Quick Steps to Iowa Adoptions
There are three ways Iowa adoptions usually occur: privately, through a state agency, or through a national program. Each type of Iowa adoption is discussed within this article.
If you are thinking about an Iowa adoption, you are usually advised to hire an adoption attorney (even if you are going through an agency in some cases). The IA adoption process is highly complex, and although some Iowa adoptions remain simple, it’s still a good idea to hire an attorney.
Am I eligible to petition for IA Adoption?
Iowa is very lenient on their adoption standards compared to some states, and as long as a prospective parent has a clean criminal record, clean bill of health, and a strong financial history, the state will usually allow the IA adoption to occur. Chapter 600 of the Iowa Code discusses adoptions in the state, and Section 600.4 specifically discusses qualifications for an Iowa adoption.
All of the persons listed below may apply for Iowa adoptions:
• an unmarried adult
• husband and wife together
• either the husband or wife if the spouse is not adopting the other spouse
• the adopting parent is the stepparent of the person being adopted
• the spouse has been separated because of abandonment described section 597.10 of Iowa Code
• either spouse cannot contact their spouse because of extended unavailability, or incapacity of the other spouse
Different Types of Iowa Adoptions
As mentioned above, an Iowa adoption can occur privately, through a state agency, or through a federal program for foster children. Each type of Iowa adoption is explained below with helpful links:
A private IA adoption between a birthmother and the adopting parent is not specifically addressed within the state code, but this type of adoption is still common within the state. A private IA adoption can become complicated if a birthmother hands over her parental rights but then decides to keep the child within 96 hours.
Parental release of the child to the adopting parents cannot occur until 72 hours after the birth, so the birth mother may have a limited window to make a decision. For more information on a private Iowa adoption.
If you want to petition for Iowa adoptions through a state agency, you’ll have to find your local Department of Human Services (DHS). The DHS provides a map to help you find your local office. Visit the link provided for the map:
One of the most successful federal programs for foster children is the AdoptUSKids found.
In order to petition for an IA adoption through this program you’ll need pre-service training. You’ll find more information on these requirements in the link above.