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Idaho Adoption Laws

Choosing to expand your family through adoption can be an exciting but stressful time. The adoption process can be long and complicated. Every state has laws to regulate who can adopt, who can be adopted, and other adoption requirements. Sometimes the procedures can vary, depending on the type of adoption, from private to foster care to international adoptions.

Read on for a brief summary of adoption laws in Idaho.

Adoption Laws in Idaho

The following table offers a brief introduction to the main adoption laws in Idaho.

Code Sections

Idaho Code Title 16, Chapter 15: Adoption of Children (includes adult adoption)

Who Can Adopt?

Any adult resident of Idaho who is at least 15 years older than the child or at least 25 years of age or older, except for spouses of the natural parent (stepparent adoptions); a person adopting an adult who has shown a substantial relationship as a parent has been maintained for over a year; or after a court investigation to find that a substantial family relationship has been created.

Who Can Be Adopted?

Any child with the consent of their parents, if living; children 12 and older who consent; adult where the person adopting has sustained a parental relationship with the adoptee; only mother if unmarried and paternity not been established

Consent of Adopted Person

A child or adult who is at least 12 years old must consent to the adoption unless he or she lacks the mental capacity to consent.

Home Residency

Idaho doesn't require a specific amount of time for the child to live in the home before the adoption can be finalized.

State Agency

Idaho Department of Health & Welfare facilitates the state foster care adoption services.

State Court

The local district court in the local judicial district handles adoptions.

Statute of Limitations to Challenge Adoption

The time limit to challenge an adoption, called the “statute of limitations," is six months from the date the adoption order became final.

Revocation and Dissolution of Adoptions

If a natural parent revokes an adoption and keeps the child, he or she will be required to reimburse the prospective adoptive parents for all adoption expenses such as medical costs, legal fees, and food and clothing for the child. Adoptions can also be dissolved anytime after the adoptee turns 21 years old when the adoptee and adopting parent agrees and the stepparent divorces the biological parent.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Idaho adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.

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