Thank you for your interest in the Indiana Adoption Program!
To be considered as a potential adoptive placement for a child from Indiana’s foster care system, a family must complete:
-16 hours of Resource/Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT)
-a home study (adoption preparation assessment)
Becoming Recommended to Adopt
Upon completion, your home study preparation agency is responsible for scheduling and presenting your home study to the Indiana Adoption Council to be considered for Recommendation. If you have completed RAPT IV and you have a completed home study, your agency can send your home study to Indiana Adoption Program at DCSAdoption@dcs.in.gov to schedule a time to be presented at Indiana Adoption Council. If your home study is Recommended by vote of the Council, you will receive written confirmation from Indiana Adoption Program.
Recommendation allows a parent to:
receive profiles of children in need of foster and/or adoptive homes
receive child summaries (detailed reports) in response to inquiries
receive invitations to Adoption Meet & Greet Events
The Matching Process
When you see a child/sibling group you are interested in, you may inquire. Upon receiving and reviewing the child summary, if you think the child/ren may be a match for your family, you may then request via e-mail that your home study be forwarded to the child’s Family Case Manager (FCM) for consideration.
* Expressed interest in specific children does not guarantee you will be selected for an interview.
The child’s FCM, with the assistance of others from the child’s treatment 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.
Resource/Adoptive Parent Training (RAPT) is 16 hours of training to prepare a family for adoption. More details can be found here.
The Home Study Process
A home study is an adoption preparation assessment. You will be connected with a social worker who will complete your family’s home study, which includes:
various background checks
financial and medical information
a home visit and an interview
preferences regarding types of children you may be interested in adopting
If you are interested in beginning this process, please complete the Family Informational Form.
Foster Care or Adoption
Nearly all children in foster care have been removed from their families of origin because of alleged abuse or neglect. In general, the primary goal is to remediate the conditions that brought the child into care so that they may return home. Only after such efforts have failed are parental rights terminated. In most cases, once a child is freed for adoption, the child is adopted by relatives or by the foster parents who have been caring for the child. Most states give top priority to relatives and current foster parents when a child becomes legally freed for adoption. In 2009, 86 percent of children adopted from foster care were adopted by relatives or by their foster parents.
Some families are interested in providing foster care (working to reunify the child with the biological family) while others prefer only to adopt. A foster situation may turn into a adoption situation when a child’s case plan changes from reunification with the birth family to adoption, yet the court is still in the legal process of terminating the parental rights (TPR). While the child’s case is in that legal process, a child may move into their pre-adoptive placement so that bonding/attachment can begin to develop. To be considered for children whose TPR is pending, a family must be licensed as a foster home. During the home study process you will be able to discuss all of this with your worker and your worker will write up your home study according to your preferences. An adoption-only family can decide to become licensed for foster care at a later date.
A family may choose to receive information on one of the following:
Foster Care Only (Where a family is willing to support the child’s reunification efforts.)
Adoption Only (Families seeking to adopt children under the age of 5 will not be considered for an adoption only home study through the Indiana Adoption Program. Families interested in adoption of young children are encouraged to consider obtaining a foster care license.)
You can indicate your preference by completing the Family Informational Form or e-mailing your form to your local Adoption Liaison. In the form, you will note the names and birth dates of each household member along with your address and phone number, etc. This information will be used to make the necessary referrals for your RAPT training and/or home study.