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Iowa Adoption Laws

If you’re new to the adoption in Iowa 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.

If you think that you're ready to talk to an adoption specialist about adoption in Iowa, reach out to us through our free online form, or call 1-800-ADOPTION.

Who can adopt a child in Iowa?

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.

The Consent Process in 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 Adoption Laws Regarding Prospective Birth Parent Expenses

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.

Iowa Adoption Home Study Requirements

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:

  • Driver’s licenses

  • Birth certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Physical and mental health statements

  • Background checks

  • Financial statements, such as tax returns or paycheck stubs

  • The contact information of references

  • Autobiographical statements

Iowa Adoption Agencies

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 with our agency, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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