If you’re new to the adoption process, it can seem fairly intimidating at first. Knowing more about the process and Iowa’s adoption laws, however, can help to ease that feeling. To help you learn more about adoption in Iowa, we’ve compiled a list of adoption laws for you to familiarize yourself with. Please note that this article does not serve as legal advice, nor does it take the place of a licensed attorney.
Iowa adoption laws don’t name a specific adoption age limit, nor do they have any marriage requirements. As long as an adult is financially and emotionally prepared to raise a child and has no felonies involving children or violence on their criminal record, they will most likely be able to pursue adoption in the state of Iowa.
Iowa adoption laws state that a biological parent can consent to the child’s adoption 72 hours after he or she is born. This consent must be given in writing and signed by the biological parent in the presence of the court or a public notary. If the child is at least 14 years old, he or she must also consent to the adoption.
The biological parent’s consent can be revoked within 96 hours of signing, but it can be revoked after that as well if clear and convincing evidence proves that there is a cause for revocation.
Iowa does have a paternity registry, or a system for alleged fathers to claim paternity prior to the child’s birth. If a man does this, he has paternal rights to the child and must give consent for the child’s adoption.
Iowa allows hopeful adoptive parents to pay for the following expenses associated with an adoption:
the child’s birth
the termination of parental rights
pregnancy and medical costs for the birth mother
living expenses for the birth mother
counseling for the birth parents, both before and after the child’s birth
living expenses for the child if he or she has to spend time in foster care while waiting for the termination of parental rights to occur
The adoptive parents must provide the court with a full account of all adoption-associated payments at the adoption finalization hearing.
IA adoption laws, like laws in every state, require every prospective adoptive family to complete a home study before they can begin the adoption process. A home study is essentially an assessment of a family’s readiness to adopt and includes a documentation phase, a home inspection, and interviews with each member of the family.
The documentation stage of this process is by far the lengthiest. To begin preparing, you should gather documents such as:
Physical and mental health statements
Financial statements, such as tax returns or paycheck stubs
The contact information of references
American Adoptions is a national adoption agency that works with both Iowa birth moms and adoptive families to meet all needs in the adoption process — from counseling to post-placement services. To learn more about adoption in Iowa, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
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