- 1 Adoption Laws
- 1.1 Consent to Adoption
- 1.2 Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
- 1.3 Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
- 1.4 Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
- 1.5 Infant Safe Haven Laws
- 1.6 Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
- 1.7 The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
- 1.8 Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
- 1.9 Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
- 2 Post-Adoption Laws
- 3 Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Notice: 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the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Consent to Adoption
Who Must Consent to an Adoption Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
Consent to adoption is required from:
- Both parents or the surviving parent of a child who was conceived or born within a marriage unless the child is age 18 or older
- The mother of a child born outside of marriage
- Any birth parent who has been adjudicated to be the child’s birth father by a court of competent jurisdiction prior to the mother’s execution of consent
- An unmarried birth father who has established paternity of the child
- Any legally appointed custodian or guardian of the child
- The guardian or conservator of an incapacitated adult, if one has been appointed
- The adopted person’s spouse, if any
- The father of an illegitimate child who has adopted the child by acknowledgment
A minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child. That consent is valid and has the same force and effect as consent executed by an adult parent.
Consent of Child Being Adopted Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
A child age 12 or older must consent to the adoption unless he or she lacks the mental capacity to consent.
When Parental Consent Is Not Needed Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1504
No consent shall be required of, nor notice given to, any person whose parental relationship to that child has been terminated.
When Consent Can Be Executed
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
How Consent Must Be Executed Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1506
Consent must be executed before any authorized officer, district judge, or magistrate, on a form found in the Idaho Code.
Revocation of Consent Citation: Ann. Stat. § 16-1515
Criminal Background Checks for Prospective Foster and Adoptive Parents
The department shall obtain a criminal history check on the owners, operators, and employees of all children’s residential care facilities. The criminal history check shall include information from the following:
- Statewide criminal identification bureau
- FBI criminal history
- National Crime Information Center
- Statewide child abuse register
In regulation:All foster care applicants and other adult members of the household are required to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history and background check. An unconditional denial will be issued when the background reveals a conviction for a disqualifying crime:
- Abuse, neglect, or exploitation of a vulnerable adult
- Aggravated, first-degree, and second-degree arson
- Crimes against nature
- Forcible sexual penetration by use of a foreign object
- Injury to a child
- Lewd conduct with a minor
- Murder, voluntary manslaughter, assault, or battery with intent to commit a serious felony
- Possession of sexually exploitative material
- Felony stalking
- Sale or barter of a child
- Sexual abuse or exploitation of a child
- Video voyeurism
- Enticing of children
- Inducing individuals under age 18 into prostitution or patronizing a prostitute
- Any felony punishable by death or life imprisonment
- Attempt or conspiracy to commit any of the above
The department will issue an unconditional denial for conviction of the following crimes within the previous 5 years:
- Aggravated assault
- Aggravated battery
- Arson in the third degree
- A felony involving a controlled substance
- Felony or grand theft
- Forgery, counterfeiting, or fraudulent use of a financial transaction card
- Insurance or public assistance fraud
- Attempt, conspiracy, or aiding and abetting to commit any of the above
Requirements for Adoptive Parents Idaho Code § 16-1506(3); Admin. Code §§ 16.05.06.100; 16.05.06.210
A social investigation is required for the prospective adoptive family and all of its members.
In regulation:All persons applying to the department or petitioning the court to be an adoptive parent and all adults in the home, except stepparents applying for adoption of a stepchild, are required to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history and background check. An unconditional denial shall be issued for any of the crimes listed above.
Grounds for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination of Parental Rights Idaho Code § 16-2005
The court may grant an order terminating parental rights when it finds that such termination is in the best interests of the child and that one or more of the following conditions exist:
- The parent has abandoned the child.
- The parent has neglected or abused the child.
- The presumptive parent is not the biological parent of the child.
- The parent is unable to discharge parental responsibilities, and such inability will continue for a prolonged indeterminate period and will be injurious to the health, morals, or well-being of the child.
- The parent has been incarcerated and is likely to remain incarcerated for a substantial period of time during the child’s minority.
- The parent caused the child to be conceived as a result of rape, incest, lewd conduct with a minor child under age 16, or sexual abuse of a child under age 16.
- The parent has subjected the child to torture, chronic abuse, or sexual abuse.
