IN DES MOINES, IOWA
Adopting a child or adult into your family is a beautiful and joyous event. You may be choosing to adopt an infant, a stepchild, or a child in other circumstances. No matter what your situation may be, the adoption process allows your family to begin a new chapter. However, when it comes to the required legal actions, the process can be a confusing journey to navigate.
An experienced family law attorney can guide you through the adoption process from start to finish. For all legal matters involving family, I work diligently to make sure my clients and any children receive the best possible legal care. I believe in listening to your story and talking through your concerns in detail before deciding on a plan of action. My firm, Rieper Law P.C., is proud to represent clients in Des Moines, Iowa, and the surrounding counties of Polk, Dallas, Warren, Madison, Jasper, and Story, Iowa.
Types of Adoption
In Iowa, there are several different types of adoption available. The process and steps you will need to follow vary for each adoption type.
It is possible to adopt a child in the foster care system. The Iowa Department of Human Services provides information about the agencies that care for children in need of adoptive parents. Agencies help connect prospective parents with these children.
In Iowa, as in other states throughout the country, you can adopt a child through a private agency. Infants are typically adopted through private agencies. A private adoption will most likely be more costly than a state adoption.
Step-parents can adopt their partner’s child in Iowa. This type of adoption is typically done when the adopting parent is married to one of the child's biological parents. However, it is not required that the parties be married. Speak with an experienced family law attorney to learn more about step-parent adoption.
It is possible to adopt an individual who is 18 years of age or older in Iowa. Adult adoption does not require biological parents to terminate their parental rights.
You may also adopt a child born to a surrogate in Iowa. Surrogacy involves complex legal arrangements to protect all parties involved. Speak with a knowledgeable adoption attorney to learn more about the surrogacy route to adoption.
Iowa Adoption Laws
Before beginning the adoption process, it is helpful to know the answers to these three fundamental questions about adoption in Iowa.
Who Can Adopt?
In Iowa, any adult can adopt, as long as they meet the requirements of the process and the child is legally allowed to be adopted. Unmarried couples and unmarried individuals are allowed to adopt.
Who Can Be Adopted?
As long as the child is legally allowed to be adopted, any child can be adopted in Iowa. This means that the child’s biological parents (either one or both parents, depending on the circumstances) must have terminated their parental rights.
Parental rights do not need to be terminated to adopt an adult.
Is Consent Required?
Any person who is 14 years of age or older must give their consent to be adopted in Iowa. Consent is not required to adopt children who are 13 years old and younger.
Overview of the Iowa Adoption Process
The adoption process varies according to each different type of adoption. For example, the rules for adopting a child from foster care are quite different from the rules required to adopt a relative.
In general, to adopt a child, you must complete an adoption home study. This typically involves face-to-face interviews with members of the adoptive family and home visits. Fingerprinting and a background check are also required. An experienced family law attorney can assist in the adoption process.
SERVING DES MOINES, IOWA
Whether you are interested in officially adopting your stepchild, adopting a child from a private agency, or another type of adoption, a knowledgeable attorney can help you seek the best arrangement for your family. I will listen to your concerns and advocate for your wishes. I am proud to represent clients in Des Moines, Iowa, Polk County, Dallas County, Warren County, and the nearby areas. Contact Rieper Law P.C. to schedule a free consultation.