Adoption is an important legal process that creates families and gives stability to children without two parents in their lives. Most adoptions are successful, but the process is long and complicated. For the couples that make it to the end of the process with the desired outcome, the challenges were worth it.
Adoption fail rates are a scary topic that haunts many couples who really want to make it to the end of the process with a child. A study complied by the Child Welfare Information Gateway reported that anywhere between 9 to 15 percent of adoptions fail or are disrupted in younger children, and the rate skyrockets to 25 percent in older adoptee populations.
There are specific situations that are more likely to end in failed transitions than others. For couples planning an adoption, the following situations can sometimes serve as obstacles to finalization. In Iowa, both adoptive and birth parents have rights. It’s important to consult with your lawyer or your designated contact if going through an agency. One of the most important things for birth parents to understand is there are no do-overs. You cannot get your baby back once the process is completed.
What are the Adoption Requirements in Iowa?
Couples hoping to adopt have to meet several requirements. You must be over 18 years old. You must submit to a home study, which includes a criminal background check, child abuse registry check, and fingerprinting.
One of the most common reasons adoptions fail is because one or both birth parents change their minds. Failed adoptions can happen when birth parents change their minds. Adoption is a serious legal process, and it’s important to be certain before relinquishing parental rights to a child. Once the court system finalizes an adoption, birth parents have a grace period.
The Iowa Adoption Process Explained
The adoption process in Iowa follows legal guidelines outlined in chapter 600 of the Iowa Code. There are 3 different types of adoption in Iowa.
Private Domestic Adoption: An adoption of a child in the US
Foster Care Adoption: An adoption of a child from the US foster care system
International Adoption: An adoption of a child from abroad
While every adoption in Iowa is unique, they all follow a similar pattern. The process is typically in the following order, but it can change based on circumstances.
· Eligibility Phase: A home study is completed
· An available adoptee child is found
· The birth parents’ parental rights are terminated
· The child is placed in the home
· A follow-up home study is completed after placement
· Adoption hearing date
· The adoption is finalized
Finalized Adoption Process in Iowa
After termination of the birth parents’ legal rights to the child, a new home can be established.
Once in the new home, a follow up home study will be completed, and an adoption hearing will be scheduled. Adoptive parents must successfully pass three follow up visits before the hearing. A hearing is typically scheduled for a date after the family has completed the state’s minimum in-home establishment requirement of 180 days. For the adoption to be complete, a judge has to review the case and confirm that it’s a legal adoption.
If you’ve experienced a failed adoption, that doesn’t mean you should stop trying. Consult our adoption lawyers so we can review your case. Call us today at (515) 200-7571 or contact us online for information or schedule an appointment.