FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Some Indiana counties have an adoption backlog which can keep families waiting a year, while other counties can complete the process in 90 days – a critical difference in a child’s ability to bond with her parents.
AJ Fitch and Barbara Molargik-Fitch experienced that wait as they began their adoption process in 2018. Molargik-Fitch is a corporate attorney and “noticed some things about Indiana law that could be improved upon to make Indiana more adoption friendly.”
Her suggestion? Allow a family with completed paperwork to move its uncontested adoption to a quicker county. The change would benefit proactive families and the counties with too many cases.
“This law is going to allow uncontested adoptions to be finalized faster,’ she explains, “so children can be in their forever families faster and don’t have to wait.”
She took her idea to Indiana Rep. Martin Carbaugh (R, Fort Wayne), who was able to guide it through the legislative process.
“Empowering adoptive parents with the ability to bring these children home quicker just makes sense because adoption is an extremely emotional process for both the parents and the child,” Carbaugh emailed WANE 15 through a spokesman. “As adoptive parents, my wife and I know the process is generally long and filled with emotional ups and downs. For us it was tough, but for children waiting to become part of a forever home, even one day longer is too much. This law helps children move on with their lives, begin to heal from the past and become part of a family again.”
The bill was signed by Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb on April 29 and takes effect July 1.