Frequently Asked Questions
What do I have to do to adopt from the Indiana Adoption Program?
Families must be licensed in order to be considered as a potential adoptive placement for a child from Indiana’s foster care system. Families may obtain a foster license, or request a license only for adoption. Requirements include:
1. Completing 16 hours of Resource/Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT I – IV). RAPT I – III are required of all licensed families, regardless of interest in adopting. RAPT IV is required only for families who wish to adopt.
2. Having a licensed child placing agency (LCPA) or Indiana DCS complete your family’s adoption preparation assessment (home study), which will include various background checks, financial and medical information, along with biographical information and preferences regarding types of children you may be interested in adopting.
Upon becoming licensed, your worker can submit your home study and other required paperwork and request that you be recommended to adopt. By becoming Recommended you will:
Be invited to adoption Meet & Greet events! These are fun and interactive ways for prospective parents to meet kids in foster care who have a plan of adoption.
Have access to our Parent Portal where you can view the Child Summaries of both Legally Free and TPR-pending children.
If your preparation agency has questions about the Recommendation process, please have them contact us by email at iap@fireflyIN.org.
How many children and youth are in Indiana Adoption Program?
On any given day, there are approximately 150 waiting children and youth on the Indiana Adoption Program photo listing. However, the only waiting children who can be shown on a public photo listing are ones who are considered legally free. Any child or youth whose parents have had their parental rights terminated can be shown on the photo listing. There are many children, however, who have a plan of adoption, but the courts have not yet terminated parental rights. Those cases are referred to as “Legal Risk” or “TPR-pending.” While a child’s case is in the TPR process, that child cannot be shown on a public photo listing.
Parents who have been recommended to adopt in Indiana have access to our secure parent portal, where they can view children and sibling groups who are considered TPR-pending.
How long does it take to adopt a child?
Most adoptive parents can meet all state preparation requirements in 6-12 months. However, adoption can take time and is dependent on many variables. It is likely that you did not arrive at the decision to adopt quickly; likewise, the process from preparation to placement takes some time.
It will take some time to find a child that is a good match for your family and your family’s lifestyle. Once a child is identified, their move with an adoptive family is based on the child’s needs to make a stable and lasting transition.
Typically, 2 or 3 families may be interviewed for a particular child or sibling group and the interview team will select the family they feel can best meet the needs of that individual child. The final decision always rests with the court.
I live outside the United States. Can I adopt from Indiana Adoption Program?
Indiana Adoption Program does not process inquiries from or place children with families outside of the United States. Indiana Department of Child Services is responsible for the safety of children in foster care in Indiana, and must be able to conduct home visits to ensure a successful and healthy transition for a child. Since Indiana Department of Child Services would not have jurisdiction outside of the United States, it is not possible for children and youth in Indiana Adoption Program to be placed with a family in another country.
We encourage those interested in international adoption to consult an attorney for specific information about the process.
Can I adopt more than one child at a time?
It is best practice to transition only one child or sibling group at a time into a family for the purpose of adoption.
If you already have a child(ren) placed in your home pre-adoptively, please do not request consideration for additional pre-adoptive placements until the adoption of your current child/ren has been finalized.
Which agency should prepare my home for foster care and/or adoption?
Indiana Adoption Program partners with offices and agencies across the state. We encourage you to research your local DCS offices and your local Licensed Child Placing Agencies to determine the best fit for you.
You can find contact information for your local DCS office on the DCS website. You can also find a list of licensed child placing agencies (LCPAs) in Indiana on the DCS website.
How does a family get matched with a child?
After a Recommended family reviews a Child Summary on our Parent Portal, they may choose to make an inquiry on the child or sibling group by clicking the green button within the child’s profile which reads: “I am interested in being considered as a potential match for this child.”
Then, the child’s Family Case Manager (FCM), with the assistance of others from the child’s team, will review the Recommended Home Studies that have been submitted. They will select families to interview for the child. Once a family is interviewed and recommended for a child, the visits/transition will begin. The transition plan will vary depending on each child’s situation and this will be discussed during the interview process.
The child will then be placed with a family, usually for a minimum of 6 months, before the family proceeds to finalizing the adoption. There are various supportive services that can be put in place to help support the child and family through the transition process, placement, and post-adoption finalization.
What is adoption subsidy?
Some of the children in the Indiana Adoption Program are eligible for the Federal Adoption Assistance Program (AAP). A child has to meet the eligibility requirements set by the federal government to be eligible for this program. The Central Eligibility Unit (CEU) is responsible for the administration and determination of eligibility for the Indiana Adoption Program (877.265.0086 or Centralized.Eligibility@dcs.IN.gov).
If a child is eligible, you may receive a monthly payment and Medicaid for the child after adoption. The child’s Family Case Manager will provide the application to you at the appropriate time. Your attorney can assist you with the application process. You can find more information about the Adoption Assistance Program on the DCS website.
Recommendations regarding the subsidy process:
Retain the services of an adoption-competent attorney to represent you in the adoption process. They need to be knowledgeable about filing an adoption petition, scheduling and representing you in subsidy negotiations if the child is eligible for the Adoption Assistance Program (AAP), finalizing AAP agreements, and submitting all other required paperwork.
The family has the right to review the child’s DCS adoption file prior to finalization.
Be aware that all subsidy paperwork must be completed prior to adoption finalization.