Private adoptions involve a process whereby a birth parent voluntarily puts up their child for adoption directly with their family of choice. In private adoptions, the potential adoptive parents will work with a reputable private adoption agency to adopt a child.
All adoptions in Iowa are "closed adoptions". This means that the adoptive parents cannot be ordered to maintain communications or contact with a biological parent. The adoptive parents are free to do so if they wish and they also have the absolute right to set conditions on any contact or end contact at any time.
Overview of the Adoption Process
The steps involved in the adoption process include:
Verification of Eligibility to Adopt
For potential parents, it is essential that you meet the eligibility to adopt in your state. In Iowa, unmarried adults and married couples (jointly or separately) are eligible to adopt.
Before you can begin the adoption process, Iowa adoption laws require the potential adoptive family to complete a home study. A home study is used to evaluate the readiness of the family to adopt a child. It includes the following steps:
- A documentation phase
- A comprehensive home inspection
- Interviews with each family member
Only adoptive families with a valid and approved home study will be offered an adoption opportunity.
Identification of the Type of Adoption
As you think about adding to your family, there are several types of adoption to choose from. An experienced attorney can review your unique situation and help you understand your possible adoption options.
Once you have decided which adoption process is right for you and your family, a child that fits best into your situation will be identified.
Termination of Birth Parents' Rights
Before an adoption can occur, Iowa law requires that the rights of both biological parents be terminated. Termination of parental rights is completely voluntary and cannot be forced upon the birth parents. In Iowa, intentionally misidentifying the other biological parent is against the law.
Finalization of Your Adoption
The finalization process begins after terminating the birth parents' rights and placing the child with a family for adoption. It involves:
- Filing an adoption petition with the court to start the legal finalization process.
- Completing three post-placement visits with a certified investigator.
- Attending a finalization hearing where the judge will review the adoption and certify that it is in compliance with applicable state adoption laws.
Working With an Attorney to Facilitate the Legal Process
Every aspect of the adoption process is regulated by state laws that must be strictly adhered to. Working with an attorney will help facilitate the legal process and help legally secure your adoption.
Hire a Knowledgeable
Private Adoption Attorney
The adoption process in Iowa involves a lot of complex procedures. Statutory requirements surrounding the adoption, determining your eligibility to adopt, filing required legal paperwork, and finalizing the adoption process can make the entire proceedings confusing and overwhelming. Therefore, when considering adoption, consulting with a knowledgeable family law attorney is important for detailed guidance and to help in simplifying the entire process.
At Olberding Law Office, I have dedicated my career to offering knowledgeable and experienced representation in matters of private adoptions. As your legal counsel, I will help you understand your options and guide you through key decisions. I will provide the detailed assistance and advocacy you need throughout every step of the adoption process and make sure that all required state adoption laws are followed. Having me on your side can help ensure that your adoption goes as seamlessly as possible.