- The parent has committed murder or intentionally killed the other parent of the child; has committed murder or voluntary manslaughter of another child; or has aided, abetted, conspired or solicited to commit such murder or voluntary manslaughter.
- The parent has committed battery that resulted in serious bodily injury to a child.
- The court determines the child to be an abandoned infant, except in a parental termination action brought by one parent against another parent.
Circumstances That Are Exceptions to Termination of Parental Rights Idaho Code §§ 16-2005; 16-1624
If the parent has a disability, the parent shall have a right to provide evidence to the court regarding the manner in which adaptive equipment or supportive services will enable the parent to carry out parenting responsibilities.
If the child has been placed in the legal custody of the Department of Health and Welfare or under its protective supervision, the department may petition the court for termination of the parent and child relationship in accordance with chapter 20, title 16. Unless there are compelling reasons it would not be in the best interests of the child, the department shall be required to file a petition to terminate parental rights within 60 days of a judicial determination that an infant has been abandoned or that reasonable efforts are not required because the parent has subjected the child to aggravated circumstances. The department shall join as a party to a petition filed by another party, as well as to concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve a qualified family for adoption, unless it is determined that such actions would not be in the best interests of the child or the child is placed with a fit and willing relative.
Circumstances Allowing Reinstatement of Parental Rights
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption
Who Must Be Studied Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506
The investigation must include the prospective adoptive family and all of its members.
Agency or Person Conducting the Study Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506
The social investigation may be performed by any individual who meets the requirements of the law.
Qualifications for Adoptive Parents Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1502
The person adopting a child must be at least 15 years older than the adopted child or age 25 or older.
Elements of a Home Study Citation: Admin. Code §§ 16.06.01.750, 762, 770; 16.05.06.100
Initial interviews with groups of applicants or with individual families will be used to explain Department of Health and Welfare policies and procedures regarding adoptive placement, the kinds of children available, and the nature of the home study. Applicants will be screened to assess their suitability to care for a specific child or children in general.
A full home study must then be made to determine the ability of the applicant to meet the needs of children available for adoption, and the specific characteristics of children the applicant indicates would be most suitably placed in the home. For an Indian child, the study also will determine the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community in which the parent(s) or extended family resides or maintains social and cultural ties.
Preplacement home studies must document the following:
- Verification that the family has resided in the State for at 6 consecutive months prior to the filing of the petition
- Verification of the ages of the adopting parent(s)
- A medical statement for each applicant, signed by a qualified medical professional, within the 12-month period prior to application to be an adoptive parent, indicating the applicant is in such physical and mental health so as to not adversely affect either the health or quality of care of the adopted child
- At least three satisfactory references, one of which may be from a person related to the applicant
All persons applying to the department or petitioning the court to be an adoptive parent and all adults in the home, except stepparents applying for adoption of a stepchild, are required to complete a fingerprint-based criminal history and background check.
Grounds for Withholding Approval Citation: Admin. Code §§ 16.06.01.761; 16.05.06.210
Following an initial interview, an applicant who does not appear to meet the department’s requirements may be denied a full home study.
An applicant will not be approved as an adoptive parent when the person discloses or the criminal history and background check reveals a conviction for a disqualifying crime on his or her record for any of the crimes listed in regulation.
When Studies Must Be Completed Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506; Admin. Code §§ 16.06.01.762, 764, 771
A thorough social investigation must be completed prior to the placement of any child in the home of prospective adoptive parents. Once initiated, all studies shall be completed within 60 days.
In regulation: Once the full adoptive home study has been initiated, it must be completed within 3 months.
Upon application by a potential adoptive family, the family services worker will conduct the preplacement adoptive home study and issue the verification of positive recommendation where appropriate. The home study must be completed prior to placement of any child for adoption in that home.
An adoptive home study must be updated on an annual basis. A current home study is defined as a home study completed within the previous 12 months.
Postplacement Study Requirements Citation: Admin. Code §§ 16.06.01.860; 16.06.01.861
Following the adoptive placement, a period of support and supervision by the department lasting at least 6 months must be completed prior to the finalization of the adoption. In situations where a foster family has a significant relationship with a child and the child has been placed in their home for at least the past 6 months, the supervisory period may be reduced to a minimum of 3 months. The family services worker will make scheduled visits to the home at least monthly during this period to assist the child and the family in their adjustment to each other and will update the child’s permanent record by means of monthly progress reports.
