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Changes in Indiana Adoption Law (July 2018)

Positive changes are occurring in Indiana adoption law.
A new law will come into effect on July 1, 2018 that will allow adoptees, whose adoptions were completed between 1941 and 1993 (roughly 350,000 Hoosiers), access to their original birth and adoption records. Adoptees born since January 1, 1994, and before July 1941, can already access identifying adoption information. A birth parent can complete a non-release form with the Indiana Department of Health to stop the release of his or her identifying information. The non-release form will protect those birthmothers who wish to remain anonymous.

St. Elizabeth|Coleman (as part of Indiana Adoption Agencies United), and alongside HEAR (Hoosiers for Equal Access to Records), has advocated and actively assisted in the passing of this new law. Katrina, adoptive mom and St. Elizabeth|Coleman's Search and Reunion Specialist, says: "This new legislation will allow our clients to receive information and give them the opportunities to connect with biological relatives. In the past, adoptions were closed. There was little information shared, and post-placement contact was non-existent. This created difficulties for adoptees as they had no health history and no answers to their many questions. Many birth parents also struggled with the lack of information about their child's life or well-being. This legislation will be a life-changer for many of our clients. Through the years there has been a veil of secrecy over adoptions. It is time for that veil to be lifted."

Pam Kroskie, adult adoptee and President of HEAR, explains that: "Under the new law, searches will happen more easily. It's about closure and healing. Adoptees say that lack of completeness leads them to search for their birth parents even when the ties to their adoptive families are strong."
If you have questions regarding this new law, please contact Katrina Carlisle at kcarlisle@secindy.org or visit our website http://www.givingbirthtohope.org/search--reunion-stories

"Hi Katrina,
Tomorrow marks one year since I received a phone call from you letting me know that Andrew was looking for me. There was always a missing piece of my heart. In May, Andrew came to Indiana where he was welcomed into our family. I have also been in touch with Andrew's mom and look forward to a day when I can hug her and tell her thank you. In short, I want you to know how grateful I am to you for your part in the healing of my heart and soul. This was a burden that I carried for 33 years. Now, I feel fully happy and healed.
Bless You!"


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