from the Marion Circuit Court The Honorable Sheryl L. Lynch,
Judge The Honorable Marie L. Kern, Magistrate Trial Court
Cause Nos. 49C01-1803-JP-10858 49C01-1803-JP-10865
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLANT Christopher J. Evans Noblesville,
ATTORNEY FOR APPELLEE DawnMarie White Swenson &
Associates PC Carmel, Indiana
of the Case
In this consolidated appeal, Paul Bobby Hernandez
("Father") appeals the trial court's order,
which concluded that Alvina Casillas and Paul Hernandez
("Casillas and Hernandez") have standing to seek
grandparent visitation of Father's adopted children, E.H.
("E.H.") and I.H. ("I.H.") (collectively
"the children"). Concluding that Casillas and
Hernandez do not have standing to seek visitation, we reverse
the trial court's order.
the trial court erroneously concluded that Grandparents have
standing to seek visitation of Father's adopted children.
The facts are undisputed. E.H., who was born in March 2005,
and I.H., who was born in December 2005, were adjudicated to
be Children in Need of Services. In January 2017, the trial
court terminated the parental rights of the children's
biological parents. Father, the children's biological
maternal uncle, and his significant other adopted the
children. Father and his significant other are not married.
In March 2018, Casillas and Hernandez, the children's
biological maternal grandparents, filed petitions for
grandparent visitation as maternal
grandparents. Father filed motions to dismiss wherein he
argued that Casillas and Hernandez lacked standing to pursue
visitation with the children because no visitation order had
been established before the adoption and their visitation
petition had been filed after the adoption.
In July 2018, Casillas and Hernandez filed amended petitions
for grandparent visitation as paternal grandparents. Father
responded to the petitions with motions to dismiss wherein he
argued that Casillas and Hernandez lacked standing to
petition for grandparent visitation because they did not meet
the statutory requirements to seek visitation.
Following a hearing, in September 2018, the trial court
issued orders wherein it explained that because Father and
his significant other were not married when they adopted the
children, the children were "technically . . .
'born' out of wedlock." (App. Vol. 2 at 46).
Therefore, according to the trial court, Casillas and