When you decide to grow your family through adoption, you may wonder what comes next. What requirements do you have to meet, which courses do you have to take and what federal and state screenings must you pass? American Adoptions explores the state’s adoption requirements in detail.

Indiana’s adoption requirements are relatively lenient. That said, there are dozens of adoption agencies throughout the state, and each has its own set of requirements. In addition to meeting state criteria, you will also have to meet those of the agency with which you choose to work.

The state allows both married couples and single individuals to adopt a child. However, individual agencies may have stricter requirements. For instance, American Adoptions requires married couples to have been married for at least two years before beginning the adoption process. Likewise, though the state does not have restrictions for LGBT couples, some agencies might.

Indiana requires aspiring parents to undergo an FBI fingerprint check and to complete a home study. You must also complete 16 hours of training, additional criminal background checks and CPS checks. The county or agency you go through will also issue you an application packet, which you must complete.

The state does not list any age requirements for adoptive parents in its legislature. However, most agencies do, with most requiring adoptive parents be at least 18 years of age, with some setting the minimum age at 21. The state is lenient on its marriage and age requirements because it wants to ensure every child has a safe and loving home.

Though it does not have age or marital requirements, Indiana does have residency requirements. Only Indiana residents can adopt within the state. If you are from out-of-state and wish to adopt a child from Indiana, you must go through your residential state to do so. The only exception to this rule is if the child is “hard to place.” Factors that make a child “hard to place” include age, race, medical condition, ethnicity or sibling group.

You should not use the contents of this article as legal advice. It is for educational purposes only.