Progress reports must be made at intervals not to exceed 30 days. These reports will include the family services worker’s observation of each child and the prospective adopting parent(s), with emphasis on:
- The special needs or circumstances of each child at time of placement
- Services provided to each child and the family during the report period
- Services to be provided to each child and the family
- General appearance and adjustment of each child, including eating, sleep patterns, responsiveness, and bonding
- Adjustment of each child to all of the following that apply: school, day care, and day treatment programs
- Health and developmental progress
- Whether each child has been accepted for coverage on the family’s medical insurance, when coverage begins, and whether there will be any limitations or exclusions
- The family’s adjustment to adoptive placement
- Adoption assistance negotiations
- Changes in family situation or circumstances
- Areas of concern during the report period as addressed by each child and the adoptive parent(s)
Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-1502; 16-1506
Age restrictions or requirements do not apply when the adopting parent is a spouse of a natural parent.
When the prospective adoptive parent is married to the birth parent or is the grandparent of the adoptive child, the social investigation shall be completed with regard to the prospective adoptive parent only upon order of the court.
Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements Citation: Ann. Code § 16-2102; Admin. Code § 16.06.01.030
Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.
In regulation: When necessary to encourage all possible positive contacts with family, including extended family, placement with family members or others who are outside the State of Idaho will be considered. On very rare occasions, the department may contract with a residential facility out of State if it best serves the needs of the child and is at a comparable cost to facilities within Idaho. When out-of-State placement is considered in the permanency planning for a child, such placement will be coordinated with the respective interstate compact administrator according to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. Placements must comply with all State and Federal laws.
Foster to Adopt Placements Citation: Admin. Code § 16.06.01.790
The procedure and requirements are the same for all adoptive applicants. This includes foster parents who want to be considered as adoptive parents for a child who has a plan of adoption. These requirements include compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, and the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996.
Infant Safe Haven Laws
Infant’s Age Citation: Idaho Code § 39-8203
A child who is no more than 30 days old may be delivered to a safe haven provider.
Who May Relinquish the Infant Citation: Idaho Code § 39-8203
A custodial parent may deliver the child to a safe haven provider.
Who May Receive the Infant Citation: Idaho Code § 39-8202
Safe haven providers include:
- Licensed hospitals
- Licensed physicians and staff working at their offices and clinics
- Advanced practice professional nurses, including certified nurse-midwives, clinical nurse specialists, nurse practitioners, and certified registered nurse anesthetists
- Licensed physician assistants
- Medical personnel certified as first responders, emergency medical technicians, and paramedics
Responsibilities of the Safe Haven Provider Citation: Idaho Code §§ 39-8203; 39-8204
A safe haven shall take temporary physical custody of a child, without court order, if the child is personally delivered to a safe haven, provided that:
- The child is no more than 30 days old.
- The custodial parent delivers the child to the safe haven.
- The custodial parent does not express an intent to return for the child.
If a safe haven takes temporary physical custody of a child, the safe haven shall:
- Perform any act necessary, in accordance with generally accepted standards of professional practice, to protect, preserve, or aid the physical health and safety of the child during the temporary physical custody including, but not limited to, delivering the child to a hospital for care or treatment
- Immediately notify a peace officer or other person appointed by the court of the abandonment
Upon notification by a safe haven that a child has been abandoned, a peace officer or other person appointed by the court shall take protective custody of the child and shall immediately deliver the child to the care, control, and custody of the Department of Health and Welfare. If the child requires further medical evaluation, care, or treatment, the child shall be left in the care of a hospital, and the peace officer shall notify the court and prosecutor of the action taken and the location of the child so that a shelter care hearing may be held.
Immunity for the Provider Citation: Idaho Code §§ 39-8203; 39-8204
A safe haven with responsibility for performing duties under this section and any employee, doctor, or other personnel working at the safe haven are immune from any civil or criminal liability that otherwise might result from their actions, if they are acting in good faith in receiving a child and performing duties under this section.
A peace officer or other person appointed by the court who takes a child into custody under this section shall not be held liable, either criminally or civilly, unless the action of taking the child was exercised in bad faith or in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
Protection for Relinquishing Parent Citation: Idaho Code §§ 39-8203; 39-8206
The safe haven provider shall not inquire as to the identity of the custodial parent and, if the identity of a parent is known to the safe haven provider, the provider shall keep all information as to the parent’s identity confidential. The custodial parent leaving the child shall not be required to provide any information to the safe haven provider but may voluntarily provide information including, but not limited to, medical history of the parent(s) or the child.
