Legal Articles

LA-adoption.jpgFamily Law & Adoptions - How to adopt children, adults, and young adults in Iowa

By Tom Murphy | Hopkins & Huebner, P.C.| Adel Office

Adoptions are joyful occasions. Because of the importance of ensuring adoptions are done properly and that children will not be removed from adoptive parents, there is much work to be done in order for the adoptions to proceed. This article provides an overview of what occurs but it is not all inclusive.

Iowa law provides certain persons may adopt.  Unmarried adults and spouses who are together may adopt.  Spouses may adopt separately in specific circumstances. Also, spouses may adopt individually if the other spouse is unavailable to be petitioned for certain specified reasons.

Both children and adults may be adopted. Young adults are sometimes adopted by their step-parents, guardians, or other people with whom they have a special relationship.

In all adoptions of children, the parental rights of living natural parents (except, usually, those married to adopting step-parents) must be terminated.

Consent to Adoption, Petition and Notice of Adoption HearingOften, consents are required. For example, guardians of persons to be adopted are required to give consent, as are spouses of petitioners who are step-parents. If available, the spouse of a petitioner who is separately petitioning to adopt an adult person must give consent. Any person over fourteen years of age who is to be adopted must give his or her consent. Natural parents whose children are being adopted may consent to the termination of parental rights.

To proceed with an adoption, a correct petition must be filed with the court. Then, numerous people have to be served with the petition and notice of the adoption hearing. Any guardians or guardians ad litem of the person to be adopted must receive notice. Notice must be given to adults who are being adopted. Persons required to consent to the adoption must receive notice. In addition, any person who has visitation rights or who has been ordered to pay for a college subsidy must receive notice.

There is significant paperwork involved in an adoption proceeding. It is important that the paperwork be correct and the court have all the information it is required to have. They court holds a hearing to determine if all of the paperwork is acceptable, persons who are required to have received notice have received it, and (when appropriate) whether certain parental rights have been or need to be terminated.

Again, adoptions are times of great happiness. It is important that everything be done correctly.