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What legal services can KidsFirst help with?

Interstate Adoptions
Stepparent Adoption
Relative or Kinship Adoption
Recognition of Foreign Adoption
International Adoption

 

Steve Pecar is one of the founders of KidsFirst Adoption and has provided adoption services for over 20 years. He is an experienced adoption attorney and has been involved in over 800 adoptions, both domestic and international, since KidsFirst was formed in 1998. Mr. Pecar has attained an “AV Preeminent” rating, the highest available, from Martindale Hubbell’s listing of attorneys rated by skill and ethics among their peers.

The types adoption, and the laws governing each type, can be very confusing for all involved.

In most cases, adoptions can be categorized as one of the following. The adoption types that KidsFirst can assist with are explained below.

  • Adoption Matching Services
  • Private or Direct Placements (In-State)
  • Interstate Adoptions
  • Stepparent Adoption
  • Relative or Kinship
  • Recognition of Foreign Adoption (Re-adoption)
  • International Adoption

Adoption Agency Matching Services

KidsFirst Adoption works with biological parents who desire to make an adoption plan. These are adoptions where the agency provides family profiles to the biological parent(s) and the biological parents select the adopting parent(s) who will adopt his or her child.

In Indiana, these placements may require that some background information be exchanged, although the biological and adoptive parents may elect not to exchange identifying information, such as last names and addresses. Usually some type of ongoing arrangement, although generally not legally binding, is established. For instance, the biological parent(s) may desire to receive pictures or letters about the child after the adoptive placement, and in some instances, may hope to schedule video calls or physical visitations. Although these types of adoption arrangements are generally not legally binding, we consider it a moral obligation of adoptive parents to stand by any agreement they make with biological parents. KidsFirst Adoption will help adoptive parents resolve these arrangements with the biological parents, as well as assist with all other issues for the biological parents, including but not limited to, arranging insurance coverage for the medical care of the mother and baby, setting doctor’s appointments and providing transportation to the appointments, helping the biological mother when she needs food or clothing, and managing the disbursement of financial assistance the biological mother may be entitled to under Indiana law.

For more information about KidsFirst Adoption’s matching services, please click here.

Private or Direct Placements (In-State)

These are adoptions where the biological parent(s) select the adopting parent(s) who will adopt his or her child. Often, adoptive parents may find biological parents who are interested in making an adoption plan and may need an attorney to meet with the biological mother after birth to take the required adoption consents. The attorney can then file the petition in Indiana. These placements may require that some background information be exchanged, although the biological and adoptive parents may choose not to exchange identifying information, such as last names and addresses. Usually some type of ongoing arrangement, although generally not legally binding, is established. For instance, the biological parent(s) may desire to receive pictures or letters about the child after the adoptive placement, and in some instances, may hope to schedule video calls or physical visitations.

Each adoption is impacted by various factors, and it is important that you seek the aid of a skilled adoption lawyer to ensure that your process is completed as effortlessly as possible.

Interstate Adoptions

These are adoptions in which the child is born in, or resides in, one state and the adoptive parent(s) reside in a different state. Because the laws of both states need to be satisfied, there is greater complexity to these cases. Adoptive parents are not permitted to return home from the state in which the child resides until the approval of the interstate offices of both states has been obtained pursuant to Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).

It is important that you seek the aid of a skilled adoption lawyer to ensure that your process is completed as quickly as possible so that you can return home with your child.

Stepparent Adoption

These are adoptions in which one spouse desires to adopt the child of the other spouse, generally with the other spouse’s consent. As with any adoption, the adopting parent will have all of the rights and obligations of a biological parent, including the obligation to care for, educate and financially support the child, and the adopted child will have all rights of a natural child, including the right to inherit. In many cases, these adoptions are simple (if the other biological parent is (i) deceased, (ii) is the biological father and his identity is unknown, (iii) has had little or no contact with the child, (iv) has not properly cared for the child despite having the ability to do so, or (v) willingly agrees to consent to the adoption). These cases are filed in a probate court having jurisdiction and can be completed fairly quickly.

However, under Indiana law, the natural parent, if known, is required to be notified of the stepparent’s intention to adopt the child and is given the opportunity to object to the adoption. If an objection is made, the adoption may be more difficult but is still possible. If the natural parent has had little or no contact with the child or has not properly cared for the child despite having the ability to do so, his or her consent may not be required.

An experienced adoption lawyer will help you determine the steps that are necessary to assure that your stepparent adoption is completed as effortlessly as possible.

Relative or Kinship

Often, biological parents have children they are unable to care for due to drug addiction, incarceration or other issues affecting their ability to parent. In such cases, it may be preferable to have a relative (like a grandparent) or someone close to the family (like close family friends or godparents) care for the child(ren) on a temporary or permanent basis.

An experienced adoption lawyer can help you to understand the differences between adoption and guardianship to come up with the best solution for your situation.

Recognition of Foreign Adoption (Re-adoption)

Indiana gives full recognition to adoptions that are completed in another country, as long as the laws of the child’s home country laws and U.S. laws were followed. Whether or not you will be required to complete an adoption in Indiana or merely file a foreign adoption decree into an Indiana court will depend upon the circumstances of your individual adoption.

If your adoption was finalized in your child’s country of origin and your child entered the United States on an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, we can simply file the adoption decree into the court and obtain an Indiana birth certificate. We can also, if necessary, complete a change of your child’s name as part of this process. These cases do not require that the adoptive family attend a court hearing.

If your adoption was not finalized in the child’s country of origin and your child entered the United States on an IR-4 or IH-4 visa, the adoption will have to be finalized in a court in the state of Indiana.

Mr. Pecar has been the Assistant Director of KidsFirst Adoption for over 20 years and has been involved in over 600 international adoptions. He has completed countless recognitions of foreign adoption and has finalized many international adoptions in Indiana courts.

