Adoption in Idaho
Are you an Idaho resident looking to adopt or place your child for adoption? Are you unsure of where to begin? We’ve got you covered. The following information will help you navigate the process in Idaho and answer some frequently asked questions about adoption, as well as provide some resources to help guide you along the way.
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What You Need to Know about Placing your Child for Adoption in Idaho
Making the decision to place your child for adoption can be one of the toughest, but selfless choices you make, but being well-informed about the process may help ease some of your stress. The following information will provide some important factors to think about when considering placing your child for adoption in Idaho.
Who Must Consent to an Idaho Adoption and How Does it Work?
In Idaho, consent to adoption must be given by the following:
- The child’s legal guardian
- The Birth Mom of a child born out of wedlock
- The child being adopted if they are at least 12 years old
- The unmarried Birth Father of the child if he has legally established his paternity
- The guardian of an incapacitated adult, if one has been appointed
- Any Birth Father having been declared the child’s legal father in court prior to the Birth Moms consent
When is Consent Not Necessary for Adoption in Idaho?
If the Birth Parent or legal guardian of the child has had his or her parental rights terminated, their consent is not necessary for the adoption in Idaho.
Can a Birth Parent Revoke their Consent to Adoption?
In Idaho, a Birth Parent may revoke their consent to adoption and regain parental rights to the child; however, he or she will be required to reimburse the Adoptive Parents for any expenses paid in relation to the adoption.
What Rights do Birth Fathers Have in the Adoption Process?
An ‘unmarried Biological Father’ means the Biological Father of a child who was not married to the child’s Birth Mom at the time the child was conceived or born.
A ‘Presumed Father’ is a man who is or was married to the child’s Birth Mom, and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
Idaho has established a Paternity Registry for these unmarried Birth Fathers to establish their parental rights to the child and declare their intent to support the child. A man must register in order to receive notification of adoption proceedings.
Adopting a Child in Idaho
Adoption is no easy decision, but it is a life-changing one, so it is important that you understand the process before you begin your journey. Continue reading from more information about the adoption process in Idaho or scroll to the end of the article for a list of adoption agencies to help get you started.
What are the Laws and Requirements for Adopting a Child in Idaho?
To be eligible to become and Adoptive Parent in Idaho, the applicant must be at least 25 years old or a minimum of 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt.
How Much does it Cost to Adopt a Child?
Idaho adoption expenses may vary depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. International adoption will be different from a domestic adoption, and adoption from a private agency will be different from a government agency. Regardless of the type of adoption you decide to pursue, here are a few expenses you may need to consider when becoming an Adoptive Parent:
- Medical costs for the Birth Mom and child
- Legal and agency fees
- Reasonable maternity and living expenses during the pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the child is born
How do you Become a Foster Parent?
To become a Foster Parent in Idaho, you must meet the following requirements and qualifications:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Complete and pass a criminal background check
- Complete foster parent pre-service training
- Be single, married or divorced
- Own or rent a space that is safe and meets the needs of the child
- Be able to support the child financially
- Have no parental experience or have raised a child previously
- Be open to learning new things and willing to support the needs of the child
Can you Finalize an International Adoption in Idaho?
In order to adopt a child internationally, the child must be from a country that is a part of the Hague Convention, which is an international agreement that establishes standard adoption practices for inter-country adoptions.
- Be a U.S. Citizen
- If married, your spouse must also be a U.S. Citizen or have legal status and together you must file for adoption
- Pass criminal background checks, the home study process and fingerprinting
- If unmarried, be at least 25 years old
Who Can Legally Facilitate an Idaho Adoption?
There are many agencies, attorneys, and facilitators offering adoption services in Idaho, so it is important to understand the differences between them.
Agencies are regulated businesses and attorneys are experts in adoption law, both licensed and trained in adoption processes.
Adoption Facilitators are individuals who are usually unlicensed and unregulated that match Prospective Adoptive Parents with expectant Birth Mothers. A facilitator will help advertise and match his or her client with an expectant Birth Mom, but once they have made a match, the facilitator will then refer their clients to a licensed adoption professional to complete the process.
In Idaho, this issue is not addressed in the state adoption laws and regulations.
