STATEHOUSE (April 25, 2017) – Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has signed Senate Enrolled Act 332, which is aimed at improving state adoption laws. Authored by State Sen. Joe Zakas (R-Granger), the bill would disallow the use of other states’ laws to establish paternity as a way to circumvent Indiana statutes.
“This type of ‘forum shopping,’ using the laws of another state, was a loophole that needed to be closed,” Zakas said.
Zakas said other provisions of the bill advance Indiana adoption laws by strengthening the finality of an adoption when proper procedures are used; increasing the amount of certain limited expenses that can be provided to a birth mother from $3,000 to $4,000; updating advertising regulations for licensed agencies and attorneys; and increasing the penalty for adoption fraud.
A longtime advocate of adoption, Zakas has sponsored many bills to improve the adoption process.
“We want to encourage adoption in Indiana and have clear, supportive procedures in place,” Zakas said. “At the same time, we need to protect against abusive practices, such as baby-selling, that may arise.”
Speaking for Indiana Adoption Agencies United, Lesa Dietrick commented, “Our state adoption laws are well-written, but SEA 332 is an advancement that makes them better.”
Zakas said he appreciated the governor signing the bill, which goes into effect July 1, 2017.
Zakas represents Senate District 11, which includes portions of St. Joseph and Elkhart counties.
Click here for a high-resolution picture of Zakas.
Natalie Russell, Press Secretary