Here are important things to know about your legal rights in making an adoption plan for your child:
- Your rights as a biological parent must be legally terminated before your child can be adopted. This is a completely voluntary and private process, based on the adoption plan you have made for your child.
- The rights of the baby’s father must also be terminated before the adoption can occur. Even if the father is unknown or cannot be found, termination of his rights is still done with proper legal notice and due process.
- It is against the law to intentionally misidentify the other biological parent
- The law also requires that medical and social history information be obtained from each biological parent. This information will be vital to your child later on so it is best if the baby’s father will support the adoption plan whenever possible.
- Iowa requires a three day waiting period after your child’s birth before you can sign papers to voluntarily release your parental rights. There are short, defined periods of time after that in which you may change your mind about the adoption, even up to the time of the final termination hearing if you have good cause. Termination hearings are held relatively quickly after all necessary parties get notice.
- You do not ever have to appear in court to terminate your rights in Iowa unless you choose to for any reason.
- Crossing state lines for an adoption requires extra steps for approval of the sending and receiving states.
Your adoption counselor at Adoption Connection will make sure that you thoroughly understand the termination process and all your rights. We want you to be absolutely comfortable with your choices and your adoption plan for your child!
While the process is fairly simple in Iowa, adoption can be more complicated when crossing state lines for placement. Laws vary in other states. If your baby is born in a state outside of Iowa, that state’s laws will control the termination of parental rights process. It is important to understand what the law allows you to do or not do in your state. Every state sets its own limits on what expenses can be paid for you, how much time you have to change your mind and whether you ever have to appear in court. Don’t rely on what you see in a movie or what somebody’s neighbor did in their adoption.
You can start with your questions at Adoption Connection! If you live outside Iowa, we can help refer you to a qualified adoption agency or attorney in your state who can help you with the correct process there.