Iowa Adoption Laws

Growing your family through adoption can be a joyous event. But due to some of to the statutory requirements surrounding the adoption process and paperwork, it can be legally complex and potentially confusing as well. The Hawkeye State has law in place that regulate who can be adopted, by whom, and how. And without legal assistance, the layperson might have trouble making sense of the statutes and understanding the procedures necessary to adopt. This is an introduction to adoption laws in Iowa.

Adoption Statutes

Most adoption regulations exist at the state level, and determine everything from who is allowed to be adopted to any special requirements for adoptive parents. State adoption laws can vary, and it is important to know which guidelines apply to where you live. The chart below lists the details of Iowa's adoption statutes.

Code Section

Iowa Code 600.1, et seq.: Adoption

Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older

Who May Adopt

Unmarried adult; husband and wife together; husband or wife separately under certain circumstances.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

180 days; may be shortened for good cause

State Agency/Court

Human Services/Juvenile or district

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

Not specified

Under Iowa law, unmarried adults are allowed to adopt, and both spouses must join in the adoption unless certain circumstances apply. And any person may be adopted, and persons over the age of 14 must give their consent before being adopted. Adoptees must reside in their new home for 180 days before the adoption can be finalized. In addition, Iowa has allowed same-sex couples to adopt, either as co-parents or as step-parents, since 2008. Much of the adoption process could take place in adoption courts that have been created in order to look out for a child's best interests during the adoption process.

Iowa Adoption Laws: Related Resources

State statutes and policies concerning adoption can be complicated and the adoption procedures can be convoluted. And even a simple adoption process can be a significant moment. You can find additional articles and resources in FindLaw''s sections on Adoption and Adoption Laws. If you would like help in understanding the law and what your legal requirements may be, you might want to consult with an attorney. You can contact an Iowa adoption attorney in your area if you would like legal advice regarding an adoption issue.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.