CAAC Speaker Denise Safford Talks About Adoption In Indiana


Denise Safford is the Adoption & Mental Health Coordinator for Marion Superior Court 8, Probate Division as well as an adoption advocate. She will often be the one processing your adoption paperwork if you reside in the Indianapolis area. Attending her session, entitled “Adoption in Indiana,” is a great opportunity for adoptive parents, prospective adoptive parents and adoption professionals to gain knowledge about Indiana law as it applies to domestic and international adoption. Social work professionals will also benefit from attending this session, as Denise will discuss what the Court is looking for in home study assessments that are submitted for the purposes of adoption.

Denise will be speaking about both the domestic and international adoption process in Indiana. Domestic adoption is largely based on state law, while international adoption involves four areas of law: state, federal, foreign and international. In international adoption, state law book-ends the adoption process, governing the home study and re-adoption process. The home study is the first step for most adoptions. Indiana’s law requires that very specific checks and items be included in the home study including: state criminal background checks, child protective services checks, physical examinations, employment verification, etc. With respect to international adoption, Denise will also discuss the process of re-adoption in Indiana, which occurs after the child comes home. The legal process of readoption is where the Court accepts the foreign decree of adoption as if the child was adopted in the State of Indiana. Denise will discuss the importance of readoption in safeguarding the best interests of the adopted child.

Denise will also discuss the domestic adoption process, including the rights of both the expectant parents and the prospective adoptive parents. Both federal and state law affords certain rights to expectant parents and adoptive parents. According to the laws of Indiana, the biological father is entitled to notice of the adoption; the biological mother is entitled to decide not to move forward with an adoption after the birth of the child and can only consent to the adoption after the child is born. Once valid notice and consent is given, the Court can complete the full adoption creating a new permanent family for the child. This process and it’s rationale will be discussed in detail at the Adoption in Indiana session.

Denise brings years of experience in working on adoptions in Indiana’s Court system. She is also a volunteer for The Fatherless Foundation, Inc. and has traveled to Guatemala to provide assistance to orphans in the Country. We are thrilled to have Denise on board to bring her experience and the Court’s perspective on adoption to the Crossroads of America Adoption Conference September 30 – October 1, 2011.

MLJ Adoptions is a Non-Profit, Hague-Accredited adoption service provider located in Indianapolis, Indiana, working in Africa, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Pacific Isles. We are passionate about serving children in need.