I live in Indiana and my sister lost or terminated her parental rights to three of my nephews. They were privately adopted through child protective services about six or seven years ago. What rights does she or any of the family members have to establish contact with the children or attempt to gain custody of them?
Once parental rights have been terminated, voluntarily or involuntarily, they generally cannot be reinstated. Your sister has no legal rights to these children. If these children have been adopted by other parents, your sister will not be able to gain custody of them — they are legally someone else’s children now.
Your sister will probably not be able to obtain any information regarding the children unless the adoptive parents are interested in connecting with her. The Indiana State Department of Health maintains an Adoption History Registry. Your sister can provide information to this registry, which the adoptive parents can access if they so choose. If the adoptive parents want their adopted children to know their birth siblings, they may access this registry. The adopted children will be able to access this registry when they turn 21, if they so choose.
If your sister needs more information regarding these adoptions and the termination of her parental rights, she should contact an Indiana family law attorney who specializes in adoptions.