Indiana

Indiana

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

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Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 31-19-22-2

The following persons may request the release of identifying information:

  • An adult adopted person
  • A birth parent
  • An adoptive parent
  • The spouse or relative of a deceased adopted person
  • The spouse or relative of a deceased birth parent

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 31-19-17-3; 31-19-17-5

The person, licensed child-placing agency, or county office shall release all available social, medical, psychological, and educational records concerning the child to:

  • The prospective adoptive parent or adoptive parent
  • Upon request, the adopted person who is at least age 21 and provides proof of identification

The report shall exclude information that would identify the birth parents unless the adoptive parent, prospective adoptive parent, or adopted person who requests the information knows the identity of the birth parents.

For an adoption that was granted before July 1, 1993: Upon the request of an adopted person who is at least age 21, the licensed child-placing agency or a county office shall provide to the adopted person available information of social, medical, psychological, and educational records and reports. Information that would identify the birth parents shall be excluded from the report unless an adopted person already knows the identity of the birth parents.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 31-19-22-2; 31-19-25-2; 31-19-25-2.5; 31-19-25-3

Identifying information may not be released unless the adult adopted person and the birth parent have submitted a written consent to the State Registrar or the person from whom the identifying information is requested that allows the release of the information to the individual requesting the information.

Identifying information for an adopted person who is younger than age 21 may not be released unless the adopted person’s adoptive parent has submitted a written consent for the release of identifying information.

For adoptions after December 31, 1993: Identifying information shall be released only if the adopted person has submitted a written consent to the State Registrar or the person who has requested the release of identifying information. If the adopted person is younger than age 21, identifying information may not be released unless the adopted person’s adoptive parent has submitted a written consent for the release of identifying information.

A birth parent may restrict access to his or her identifying information by filing a written nonrelease form with the State Registrar. The nonrelease form:

  • Remains in effect during the period indicated by the individual submitting the form
  • Is renewable
  • May be withdrawn at any time by the individual who submitted the form

The nonrelease form is no longer in effect if the birth parent consents in writing to the release of identifying information and has not withdrawn that consent. A nonrelease form is no longer in effect if the birth parent who filed the nonrelease form is deceased unless the nonrelease form specifically states that the nonrelease form remains in effect after the birth parent’s death.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 31-19-13-2

The original birth certificate is withheld from inspection except for a child adopted by a stepparent or as provided in statutes pertaining to release of identifying information.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Indiana Adoption History Registry, Indiana State Department of Health, Vital Statistics

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

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Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-17-2; 31-19-17-3
A person, licensed child-placing agency, or county Office of Family and Children shall prepare all required reports.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-17-3; 31-19-17-4; 31-19-2-7
All available social, medical, psychological, and educational records concerning the child shall be released to the prospective adoptive parent.A medical report of the health status and medical histories of the child sought to be adopted and of the child’s birth parents must include neonatal, psychological, physiological, and medical care history. The report shall be sent to the prospective adoptive parents.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann Code § 31-19-17-2
A report shall be prepared that summarizes the available medical, psychological, and educational records concerning the birth parents. The report shall exclude information that would identify the birth parents unless the prospective adoptive parents know the identity of the birth parents.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Code §§ 31-19-2-7; 31-19-17-2
The report concerning birth parents shall be given to the prospective adoptive parents:

  • At the time the home study or evaluation concerning the suitability of the proposed home for the child is commenced
  • As soon as practical after the prospective adoptive parents are matched with the birth mother
  • With the consent of the prospective adoptive parents, no later than 30 days after the child is placed with the adoptive parents

The medical report of the health status and medical history of the child and the child’s birth parents must accompany a petition for adoption or be filed no later than 60 days after the filing of a petition for adoption.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 29-1-2-8
For all purposes of intestate succession, an adopted child shall cease to be treated as a child of the birth parent(s) and any previous adopting parent(s). However, if a birth parent of a child born in or out of wedlock marries the adopting parent, the adopted child shall inherit from the child’s birth parent as though the child had not been adopted, and from the child’s adoptive parent as though the child were their birth child. In addition, if a person who is related to a child within the sixth degree adopts the child, the child shall upon the occasion of each death in the child’s family have the right of inheritance through the child’s birth parents or adopting parents, whichever is greater in value in each case.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Code § 29-1-2-8
For all purposes of intestate succession, an adopted child shall be treated as a natural child of the child’s adopting parent(s).

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Code § 29-1-3-8
When a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children who were adopted after the making the will, the child shall receive a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate, unless it appears from the will that such omission was intentional, or unless when the will was executed the testator had one or more children known to him or her to be living and bequeathed substantially all his or her estate to the spouse who survives him or her.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Code § 31-19-28-1

Whenever a person is adopted outside Indiana, under the laws of the State, territory, or country where the adoption took place:

  • The adoption decree, when filed with the clerk of the court of any county in Indiana and when entered upon the order book of the court in open session, has the same force and effect as if the adoption decree were made in accordance with this article.
  • The adoptee has the same rights and is capable of taking by inheritance, upon the death of the adoptive parent, property located in Indiana, as though the person had been adopted according to the laws of Indiana.

The adoptee may request a new name in a petition filed under this section.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.


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