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Indiana Department of Child Services

DCS  > Adoption  > FAQ Frequently Asked Questions

Definition of adoption

The voluntary acceptance of a child of other parents to be the same as one's own child.

Who Can Adopt A Child?

To be an adoptive parent, you don't have to be extraordinary.  Adoptive parents can be "everyday" people.  They…..

  • like kids
  • are accepting of a child with a past family history
  • are willing to commit to a child for a lifetime
  • will advocate for their child's needs
  • can show affection in healthy ways to a child that has been abused and/or neglected
  • can find non-physical ways of discipline.
  • are comfortable with setting good boundaries, limits, and rules for children when necessary
  • feel good about being a parent
  • are flexible to new situations and adventures
  • find pleasure in small gains and successes in a child's life. 

What are the requirements to become an adoptive parent?
There are some "cut in stone" requirements. Adoptive parents are asked to provide an adequate and loving home for an adopted child.  An adoptive parent …

  • can be single, married, or divorced
  • might have biological or previously adopted children
  • is financially ready to add children to their family. (There is no specific income requirement and some children may be eligible for financial assistance and medical insurance.)
  • has enough room for an additional person in their home. (A "home-visit" is required)
  • must be able to pass a FBI fingerprint check and fulfill all training requirements.

Who are children with special needs?
A "special needs child" is:

  • A child who is two (2) years of age or older; or
  • A child who is a member of a sibling group of two or more children of which at least one is two (2) years of age or older and who will be placed with the sibling group in the same home; or,
  • A child with a medical condition or a physical, mental, or emotional disability as determined by a physician or psychiatrist licensed to practice in Indiana or another state.

Children eligible for adoption come in all ages and races; males and females. Many of them are over the age of 6 years old. The majority of children that are available are between the ages of 11 to 16 and male.  Another large group of children waiting for adoptive families are sibling groups, which may be as little 2 children or many more.  Many of the available children do have medical or emotional special needs.

How long does it take to adopt a child?

Adoption can take time and is dependent on many variables. Most adoptive parents can meet all state requirements in 3 to 6 months.   Once a child is identified their move with an adoptive family is based on the child's need to make a stable and lasting transition. The final decision always rests with the court.

How can a person get more information on adoption and available children?

Please call 1-888-25-ADOPT.

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