Home Study and Post Placement Requirements in Idaho
What is a Home Study and What Happens During the Process?
Before adopting a child, a Prospective Adoptive Parent and his or her family must undergo a home study to assess their ability to care for a child and provide a safe, stable home environment. This process will also help determine what kind of adoption is appropriate for the family and what child will fit best within their lifestyle.
In Idaho, the home study process will include and require the following:
- The medical records of the Prospective Parents within 12 months of the application for adoption
- Verification that the adopting person is at least 15 years older than the child or age 25 or older, except in stepparent adoptions
- Verification that the family has been living in Idaho for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the adoption application
- Names and ages of all biological and adopted children
- A criminal background check and child abuse and neglect registry check
- The applicant’s educational background, employment, family income, and financial resources
- Interviews with the family about their previous experiences and attitudes toward adoption
- The family history and any record of marriage or divorce
- The family’s religious and cultural background, if any
- For an Indian child, the prevailing social and cultural standards of the Indian community in which the parent or extended family resides or maintains social and cultural ties
- Activities, hobbies, and interests of the Prospective Parents
- Reason for choosing adoption
- Emotional stability of the Prospective Adoptive Parents
- The training needs of the family, if any
- The type of child preferred by the family
- Child care, parenting skills, and discipline styles of the Prospective Parents
While this process is to ensure that adoption is in the best interest of both the child and family, it is also a time for the family to ask questions, make any necessary adjustments, and prepare for a new member to the family.
Who Oversees a Home Study in Idaho and Who is Included in it?
The home study process will be conducted by a licensed social worker or agency and will include the Prospective Adoptive Parents as well as all other members living in the home.
Why Would my Home Study not be Approved?
As an Idaho resident, conviction of any disqualifying crime may be grounds for disapproval of your home study and eligibility to adopt.
What are the Requirements for Adopting a Child from Another State?
If you are a resident of Idaho, but are presented with the opportunity to adopt a child who was born in another state, you must comply with the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, which is a contract among the states to ensure safe adoptions across state lines.
Is a Home Study Different for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions?
In Idaho, the home study requirement will not be required in the case of a stepparent or relative adoption, unless otherwise required by the court. The minimum age requirement does not apply in these cases as well.
What are the Requirements for a Foster to Adopt Placement in Idaho?
“Foster to Adopt” is when a foster parent or family decides to adopt a foster child that is currently in their care.
The goal of foster care is to eventually reunite the child with his or her family, but in the case that reunification is not an option, the foster parents may be eligible to adopt the child. In Idaho, a foster parent who wishes to adopt a foster child currently in his or her care must meet the same qualifications as new Adoptive Applicants, including getting an approved home study. These qualifications must be in compliance with the Indian Child Welfare Act, the Multi-Ethnic Placement Act of 1994, and the Interethnic Adoption Provisions of 1996.
What is a Post Placement Requirement and What Happens During the Process?
A post placement assessment is an evaluation of the child’s integration into the adoptive family’s home that takes place before the adoption can be finalized. It is meant to ensure that the child and family were a good fit for adoption.
In Idaho, a home visit will take place at least once a month for 6 months before the adoption finalization. The following information will be included in monthly reports after the home visits:
- Areas of concern addressed by the child or Adoptive Parents
- Any special needs of the child
- General appearance of the child
- The child health and developmental progress
- The family’s adjustment to the adoption
- Any changes in the family situation
- Any services provided to the child and family, and any services needed to be provided
- The child’s adjustment to school, day care, and treatment care, if applicable
- Whether the child has been accepted for coverage on the family’s medical insurance, when coverage begins, and whether there will be any limitations or exclusions
Idaho Adoption Agencies and Professionals
Going through the adoption process can feel overwhelming at times, but the adoption professionals in Idaho are eager to help you throughout your journey. Whether you are looking to adopt a child or deciding to place your child for adoption, the following agencies are ready to offer you support, advice, and answers to your questions as you pursue the adoption process:
Is your adoption journey bringing you to the state famous for its potatoes? Here’s a list of some of the Gem States’ most exciting spots to visit while you await the process:
Perrine Bridge in Twin Falls
Shoshone Falls in Twin Falls
Silverwood Theme Park in Athol
World Center for Birds of Prey in Boise