A custodial parent may leave a child at a safe haven without being subjected to prosecution for abandonment, provided that the child was no more than 30 days old when he or she was left at the safe haven, as determined within a reasonable degree of medical certainty.
Effect on Parental Rights Citation: Idaho Code §§ 39-8204; 39-8205; 39-8206
The Department of Health and Welfare shall place an abandoned child with a potential adoptive parent as soon as possible.
The department shall file a petition for an adjudicatory hearing to vest legal custody in the department. A child protective investigation or criminal investigation shall not be initiated based on a claim of abandonment unless a claim of parental rights is made and the court orders the investigation.
During the initial 30-day period from the time the child was relinquished, law enforcement officials shall investigate through the missing children information clearinghouse and other State and national resources to ensure that the child is not a missing child. As soon as practicable following the 30-day period, the department shall petition to terminate the parental rights of the parent who abandoned the child.
A parent of the child may make a claim of parental rights by filing a notice of claim of parental rights with the vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare. To be valid, a claim of parental rights must be filed before an order terminating parental rights is entered by the court. A parent who fails to file a claim of parental rights prior to entry of an order terminating his or her parental rights is deemed to have abandoned the child and waived and surrendered any right in relation to the child, including the right to notice of any judicial proceeding in connection with the termination of parental rights or adoption of the child.
Regulation of Private Domestic Adoption Expenses
Birth Parent Expenses Allowed Citation: Ann. Code §§ 18-1511; 16-1515
A person or adoption agency is not prohibited from providing legal and medical costs and reasonable maternity and living expenses during the pregnancy and for a period not to exceed 6 weeks postpartum based upon demonstrated financial need.
If a birth parent withdraws or revokes a consent to adoption and the court orders that the custody of the child be returned to the birth parent, whether or not the order of adoption has been entered, the court shall order the birth parent to reimburse the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents for all adoption expenses, including, but not limited to, all medical fees and costs; all legal fees and costs; and all other reasonable costs and expenses, including, but not limited to, expenses for food and clothing incurred by the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents in connection with the care and maintenance of the child while the child was living with the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents. The court shall determine the amount of the reimbursement owed and shall enter the same as a money judgment in favor of the adoptive or prospective adoptive parents.
Birth Parent Expenses Not Allowed Citation: Ann. Code § 18-1511
Financial assistance may not be released to the birth parent in excess of $500 without prior approval from the court. A prospective adoptive parent, or another person acting on behalf of a prospective adoptive parent, shall make payments for allowed expenses only to third party vendors, as is reasonably practical.
No financial assistance to a birth parent shall exceed the sum of $2,000 unless otherwise authorized by the court. The financial assistance contemplated by this section shall be considered a charitable gift and not subject to recovery under the terms of § 16-1515.
Allowable Payments for Arranging Adoption
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Allowable Payments for Relinquishing Child Citation: Ann. Code § 18-1511
It is a felony to sell or barter a child for adoption or other purposes.
Allowable Fees Charged by Department/Agency Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506; Admin. Code 16.06.01.832
The social investigation may be performed by any individual who meets the requirements of the law. A copy of the study must be submitted to the Department of Health and Welfare, and the department may impose a reasonable fee, not to exceed $50, for oversight of such privately conducted studies. If no private investigation is conducted, it shall be the duty of the Department of Health and Welfare to verify the allegations of the adoption petition and to prepare an investigative report. The Department of Health and Welfare or other children’s adoption agency may require the petitioner to pay all or any part of the costs of the investigation.
In regulation: For adoptions through the department, fees are established in regulation, including:
- Preplacement home study: $450
- Placement supervision: $300
Accounting of Expenses Required by Court Citation: Ann. Code § 18-1511
All actual expenditures shall be presented by verified affidavit of counsel or the agency at the time of the adoption finalization.
The Rights of Unmarried Fathers
Legal Definition of Father Ann. Stat. § 16-2002
The term ‘parent’ means:
- The birth mother or the adoptive mother
- The adoptive father
- The biological father of a child conceived or born during the father’s marriage to the birth mother
- The unmarried biological father whose consent to an adoption of the child is required pursuant to § 16-1504
A ‘presumptive father’ is a man who is or was married to the birth mother and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
A ‘parent and child relationship’ includes all rights, privileges, duties, and obligations existing between parent and child, including inheritance rights, and shall be construed to include adoptive parents.
