Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through adoption agencies or attorneys. They can help one adopt a child domestically. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Iowa.
International Adoptions must be completed through adoption agencies or attorneys. They can help one adopt a child internationally. Find an international adoption service provider here.
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The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in Iowa?
Applicants must be at least 21 years old to become a foster parent or adopt. You can be single, married, or divorced. Your home must pass a safety inspection including the following elements: a room constructed specifically for sleeping, permanent walls, a door that closes, a closet, wardrobe, or dresser, a window that opens from the inside, 40 sq ft. per child, and a real bed. Floors where the adoptive child sleeps need a smoke detector. There must be at least one fire extinguisher in the home. Prescription medications must be kept in a locked cabinet, and all firearms must be locked away.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Iowa?
Advertising: Advertising and the use of adoption facilitators are not regulated by Iowa statues.
Relinquishment: Birth parents may not give consent to an adoption until at least 72 hours after the child is born. Parents can revoke consent at any time until the final adoption decree has been given. If parents revoke within 96 hours of giving consent, the court grants the motion and consent is revoked. Otherwise, the juvenile court only grants revocation under clear and convincing evidence that good cause exists for revocation. § 600A.4(2)(g); 600.7
Birth parent expenses: Only the following expenses are approved in Iowa: birth related expenses, adoption placement and termination of parental rights, pregnancy related medical costs, living expenses, counseling, and the child’s living expenses if the child had to be placed in foster care during the termination of parental rights. Living expenses cannot continue for more than 30 days after the child’s birth, and counseling expenses cannot continue for more than 60 days after birth. § 600.9(2)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Iowa.
Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings can file their information with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics a declaration of paternity. The father's name, address, social security number, and other identifying information will be recorded. § 144.12A
Finalization: The child must live with hopeful adoptive parents for at least 6 months before adoption finalization.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Iowa?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Iowa have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Indiana, the maximum daily payments range from $16.78-19.35. For more information please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Iowa currently gives full effect and recognition to adoptions completed abroad in compliance with foreign country and U.S. laws. However, post placement investigators must visit the home and ensure the adoptive family is meeting the child’s needs.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact:
Department of Human Services (DHS)
1305 East Walnut
Hoover Bldg., 5th floor
Des Moines, IA 50319
Adoptions in Iowa can be completed through the Iowa Kids Net program.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old. You can be single, married, or divorced. Parents must complete a home study.
Advertising and the use of adoption facilitators are not regulated by Iowa statues. Birth parents must wait at least 72 hours after birth to consent. Parents can revoke consent at any time until the final adoption decree has been given.
Only the following expenses are approved in Iowa: birth related expenses, adoption placement and termination of parental rights, pregnancy related medical costs, living expenses, counseling, and the child’s living expenses. Contact agreements are not legally enforceable in Iowa.
Unmarried fathers wishing to receive notice of adoption proceedings can file their information with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics a declaration of paternity.
The child must live with hopeful adoptive parents for at least 6 months before finalization.