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4 Idaho Adoption Laws You Should Know

And How They Could Affect Your Adoption

Because they vary from state to state, adoption in Idaho laws can be confusing. If you’re a hopeful adoptive parent who’s wondering about Idaho adoption laws, we’ve compiled this guide in an effort to make it all a little simpler. While the following information should help you to learn about Idaho adoption, it does not constitute legal advice, nor does it take the place of an attorney.

If you're ready to start the adoption process, reach out to us through our free online form.

Who can adopt a child in Idaho?

Idaho adoption laws state that any adult resident of the state may adopt. Unless the adult is the spouse of the child’s biological parent (as in a stepparent adoption), then the adoptive parent must be either at least 25 years old or at least 15 years older than the child.  If the person who wishes to adopt a child is married, then that person’s spouse must also consent to the adoption.

The Idaho Adoption Consent Process

Consent to an adoption is extremely important; if not done properly, an adoption cannot be finalized. According to the adoption laws in Idaho, consent to an adoption must be given in writing before an authorized officer, district judge or magistrate. Idaho statutes don’t address the waiting period, or amount of time that a birth parent must wait to give consent to an adoption after a child is born. Consent will be required from:

  • Both biological parents if the child was conceived or born during marriage

  • The mother of a child born outside marriage

  • The unmarried birth father, if he has established paternity or been judged by the court to be the child’s father prior to the time when the mother gives consent

  • Any legally appointed guardian of the child

  • The guardian or conservator of an adult who is incapacitated

  • The adopted person’s spouse (in an adult adoption)

  • The father of a child born outside of marriage if the father has adopted the child by acknowledgment

  • The child if he or she is age 12 or older, unless the court finds that he or she Is not mentally capable of consenting

It is also important to note that consent is not required from any person whose parental relationship with the child has been terminated. Should a birth parent revoke consent and petition for custody of the child, the birth parent will have to reimburse the adoptive parents for any expenses.

Idaho Adoption Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Adoption laws in Iowa allow adoptive parents or an adoption agency to provide legal and medical costs as well as reasonable maternity and living expenses during a prospective birth mother’s pregnancy and up to six weeks after birth. If a birth parent withdraws or revokes consent and the court orders the child to be returned to the birth parents, the birth parents will then be required to reimburse the adoptive parents for all expenses paid in relation to the adoption.

Idaho Adoption Home Study Requirements

Before a family can adopt a child within the United States, they must first undergo an adoption home study. A home study includes three stages — a documentation phase that includes background checks, a home inspection, and interviews with each family member living in the home — to ensure that a family is prepared to adopt a child. As it’s the most time-consuming part of the adoption process, we recommend that families begin to prepare for the documentation phase ahead of time by gathering items like:

  • Driver’s licenses

  • Birth certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Physical and mental health statements

  • Financial statements

  • Background checks

  • References

  • Autobiographical statements

As a national, full-service adoption agency, American Adoptions works with both adoptive families and pregnant women to complete every step of the adoption process. To learn more about adoption in Idaho with our agency, please call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

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