Thursday, January 16, 2014

Prohibiting Adoption following Termination of Parental Rights - 2014 Indiana Senate Bill 27

16 January 2014

Senators Broden, Steele, and Zakas have introduced one of the simplest but a significant piece of legislation. Here it is in its entirety with both words that are the changes shown in bold.

Sec. 6. The court may [insert]not, hear and grant a petition for adoption [strike]even if an appeal of a decision regarding the termination of the parent-child relationship is pending.

This amendment is based upon an appellate court ruling last year [C.A.B. v. J.D.M., 992 N.E.2d 687 (Ind. 2013)] that reversed a termination of parental rights which subsequently invalidated the adoption. The original language was added in 1997 long before I was offering my analysis of child custody laws. I would have certainly objected to any language that allows for a permanent displacement of a child before the judicial process has been exhausted.

This bill has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. I strongly urge support for this bill.

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