Adoption is a great way to become a parent and it is an amazing experience for everyone involved. You are not only expanding your family but also giving a child or children the opportunity to live a full, happy, and healthy life surrounded by people that love them.
If you are unfamiliar with the process of adoption, it can be a good idea to consult with a reputable adoption attorney in Boise such as ours. At Boise Family Law, we understand the magnitude of your decision to adopt and will do everything in our power to help you do it right.
Our experienced family law attorneys will help you understand Idaho adoption law, file the necessary paperwork, and appear with you during adoption court proceedings. Contact us today at 208-504-2837 to schedule your initial consultation.
How Do I Start the Adoption Process?
If you decide to pursue adoption in Boise, Idaho, you can do it privately, via a public agency, a state agency, or an independent facilitator. If you wish to adopt a child internationally, however, you will be legally prohibited from doing so privately.
To get started with the adoption process in Idaho, you must first ensure that you meet the minimum legal requirements. You legally allowed to adopt a child in Idaho as long as:
- You are 25 years or older or at least 15 years older than the child you wish to adopt.
- You have a stable source of income to support the adopted child or children.
- You pass a fingerprint background check.
- You complete an approved home study.
- You have enough space to provide a safe environment for the adopted child or children.
If you have contact with the birth mother while she is pregnant, you are allowed to provide some medical and living expenses to her up to 6 weeks after the birth of the child or children. To help you get started with the adoption process, it can be a good idea to contact a reputable law firm such as Boise Family Law.
How Do You Choose the Best Adoption Attorney in Boise?
It is not always easy to choose an adoption lawyer to work with since there are so many available for you to choose from. Still, it is possible to find a good adoption attorney in Boise, Idaho by following the tips below:
The adoption lawyer you hire to represent you in your adoption should be licensed in the state (Idaho). If the birth mother of the adoptive child or children resides in a different state, your lawyer should help find a lawyer for the birth parent and carefully consider which state’s laws are most suitable for governing the adoption.
The lawyer you choose to work with should have a lot of experience working with adoption cases. Adoption is a sensitive topic and you should always ensure that you find out the number of years the lawyer you plan to hire has been in practice and confirm that they have significant experience in adoption law.
Always discuss the lawyer’s fees before deciding whom to retain. Find out how the lawyer’s fees are structured. Keep in mind that some adoption lawyers work at an hourly rate while others charge a flat fee. Remember to ask questions about time limits of the representation, fall-through fees, along with any costs that may arise.
It might not rank among the most important considerations when hiring a lawyer, but it is important to consider how comfortable you are telling the lawyer personal information. Check whether the lawyer seems genuinely interested in solving your problem before you actually hire them.
The location of the lawyer’s office might not be the most important consideration, but it should be conveniently located since you will be going there frequently until the adoption is finalized.
What Are the Phases of the Adoption Process?
There are seven stages to the adoption process in Idaho.
The first phase in the adoption process is deciding what kind of adoption is suitable for you. Do you prefer an adoption from foster care, a domestic adoption, or international adoption? Each type of adoption varies in terms of cost, timeline, and the type of children available.
Adoption Professional Selection
You might assume that all adoption professionals offer similar services and have similar success rates, but nothing could be further from the truth. Not all adoption professionals are the same, which is why it is important to research as many as possible and examine all their services and benefits before you decide.
Adoption Home Study
The home study is almost always a requirement in Idaho adoptions regardless of type since it determines whether you and your home are considered fit to raise a child. The home study can be done through the state, through a separate home study agency, or through the adoption agency completing the adoption.
The adoption professional will notify you once a birth mother has selected you to be the adoptive parent for her child. Once this happens, you and the birth parents will be moving towards a common goal of completing the adoption successfully. Depending on your preferred adoption type, there could be some form of communication between you and the birth parents prior to the adoption.
Pre-Placement Visit and Actual Placement
If you are tentatively chosen by a state or even private adoption agency to adopt a child, you will have the opportunity to meet the child or children and actually spend time together to determine whether or not the suggested match is suitable for your family as well as the child. If it is a suitable match, the child can move into your home.
The post-placement supervision is mandatory before the adoption is finalized. A 6-month period after placement is planned for the child and adoptive family to start building a stable relationship before the adoption is finalized. During this time, an adoption worker visits regularly with the family to offer assistance and support.
