Olthoff’s bill protecting birth parents passes out of House

Posted by: Brenda Holmes and Allison Vanatsky  | Thursday, February 16, 2017

STATEHOUSE (Feb. 16, 2017) — State Rep. Julie Olthoff’s (R-Crown Point) proposal that would better connect birth parents in Indiana with Hoosier adoption experts passed out of the Indiana House of Representatives today.

Under current law, Indiana adoption agencies are limited to advertising in telephone directories. This results in many out-of-state agencies skirting this requirement and advertising here to encourage birth parents to place their children up for adoption outside Indiana.

“This legislation could help Hoosier agencies better connect with local birth parents by making it clear that only Indiana licensed attorneys or child placement agencies can advertise within the state’s borders,” Olthoff said. “It would also penalize out-of-state agencies for advertising within Indiana.”

According to Olthoff, when birth parents go to a different state to go through the adoption process they are losing several protections provided to Indiana residents. One of those protections gives the mother the right, until the birth of the child, to change her mind. Not all states have that protection.

The bill also increases the penalty for adoption advertising without being licensed to a Level 6 felony, up from a Class A misdemeanor.

The bill now moves to the Senate for further consideration. For more information on Olthoff’s bill, visit iga.in.gov.

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State Rep. Julie Olthoff represents House District 19,

which includes a portions of Lake and Porter counties.

 

A high-resolution photo of Olthoff can be downloaded by clicking here.