An ‘unmarried biological father,’ as used in this chapter and chapter 15, title 16, Idaho Code, means the biological father of a child who was not married to the child’s mother at the time the child was conceived or born.
Paternity Registry Ann. Stat. § 16-1513
A person who is the father or claims to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may claim rights pertaining to his paternity of the child by commencing proceedings to establish paternity under § 7-1111 and by filing with the vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare notice of his commencement of proceedings. The form must be signed by the person claiming paternity and witnessed before a notary public.
The notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings may be filed prior to the birth of the child but must be filed prior to the child’s placement for adoption. The vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare shall maintain a registry for this purpose.
Any father of a child born out of wedlock who fails to file and register his notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings prior to the child’s placement for adoption or prior to the date of commencement of any proceeding to terminate the parental rights of the birth mother, whichever event occurs first, is deemed to have waived and surrendered all rights in relation to the child and shall be barred from thereafter bringing or maintaining any action to establish his paternity of the child.
Alternate Means to Establish Paternity Ann. Stat. § 7-1106
A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity for an Idaho birth shall be admissible as evidence of paternity and shall constitute a legal finding of paternity upon the filing of a signed and notarized acknowledgment with the vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare. If the mother was married at the time of either conception or birth, or between conception and birth, and the husband is not the father of the child, the husband may file an executed and notarized affidavit of nonpaternity if it is accompanied by a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity signed and notarized by the mother and the alleged father.
The court may enter an order for the support of a child upon execution of a voluntary acknowledgment without further proceedings to establish paternity.
Required Information Ann. Stat. § 16-1513
The notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings shall be signed by the person filing the notice and shall include:
- His name and address
- The name and last address of the mother
- Either the birth date of the child or the probable month and year of the expected birth of the child
- 60 days after the acknowledgment is filed
- The date of an administrative or judicial proceeding relating to the child, including a proceeding to establish a support order, in which the signatory is a party
Such rescission shall be effective upon filing with the vital statistics unit. The vital statistics unit shall notify the other party or parties of the rescission by certified mail.
After the period for rescission, an executed acknowledgment of paternity may be challenged only in court on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof upon the party challenging the acknowledgment. The legal responsibilities, including the obligation to pay child support, of any party to the acknowledgment shall not be stayed except for good cause shown.
Access to Information Ann. Stat. § 16-1513
The identities of putative fathers can only be released pursuant to procedures contained in chapter 3, title 9, Idaho Code.
Use of Advertising and Facilitators in Adoptive Placements
Use of Advertisement Citation: Ann. Code § 18-1512A
No person or entity shall publish or broadcast on radio or television an advertisement or notice of a child or children offered or wanted for adoption, or claim through such advertisement to have the ability to place, locate, dispose, or receive a child or children for adoption, unless the person or entity is a duly authorized agent or employee of the Department of Health and Welfare or an institution licensed by the department to care for and place children.
This section is not intended to prohibit:
- A licensed attorney from advertising his or her ability to practice or provide services related to the adoption of children
- Physicians and other health-care providers from assisting or providing natural and adoptive parents with medical care necessary to initiate and complete adoptive placements
Use of Intermediaries/Facilitators
This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption?
Who May Adopt Citation: Ann. Code §§ 16-1501; 16-1502; 16-1503
Any adult resident of Idaho may adopt, subject to specific provisions stipulated in statute. The person adopting a child, except the spouse of a natural parent, must be at least 15 years older than the adopted child or age 25 or older.
If the adopting person is married, consent of the spouse is required.
Who May Be Adopted Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1501
Any minor child may be adopted.
Any adult may be adopted when the adopting person has sustained the relationship of a parent for a period in excess of 1 year while the adopted person was still a minor, or if the court determines a substantial family relationship has been created.
Who May Place a Child for Adoption Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1504
The following persons may consent to the adoptive placement:
- The parent
- Any legally appointed custodian or guardian of the child
- A licensed child-placing agency
Access to Adoption Records
Who May Access Information Citation: Ann. Code § 39-259A
Identifying information may be made available to:
- The adult adopted person
- The birth parents
- Adult birth siblings
Access to Nonidentifying Information Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506
A copy of all medical and genetic information compiled as part of the adoption investigation shall be made available to the adopting family by the department or other investigating children’s adoption agency prior to entry of the final order of adoption.