The amount of post-placement contact that occurs between you and the birth parents will be determined by the adoption plan you agreed to. There will be varying levels of openness with adoptions that translate to varying degrees of communication. It typically includes pictures and letters to the birth parents via the adoption professional or agency and continues for several years after the birth of the child.
If the placement continues to be positive, a request is then submitted to the court to schedule a hearing. Several legal obligations have to be addressed such as a verification that the child is actually legally free to be adopted, the agency with custody of the child consents to the adoption, etc. At the hearing, the judge reviews information about the child and family and may approve the adoption. If the judge approves the adoption it is now finalized.
Is the Birth Father Required to be Involved in the Adoption Process?
Adoption in Idaho requires the consent of both parents as long as they meet certain requirements, which gives them the right to do that. The involvement of the birth father in the adoption process will depend on several factors.
If he was married to or lived with the birth mother at some point during the pregnancy, his consent will most likely be needed before placing the child for adoption. If he was never married and never lived together with the birth mother then his consent will most likely not be needed. Still, he may be notified of the pending adoption and may have the right to either consent or object at that point.
If you aren’t sure of how to proceed with the birth father’s involvement, you can always get in touch with us here at Boise Family Law to discuss your situation.
Do You Have to be Wealthy to Adopt?
You don’t have to be wealthy, own your own home, or even have a college degree to adopt. Still, you will be required to demonstrate that you are capable of supporting yourself without any additional income, such as adoption assistance provided by the government.
What Are the Adoption Costs in Idaho?
Adoption costs in Idaho may vary depending on the type of adoption you choose to pursue. Domestic adoption will be different from international adoption while adoption from a government agency will be different from a private agency.
Here are some of the expenses that you may have to consider when looking to adopt a child in Idaho, no matter the adoption type that you decide to pursue:
- Medical costs for the birth mother and child
- Legal and agency fees
- Reasonable maternity and living expenses during the pregnancy and up to 6 weeks after the birth of the child.
Note: Financial assistance to the birth parent may not exceed $500 without the court’s prior approval. Allowed expenses can only be paid to third-party vendors. Financial assistance may not exceed $2,000 unless with authorization by the court. All expenditure has to be presented by verified affidavit of the attorney or agency once the adoption is finalized.
How Long Does the Adoption Process Take?
The length of time it takes to complete the adoption process depends on several factors such as how quickly your home study provider receives your application, medical, and personal references and background checks, when you are able to complete your training, and the home study timeline of your home study provider.
After being approved for adoptive care, the time taken to receive a placement equally depends on many different factors, such as the type of child (health, race, gender, age, etc.) you are willing to accept, along with the type and number of children in need of placement. There’s typically a minimum 6-month period of supervision of the child’s placement before finalization of the adoption.
How Long Until the Adoption Is Finalized?
Finalization of adoption typically takes place anywhere from 3 months to 1 year after the child comes home. The adoption cannot be finalized prior to expiry of the birth parents’ revocation period and a social worker has completed at least 1 post-placement visit. However, finalization can happen soon after the child is considered legally free if you are adopting from foster care?
Will the Adopted Children Know about Their Birth Family?
It is always advisable to have some degree of openness for the sake of the child and may actually be mandated by the courts during the adoption process. In fact, Idaho maintains the Idaho Voluntary Register that provides contact details about all persons connected with the adoption. As long as all parties consent to have their information available, contact can be made after the child grows up.
Children in adoption, even the younger ones, can understand that they have birth parents they no longer live with. Children won’t magically forget their parents, whether or not they are in their life. The best advice is to follow whatever level of openness the adoption paperwork requires and be as open as possible in including birth family members in the adopted child’s life.
Can a Mother Revoke Her Consent to Adoption?
In Idaho, a mother is allowed to revoke her consent to the adoption and have her parental rights restored even without the intervention of the court. However, she will have to reimburse the adoptive parent or parents for any expenses paid relating to the adoption.
Contact an Experienced Adoption Attorney in Boise
The adoption process in Idaho might seem complex and daunting, but if you have an experienced Boise family law adoption lawyer on your side, you are setting yourself up for success. At Boise Family Law, we care deeply for all our clients.
We not only take time to get to know you and your unique circumstances but also work on completing each case personally. We are here for you during this exciting time in your life and are qualified to help you expand your family legally.
Contact us today at 208-504-2837 to schedule your initial consultation to discuss your legal options.