International Adoption

KidsFirst International Adoption works with adoptive parents desiring to adopt a child from another country. KidsFirst International is a Hague-accredited Approved Service Provider and is knowledgeable in navigating the laws of the United States for the immigration of adopted children as well as the laws of many of the countries in which we have worked. KidsFirst has completed over 600 adoptions from other countries, including Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Guatemala, Ethiopia, Bulgaria and other countries. KidsFirst has also completed home studies for families adopting from dozens of other countries.

For more information about KidsFirst Adoption’s international adoption services and the international programs currently offered by KidsFirst, please click here.

 

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Parenting Internationally Adopted Children

Adoptive Family Resource Packet (from KidsFirst)

This is a broad resource guide to:

      • Medical and Counseling Contacts
      • Adoption-Friendly Language
      • Adoption Books
      • Funding Resources for Adoption
      • Promoting Attachment and Bonding
      • Embracing Culture, Heritage, and Race
      • Arriving Home with Your Child
      • Creating a Life Book

Dr Federici’s 10 Session Series on Raising Challenging Children

Dr Federici speaks to the challenges of raising young people successfully out of orphanages and the special challenges and successful strategies for growing them to adulthood. This 10 video series on Vimeo is available for pay-per-view download.

Dr. Federici’s Help For The Hopeless Child​

A Guide for Families (with Special Discussion for Assessing and Treating the Post-Institutionalized Child)

Adopting the Hurt Child: Hope for Families with Special-Needs Kids

A Guide for Parents and Professionals by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky can be purchased on Amazon.com

Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by Gregory Keck and Regina Kupecky

This paperback offers effective suggestions, wisdom, and advice to parent the hurt child in your life and can be purchased on Amazon.com.

Health and Developmental Considerations for Children Adopted Internationally

Adoption Medicine: Improving the Health and Wellbeing of Adopted Children

Todd (2016)
Adoption Advocate, 92
Offers an overview of adoption medicine, including the roles pediatricians and specialized adoption medicine physicians play before, during, and after the adoption process.

Health Considerations

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Provides information about the health of children adopted from other countries and the health information that is provided to prospective adoptive parents. Describes the medical exam required for all internationally adopted children.

International Adoption: Immigrant and Refugee Health

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Discusses health problems that may be present in children adopted internationally and links to news resources relating to health considerations for these children.

International Adoption Project

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

Medical Issues in Adopted Children: How Can Adoption Agencies Best Support Parents Before, During, and After Adoption?

Schulte (2020)
Adoption Advocate, 142
Compiles information for adoption professionals and parents on handling medical conditions or medical issues in adopted children and when an adoption medicine physician should be involved.
Preadoption and Postadoption Medical Assessments

Adopting a Child From Another Country (Intercountry Adoption)

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Outlines medical considerations for when adopting a child from another country and highlights the importance of medical reviews as part of the process.

Comprehensive Health Evaluation of the Newly Adopted Child

Jones, Schulte, & Council on Foster Care, Adoption, and Kinship Care (2019)
Pediatrics, 143(5)
Addresses the elements of a complete health evaluation of a newly adopted child, including the preadoption visit, current and past medical history, and referral for diagnostic evaluation.

International Adoption Medicine (S1:E18)Podcast]

Children's Hospital Colorado (2017)
Offers a podcast featuring experts in the field of international adoption discussing medical support for families adopting internationally. The discussion explores why international adoptions require a different medical approach than domestic adoptions and why pre- and postadoption medical assessments are necessary. The podcast also discusses expectations and guidelines for these assessments, and more.

Internationally Adopted Children: Important Information for Parents

HealthyChildren.org
Provides an overview of medical evaluations for children adopted from other countries, including what to expect during the first medical visit, a checklist of what a doctor should do, information on growth and nutritional issues, and more.

Medical Examination

U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs
Reviews how prospective adoptive parents should request a comprehensive medical evaluation of their adopted child and should be aware of the unique health issues children adopted internationally may face.

The Role of Pre-Placement Medical Review in Contemporary Adoptions: Setting Expectations, Assessing a Child's Needs, and Supporting Successful Family Formation

Johnson (2019)
Adoption Advocate, 131
Discusses pediatricians' roles in the adoption process and describes how new knowledge about adversity in early childhood has expanded the medical field's understanding about risk factors for medical, developmental, emotional, and behavioral issues in adopted children.

Intercountry adoption clinics and doctors

Foster Care, Domestic and International Adoption

University of Minnesota
Describes a clinic that specializes in medical services for children who were adopted internationally.

International Adoption Center

Cincinnati's Children Hospital Medical Center
Describes the services provided by the Center, including pre-adoption consultation, postadoption evaluation, and its research program.

International Adoption Clinic

Johns Hopkins All Children's Hospital
Provides services before, during, and after international adoption to help assess and manage medical needs commonly seen in adoptions from other countries.

International Adoption Health Program

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Supports the healthcare needs of families who have adopted internationally and provides pre- and postadoption counseling, therapy, and other services for children with special developmental needs.

International Adoption Medical Clinics

International Adoption Help (2017)
Supplies a directory of clinics and doctors who specialize in international adoption medicine.

Program Specific Information about Children Available

International Adoption Children Info (from KidsFirst)​

Support for Birth Injuries

Birth Injury Resources

            Sokolove Law is an established national law firm and has decades of experience handling birth injury medical malpractice claims. Sokolove's lawyers   
            understand the suffering that families affected by birth injuries go through. They will work with families to understand their unique situation
            and fight for compensation.

CHIP Handbook of Help

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more. 

INDYCOC

HandBook of Help Download

            A reference handbook that provides multiple direct providers by sections such as: housing, healthcare, food pantries and more.