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Lawmakers Aim To Loosen Adoption Advertising Restrictions

Indiana adoption attorney Steve Kirsh testifies before a Senate committee.

Indiana adoption attorney Steve Kirsh testifies before a Senate committee. (Brandon Smith/IPB News)

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.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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