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Requirements to Adopt a Child in Iowa

If you’re thinking about adopting a child in the Hawkeye state, it can be helpful to first understand Iowa’s adoption requirements. It’s not necessary that you be rich or have an especially impressive career; rather, the qualifications for adoption exist solely to ensure you can provide a safe and loving home for a child.

To help you learn whether you meet the adoption requirements in Iowa, we’ve rounded up a few frequently asked questions.

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.

How old do you have to be to adopt in Iowa?

There is no adoption age limit in Iowa. Of course, an adoptive parent must be a legal adult, but as long as he or she meets all other adoption requirements, Iowa has not enacted a specific adoption age limit.

Do you have to be married to adopt in Iowa?

No, Iowa does not have any marriage requirements for adoption. However, American Adoptions is currently only working with couples who have been married for a minimum of two years. This is because we, as a national agency, must work to satisfy all state laws. If you wish to adopt but don’t meet these adoption requirements, please don’t hesitate to contact us to learn whether an exception can be made.

Can a felon adopt a child in Iowa?

It’s difficult to give a direct answer to this question, as your ability to adopt will depend, for the most part, on the nature of the felony. If you’ve been convicted of a felony that involves any kind of abuse, assault or domestic violence, it is highly unlikely that the state of Iowa would allow you to adopt a child. However, if the crime was of a less violent nature, you may be able to explain the situation to a social worker and how you’ve learned since this mistake. It is possible that you may still meet Iowa’s adoption requirements.

What are the emotional requirements to adopt a child in Iowa?

There’s more to Iowa adoption requirements than just the legal ones. Before attempting to adopt a child, you should ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I moved on from infertility? Has my spouse?

  • Are my spouse and I equally excited and prepared for the adoption process?

  • How will I tell those closest to me about my decision to adopt?

  • Am I ready for the highs and inevitable lows that come with the adoption process?

If you feel good about your answers to all of the above, then you may be ready to adopt!

Requirements to Adopt a Child from the Iowa Foster Care System

As a private domestic adoption agency, American Adoptions works only to complete private adoptions within the United States. However, if you think you may be interested in becoming involved with Iowa’s foster care system, we strongly encourage you to do so. The requirements to either foster parent or adopt from foster care are much the same as the above requirements, although Iowa’s foster care system does ask that parents be at least 21 years old.

If you plan to adopt a child from foster care, you’ll be required to undergo an adoption home study, just as families who are going through a private adoption do. This will include a documentation stage, a home inspection, and interviews with each member of your household.

To start the Iowa adoption process with our agency, please call 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with a social worker.

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