Filing your Iowa stepparent adoption doesn’t have to be difficult.
Prior to filing your Petition for adoption, you must have been a bona fide resident of Iowa for six months prior to the filing of the petition, which residency must be stated in the complaint and proved at the final hearing (Drivers License, etc.). If both parties currently reside in the state, then there is no time period required.
If you have minor children living with your spouse in another state for over six months, then you should consider filing in that state as that court has jurisdiction over the children. Your spouse can waive that jurisdiction in writing.
You should file the adoption in the county your spouse lives in, or in the county that you both lived in when you separated, or in your county if your spouse lives out of state. You or your spouse must have a Iowa address in the county of filing. Iowa civilian residents living overseas may file in Iowa if they have maintained their residency in Iowa.
The grounds which typically justify the termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption involve abandonment, failure to support the child, imprisonment, certain abuse, and other grounds. The grounds for the termination of parental rights are different for each state, but all states accept the grounds of abandonment and lack of support, and some states include other grounds.
In Iowa, the absent parent has given implied consent to adoption or relinquishment pursuant to Section 26-10A-9 as outlined below:
Most states do not have any provisions for the visitation rights of the parent losing parental rights, or the grandparents associated with that parent. There are some states that will recognize agreements for visitation by the parent losing their parental rights, but this is typically up to the discretion of the adopting parents.
Our documents are for the entire State of Iowa.
You must file the adoption documents in the District Court in the county in which you are filing. Some court addresses for larger counties are as follows:
Polk County District Court: 500 Mulberry Street Room 212, Des Moines, IA 50309 Phone: 515-286-3772
Pottawattamie County District Court: 227 S 6th Street, PO Box 476, Council Bluffs, IA 51502 Phone: 712-328-5604
Johnson County District Court:PO Box 2510, Iowa City 5224, IA -2510 Phone: 319-356-6060
Linn County District Court: Third Ave Bridge, PO Box 1468, Cedar Rapid, IA 52406 Phone: 319-398-3411
Scott County District Court: 400 West Fourth Street, Davenport, IA 52801 Phone: 563-326-8648
Woodbury County District Court: 620 Douglas, Room 101, Sioux City, IA 51101 Phone: 712-279-6611
The court filing fees for an adoption in Iowa are approximately $105. The publication fee is approximately $65.
There may also be a home study fee that is paid later in the adoption process. Check with your local court for the fee, if any, that may be associated with the home study.
You may call the Clerk of the Court in your county to determine the exact fees in your county.
In many stepparent adoptions, the absent parent may be willing to sign a consent form which consents to the termination of their parental rights and consents to the adoption. If the absent parent is willing to sign a consent this will make the process a little easier because the court will know from the beginning that all parties agree to the stepparent adoption. Many of our adoption customers don’t know the whereabouts of the other parent, or the other parent has such a disinterest that he/she just won’t sign any documents. In this situation, you will file the adoption documents and then serve the absent parent by the following manner:
1.Whereabouts of the other parent are UNKNOWN:
If you are unable to locate the absent parent after a diligent search, then you can serve the parent by publication. This means that a notice is published in a local legal publication. Typically publication is once a week for 4 weeks. The publication fee for the newspaper averages around $85, but varies depending on where you live. Upon the filing of the Affidavit, the clerk shall direct that service of notice be made by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the complaint is filed. We provide all the required documents for service by publication.
2.The parent just won’t sign, but grounds exist for the adoption: If you know the whereabouts of the other parent, but that parent won’t sign due to disinterest, you can have that parent served by the Sheriff’s department or a private process server. This can be done even if the other parent is incarcerated in jail or a federal prison.
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Every customer is backed by a 100% money back guarantee. Please read our guarantee page for more information on this great policy. We start working on your documents the moment you submit your order. Our adoption department will work with you personally. We take the guess work out of completing your stepparent adoption.
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Submit your order today, file tomorrow. We make our process simple and we guarantee your documents to be to you in less than 24 hours, ready to sign and file with the court. Then we stay with you until your adoption is final - that's service.
Name change for your child: INCLUDED FOR FREE
New Birth certificate: INCLUDED FOR FREE
Consent documents: INCLUDED FOR FREE
Publication documents: INCLUDED FOR FREE
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