Lawmakers Aim To Loosen Adoption Advertising Restrictions

Mar 13, 2019

If Hoosiers post online that they’re interested in adopting a child, they’re technically committing a crime in the state of Indiana.

Lawmakers aim to fix what they call an “unintended consequence” of state law.

A 2007 Indiana law makes it illegal for anyone other than licensed adoption agencies and attorneys to advertise adoption services in the phone book. A 2017 update expanded that to any advertisements, including online.

Adoption attorney Steve Kirsh says that created a problem.

“They may advertise on Facebook: ‘We’ve been trying to adopt. If you know of a woman who is pregnant, let us know. We’d love to expand our family,’" Kirsh says. "Under current law, that’s a felony.”

Proposed legislation loosens that restriction – it would allow people to advertise that they’re trying to adopt a child, on their own behalf.

The bill cleared the House unanimously. And a Senate committee has now sent it to the floor without any objections.