Adoptions

Adoptions bring families together in a way very few legal proceedings can.

There are many different types of adoptions and reasons families choose to complete the adoption process.

“CONSENT” ADOPTIONS

“Consent” adoptions refer to adoptions where one or more birth parents of the adoption consent to the adoption proceedings.
At Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC, we can assist prospective adopting parents with completing the adoption process in instances where one or both parents, depending if the consent of both parents is necessary to proceed, consent to the adoption prior to initiating proceedings. We do not assist prospective adopting parents with locating children to adopt. However, there are many cases where a birth mother and close friend or family member might agree it’s in the best interest of everyone involved for the adoption to proceed.

If the child(ren) was conceived or adopted during a marriage and both parents are still alive; a court has declared someone to be a biological parent; or if an unwed biological father has taken the necessary steps to protect his parental rights, the consent of both parents is necessary prior innating a consenting adoption.

If a child was not born during a marriage, the court hasn’t declared someone else to be a biological parent or an unwed biological father has not taken the necessary steps to protect his parental rights, the consent of only one parent might be necessary.
If one or both parents consent to the adoption, the petition to adopt and petition for termination of parent and child relationship can be filed and heard at the same time.

STEPPARENT ADOPTION

Stepparent adoption is exactly what it sounds like: when a stepparent completes the adoption process to adopt one or more stepchildren. At Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC, we think of stepparent adoptions in two categories:

  • termination stepparent adoptions; and
  • non-termination stepparent adoptions.

Termination refers to the need to also complete the necessary legal proceedings for termination of an existing parent and child relationship.

There are some circumstances where it is not necessary to terminate a parent and child relationship prior to beginning the adoption proceedings. In situations where it is necessary to terminate a parent and child relationship prior to the court granting a stepparent adoption, the proceedings can occur together.

ADULT ADOPTIONS

Idaho law allows for adults to be adopted.

There are a number of reasons for adult adoptions to be completed. A common reason is to formalize a parent-child relationship, such as a stepparent-child or foster-parent child relationship.

Adults can adopt another adult if they’ve previously had a substantial family relationship with that child for more than a year while the adoptee was a minor; or for such a period of time or in such a manner that the court finds a substantial family relationship has been created; and they are more than 15 years older than the adoptee.

GRANDPARENT ADOPTIONS

There are many reasons grandparents might be interested in adopting their grandchildren.

Maybe the grandparents have raised the grandchildren since birth or they are currently raising the children without the assistance of the parents and they might be eligible for certain benefits, such as insurance, if the children are recognized as the grandparents’ legal children.

The adoption might also provide the child(ren) with long-term security and protection. At Taylor Law & Mediation PLLC we can assist with grandparent adoptions.

TERMINATION

Termination of parent and children relationship:

  • If the child(ren) was conceived or adopted during a marriage and both parents are still alive; a court has declared someone to be a biological parent; or if an unwed biological father has taken the necessary steps to protect his parental rights, it might be necessary to file a petition to adopt and a petition for termination of parent and child relationship at the same time.

Certain circumstances must exist for the court to terminate a parent and child relationship if the child(ren)’s biological parent does not consent to the adoption proceedings. If a child was not born during a marriage, the court hasn’t declared someone else to be a biological parent or an unwed biological father has not taken the necessary steps to protect his parental rights, it might be possible to complete the adoption process by filing only a petition for adoption with the local court.

FAQs

Do I need an attorney to adopt?

An attorney is not necessary to complete the adoption process in Idaho. However, the use of an experienced adoption attorney can assist prospective adoptive parents with navigating the adoption process. An adoption attorney can assist with drafting and filing the required adoption paperwork and assist with the adoption hearing.

How Much Does It Cost?

It cost $166 to file a petition for adoption here in Idaho. There’s also a fee if you hire an attorney to navigate this process for you. However, an increasing number of employers, including the Department of Defense, now offer reimbursement for adoption expenses.

Can You Terminate Someone's Parental Rights to Adopt In Idaho?

The adoption process can take a few weeks up to a few months, or longer, depending on what type of adoption is occurring, if a home study needs to be completed, if the consent of all parties necessary is readily available or if the rights of one or more parents need to be terminated or not. An adoption attorney can provide you with a better answer depending on the individual circumstances in your case.

Can a Step Parent Adopt Their Spouse's Kids In Idaho?

In Idaho, a stepparent can adopt their spouse’s kids. Sometimes the child’s natural parent’s parental rights have to be terminated before the adoption can proceed. These are cases where the other parent has never been around, hasn’t been around in over a year, or is deceased.

Do You Need To Provide Notice To The Biological Father During An Idaho Step Parent Adoption?

Idaho law requires that you provide notice to your kid’s biological father before your spouse can adopt your kids. If their parental rights have been established, this generally means that their name is on the birth certificate or there is a court order for support or custody. If you were an unwed mother and the father’s parental rights have never been established, you may not have to tell the father before you proceed with the adoption.

How long does the adoption process take?

The adoption process can take a few weeks up to a few months, or longer, depending on what type of adoption is occurring, if a home study needs to be completed, if the consent of all parties necessary is readily available or if the rights of one or more parents need to be terminated or not.

An adoption attorney can provide you with a better answer depending on the individual circumstances in your case.

Do I/we need a home study?

A home study is required in all adoptions in Idaho, with the exception of adult adoptions, stepparent adoptions and grandparent adoptions.

What is a home study?

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare defines a home study as: A home study is a written assessment of a prospective adoptive family’s ability to parent an adopted child. It is a written reflection of the family and their lifestyle. By reading a family’s home study, a child’s social worker is able to get a general impression of them and begin to determine if a particular child will fit with that family. In Idaho, adoption home studies may be completed by the Idaho Department of Health & Welfare, licensed private adoption agencies or Certified Adoption Professionals. As part of the home study process, a family may be required to attend adoption education classes. The person conducting your home study will visit you at your home to interview your family. Home studies may be written for a general type of child, or a specific child. They include the personal history, health and financial statements and criminal background checks for each adult living in the family home. An adoption home study with a positive recommendation for placement is needed before a child can be placed in your home for adoption.

Can same-sex couples can adopt in Idaho?

Yes! Same-sex couples can adopt in Idaho.

Can I adopt if I'm single?

Yes, Idaho allows single parents to adopt.

Can we adopt if we're not married?

Yes. Idaho does not require parties to be married to adopt a child(ren) together (though it might be a good idea).

Am I too old to adopt?

Nope! (Well, unless you think you are. But there isn’t an age restriction on adopting someone.)

Are there tax credits for adoption?

Maybe!

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