Mutual Access to Identifying Information Citation: Ann. Code § 39-259A
The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall establish and maintain a confidential list of qualified adult adopted persons, birth parents, or adult birth siblings who have consented to release of their identifying information. Any consent shall indicate the person’s desired method of notification in the event that a match occurs, and shall also indicate whether the applicant desires release of identifying information if a match occurs after his or her death. The applicant may revise his or her consent with respect to change of address or method of notification.
A birth parent shall not be matched with an adult adopted person without the consent of the other birth parent unless:
- There is only one birth parent listed on the birth certificate.
- The other birth parent is deceased.
- The other birth parent cannot be found by the Department of Health and Welfare or by a licensed child-placing agency.
Access to Original Birth Certificate Citation: Ann. Code § 39-258
The original birth certificate is available upon a court order or, in accordance with § 39-259A, when all parties have consented through the State adoption registry.
Where the Information Can Be Located
Idaho Voluntary Adoption Registry, Vital Records Section, Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics
Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons
Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person Citation: Idaho Code §§ 16-1509; 15-2-109
Unless the decree of adoption otherwise provides, the birth parents of an adopted person are relieved of all parental duties and responsibilities toward the adopted person, including the right of inheritance unless specifically provided by will.
For purposes of intestate succession, an adopted person is the child of an adopting parent and not the birth parents except that the adoption of a child by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and that birth parent, and adoption by the spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship between the child and a deceased, undivorced birth parent.
An adopted person and adopting parent shall sustain toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and shall have all the rights and duties of that relation, including the right to inherit.
Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will Citation: Idaho Code §§ 15-2-302; 15-2-611
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children adopted after the execution of his or her will, the omitted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which he or she would have received if the testator had died intestate unless:
- It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
- When the will was executed, the testator had one or more children and gave substantially all his or her estate to the other parent of the omitted child.
- The testator provided for the child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.
Adopted persons are included in class gift terminology and terms of relationship in accordance with rules for determining relationships for purposes of intestate succession.
Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families
These issues are not addressed in the statutes reviewed.
Laws Related to Intercountry Adoption
Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Idaho Code § 16-1514(4)
The decisions and orders of foreign courts and government agencies authorized to approve adoptions shall be accorded judicial comity or the same full faith and credit accorded a judgment of a sister State without additional proceedings or documentation, provided the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has allowed the child to enter the United States.
Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Idaho Code § 16-1514A
When an Idaho resident adopts a child in a foreign country in accordance with the laws of the foreign country, and such adoption is recognized as full and final by the U.S. Government, such resident may file with a petition a copy of the decree, order, or certificate of adoption that evidences finalization of the adoption in the foreign country, together with a certified translation thereof if it is not in English, and proof of full and final adoption from the U.S. Government with the clerk of the court of any county in this State having jurisdiction over the person or persons filing such documents.
The court shall assign a docket number and file and enter the documents referenced above with an order recognizing the foreign adoption without the necessity of a hearing. Such order, along with the final decree, order, or certificate from the foreign country, shall have the same force and effect as if a final order of adoption were granted in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.
When such order is filed and entered, the adoptive parents may request a report of adoption as provided in § 39-259.
Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Idaho Code § 39-259(a)
The State Registrar will, upon request, issue a new birth certificate for a foreign-born child who was adopted in a State court when it receives:
- A report that identifies the adoption order, contains evidence as to the true or probable date and place of birth and parentage of the adoptee, provides information necessary to establish a new birth certificate for an adoptee, and is certified by the clerk of the court
- A request by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adoptee
The certificate will show:
- The true or probable date and foreign country of birth as established by the court and shown on the court report of adoption
- The child's new name as stated in the report of adoption
- Any other necessary facts as required by the State Registrar
The certificate is not evidence of U.S. citizenship for the child.
All records, files, and information of any court in this State relating to the adoption proceedings other than the new birth certificate will be sealed except as provided by court order or statute.
Child Welfare Information Gateway. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families. www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/laws/domestic.cfm#sss
- Ala. Code §§ 38-13-3(2) & (5); 38-13-2(30)