The Indiana Court of Appeals issued a decision today in In Re the Adoption of S.Z. In Indiana, both biological parents must consent to an adoption or the potential adoptive parents must show that the consent is not required. To prove the consent is not required, the adoptive parent can show one of three things: (1) that the child was abandoned for 6 months, (2) that the biological parent failed to communicate significantly with the child when able to do so or (3) that the biological parent failed to provide for the care and support of the child when able to do so.
In this case, the trial court found that the biological mother’s consent was required because she had not abandoned the child, had not failed to communicate with the child, and, while the mother had not provided any support for the child, the adoptive parent had not proven she was able to support the child.
Cairns & Rabiola had the pleasure of representing the potential adoptive parent in his appeal. The Court of Appeals found that the trial court had made a number of erroneous findings and most importantly that the Court’s ultimate conclusion that biological mother’s consent was requried was erroneous and should be reversed and remanded. The trial court will now address the issue of whether the adoption is in the child’s best interest.