Indiana House passes last bill authored by Bauer, supports grandparents’ visitation rights

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INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. B. Patrick Bauer (D-South Bend) today passed his last bill through the House as a state representative of 50 years. House Bill 1278 would increase visitation rights for grandparent visitation if the grandchild is adopted.

Under current Indiana law, a petition for visitation rights must be filed before the date a decree of adoption is final. This bill would extend the deadline to file a petition to six months after the adoption decree.

“At the end of the day, this bill addresses a concern not only for grandparents, but for the child,” said Bauer. “Adoption can be a big change in a child’s life and any way we can create stability during that time is a step in the right direction.”

The bill is designed to maintain the rights of grandparents who already have a relationship with the child and does not seek to establish rights if the child’s parent has not established paternity.

Upon the bill’s passage, members of the House of Representatives took a moment to congratulate Bauer on his last bill with a round of applause.

“I’m grateful for the opportunity to pass one last bill before my departure, especially for a cause so important to Hoosier families,” said Bauer.

Bauer, the longest-serving lawmaker in the history of the Indiana General Assembly, will retire after this year.

The bill passed through the House with a vote of 92-1 and now moves on to the Senate for further consideration.

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