Boise Adoption Lawyer
Down-to-Earth and Experienced Legal Assistance in the Treasure Valley and Southern Idaho
Adoption is one of the most exciting prospects in life. You may be excited to have your family grow, and Schoettger Fabreguette Law Office is here to make that process as smooth as possible. We will provide the down-to-earth and relatable counsel you need to navigate the adoption process from beginning to end. We genuinely care about the clients we work with, and you can expect personalized and attentive legal support every step of the way.
Schedule an initial consultation with Schoettger Fabreguette Law Office today to get started. Serving Ada County, Canyon County, Twin Falls, Sun Valley, Nampa.
Idaho’s Adoption Laws
In Idaho, any adult resident of the state may adopt. If the prospective parent is not the stepparent of the child (below), they must be either:
- at least 25 years old; or
- at least 15 years older than the child.
Additional qualifications for adoption include:
- having a stable source of income suitable to support the family;
- having adequate space in your house or apartment to provide a safe environment for the child;
- passing a physical examination to show you do not have any physical disabilities that may disqualify you as a prospective adoptive parent.
If you are married, your spouse must consent to the adoption. Consent is a very important step in the adoption because if it is not done properly, the adoption cannot be finalized.
Consent to adoption in Idaho must be provided in writing before an authorized officer, district judge, or magistrate. Note that consent is required from the following individuals:
- both biological parents if the child was conceived or born during the marriage;
- the mother of a child born outside marriage;
- the unmarried birth father, if he has established paternity or been judged by the court to be the child’s father;
- any legally appointed guardian of the child;
- the guardian or conservator of an adult who is incapacitated;
- the adopted person’s spouse (for an adult adoption);
- the father of a child born outside of marriage if the father has adopted the child by acknowledgment;
- the child if they are 12 years or older, unless the court finds that they are not mentally capable of consenting.
Note that consent is not required from anyone whose parental relationship with the child has been legally terminated.
The Adoption Process – The Home Study
One of the most critical steps of the adoption process is the home study. A home study involves 3 stages:
- Documentation (background checks)
- Home inspection
- Interviews with the family members living in the home
The home study is an information-gathering process that helps determine if the parents can provide a safe, nurturing environment for the child. Some documents you should prepare in advance include any identification information, marriage certifications, physical and mental health statements, financial statements, and even autobiographical statements.
How to Adopt a Stepchild in Idaho
To adopt a stepchild in Idaho, you must meet the following criteria:
- You have lived in the state for at least 6 months.
- Both biological parents have given their permission. If the absent parent has abandoned the child for 12 months or is otherwise unfit to be the parent, this requirement may be waived.
- If the stepchild is over the age of 14, they must give their written consent to the adoption and must understand that this means their other birth parent will no longer be their legal parent.
If you meet all the above criteria, you may legally adopt your stepchild. Be aware that this process effectively terminates the other biological parent’s parental rights. This is why it’s important to seek the other parent’s consent, because otherwise, they may contest the adoption.
Adoption can be a lengthy process, depending on the circumstances of your adoption. Our adoption attorney at Schoettger Fabreguette Law Office can guide you through the process efficiently, providing personal attention and guidance. We are excited for you to begin this new chapter of your life with a new addition to the family, and we will take care of the legal side while you focus on your family.
Reach out to our attorney at Schoettger Fabreguette Law Office to schedule your initial consultation and learn more about how to adopt a stepchild in Idaho.
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