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Committee Eyes Streamlined Adoption Process

A study committee this summer will look at streamlining Indiana’s adoption process to further Governor Mike Pence’s goal of promoting adoption in the state.

Legislation passed this year funds a new adoption tax credit, about one thousand dollars per adopted child.  It also creates an adoption study committee made up of people with experience in the field, including representatives from the Department of Child Services and adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and judges with adoption case experience. 

Syracuse Republican Representative Rebecca Kubacki, who authored the bill, says the committee will look at how other states handle adoptions in an effort to simplify Indiana’s process that she says has gotten too complicated.

“There is just so much duplication when it comes to fingerprinting and forms to be filled out," Kubacki said. "A lot of the steps are just unnecessary.”

Some in the adoption field say Indiana’s next steps also need to include restoration of the state adoption subsidy.  Indiana is one of only two states that doesn’t provide that money.

Pence says he anticipates funding the subsidy will be a subject of debate.

“I just am very anxious to identify policy, including resources, that Indiana might be able to identify that will achieve my objective of making Indiana the most pro-adoption state in the country,” Pence said.

The committee’s report is due in November.  Kubacki says that’s so the General Assembly can enact next session any legislative changes that might be necessary.

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.