone calls once a month. You may decide to have in-person reunions once a year. The form and frequency can vary, and your adoption specialist can help you find a plan that meets your needs.
If you would rather have a semi-open adoption or a closed adoption, that is okay, too. There is no right or wrong adoption plan. Your adoption counselor at Adoptions With Love can help guide you through this process, free of judgment, pressure, or criticism.
If you would like to learn more about adoption, contact Adoptions With Love today. We can help you every step of the way, including the legal proceedings and adoption plan design. Call us 24/7 to get the help you deserve at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or reach out online.