In this video, our Des Moines adoption attorneys explain how adoption is a process in which an adult becomes the legal parent of a child (or a younger adult in some circumstances) who is not biologically their own. If adopting a minor, the adult is legally responsible to support and care for the child. There are three different types of adoption in Iowa:
- A private domestic adoption takes place through a private agency within the United States. In most cases, the adopted child is an infant.
- A foster care adoption takes place through the foster care system in the United States. Children in the foster care system are often older compared to children adopted through private agencies. A child 14 or older must consent to being adopted in Iowa.
- An international adoption takes place when a family adopts a child from a country other than the United States.
Nearly any person 18 or older in Iowa can adopt a child. An unmarried individual can adopt independently. Married couples must adopt jointly. Before the adoption process can begin, the hopeful adoptive family must pass an in-home study to make sure that an adopted child will be placed in a safe and supportive environment. Every adoption is unique. It’s impossible to guarantee a time frame as a variety of factors influence the pace at which an adoption is processed. But on average, it takes between six and nine months for an adoption to be finalized. A foster care adoption rarely costs more than $2,500. In some cases, adopting through the foster care system is free of any fees or processing charges. When it comes to calculating the costs of private or international adoptions, the costs can quickly add up. Between agency fees, social work services, immigration processing, and court costs, it’s not impossible for the cost of an adoption to soar past $30,000.