Idaho Adoption Question: Where Is the Adoption Consent Signed?

In Idaho, birth mothers sign their adoption consents in court, in front of a judge. This is required by Idaho law to ensure that the birth mom (and dad if he’s involved) is consenting to the termination of her parental rights and to the adoption on her own free will.  After the birth mother signs her consent, the judge will countersign it and the consent form will be filed with the rest of the adoption case.  The birth mother’s parental rights will officially be terminated at a subsequent hearing.  The birth mother does not have to be present at this additional termination and adoption finalization hearing.  Birth mothers are welcome to bring a family member or friend for support during the hearing.

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Can I Choose the Adoptive Parents for My Baby?

baby-baby-with-mom-mother-kiss-tenderness-67663Yes! Expectant mothers are often hesitant to pursue an adoption plan because there are a lot of misconceptions about exactly where your child goes if you choose adoption.  As a mother making a private adoption plan, your child will not be put into foster care.  Rather, your sweet baby will go from your arms, directly into the loving arms of the family that you select.

Prospective adoptive parents go through a rigorous screening process called a “home study” before their family profile is presented to expectant parents.  They must show that they are financially, emotionally, and physically prepared to be parents.  Their homes are inspected, background checks are run, medical visits are performed, and they are interviewed by licensed social workers.

There are far more families seeking to adopt a child than there are babies placed each year.  This means that the expectant mother has a lot of options, and complete control over the decision of which family will raise her baby. Expectant moms (and dads if involved) making an adoption plan can look for specific characteristics in families to help make their decision.  These characteristics may include things like: ethnicity, age, religion, number of children already in the home, geographical location (nearness to biological mother), and education of the potential adoptive parents.

When a woman chooses to place her baby for adoption, people often say that she is “giving her baby up for adoption.”  We cringe when we hear this phrase. In reality, she isn’t “giving up” anything.  Rather, she is thoughtfully, carefully, and lovingly choosing a family to care for, love, and raise her child.

Call or text us at 208-495-5360 or e-mail us at: for more information and to learn how to make an adoption plan for your child.

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Idaho Adoption Question: When a Minor Places a Baby for Adoption, Is Her Parents’ Consent Required?

Smiling happy family with teenage daughterLast week, we were asked the following question: Can an expectant mom, who is under the age of 18, make an adoption plan without her parents’ consent?  We thought you might be interested in the answer as well.

In the state of Idaho, a minor parent can consent to her child’s adoption without his or her parents’ involvement or consent.  According to Idaho Code section 16-1504(6), “a minor parent has the power to consent to the adoption of his or her child.  That consent is valid and has the same force and effect as a consent executed by an adult parent.”

If you have further questions related to this law or any other questions about adoption, feel free to contact us!

Disclaimer: This information does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  It is recommended that you contact us regarding your specific situation to receive accurate advice.

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The Real Birth Moms Project | Part Two |


At Adoptions West, we can say, without a doubt, that birth moms are some of our greatest heroes!

Terra Cooper, a staff storyteller at is doing a wonderful series sharing the stories of Real Birth Moms.  Part Two is one that we think potential adoptive parents will find particularly interesting, as it asks, “What stood out about the family you chose to adopt your baby?”  Click here to read their answers.


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The Real Birth Moms Project | Part One |



At Adoptions West, we can say, without a doubt, that birth moms are some of our greatest heroes!

Terra Cooper, a staff storyteller at is doing a wonderful series  dispelling the myths and stereotypes attached to birth moms.  For anyone interested in or impacted by adoption, this is a must read.  Click here to read Part One now.

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Stepparent Adoption–The Legal Process


Stepparent adoption is the most common form of adoption.  In an Idaho stepparent adoption, the spouse of the custodial parent (the parent who the child lives with) agrees to assume all legal responsibility for his or her spouse’s child.  The non-custodial legal parent has his or her parental rights terminated.  Once the adoption takes place, the non-custodial parent has no rights or responsibilities for the child and is no longer required to pay child support.

Stepparent adoption can provide not only legal, but also emotional stability to the relationship between stepparent and child.  Adoption by a stepparent can give a child a greater sense of security that this person is not going to abandon her.

The non-custodial parent’s rights can be terminated either voluntarily or involuntarily, depending on the situation.  In a voluntary termination of parental rights, the parent gives his or her consent to the termination and adoption in front of a judge or magistrate.  An involuntary termination of parental rights in a stepparent adoption is often, but not always, ordered based on the parent’s abandonment of the child.

Most types of adoptions require that a social investigation or “home study” be completed to make sure the adoptive parents will be suitable caregivers for the child.  However, Idaho law states that in a stepparent adoption, such a social investigation is only required if the court specifically orders it.  This waived requirement, along with the fact that most stepparent adoptions are voluntary, make stepparent adoptions one of the most straightforward types of adoptions in Idaho.

If you would like to talk to an attorney about stepparent adoption in Idaho or California, feel free to contact us: 208-495-5360 or

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International Adoption–Returning Home

by Tracey Fouché

Int'l-Adoption-Image-1After months of waiting and piles of paperwork associated with your international adoption, you have finally brought your child home sweet home to the United States.

At this point, you would think you are finally done with paperwork and court, right?  Not quite…  After adoptive parents return home with their child, the child needs to be “re-adopted” or the adoption needs to be finalized.

There are two relevant international adoption statutes in Idaho that your child’s case may fall under, depending on the specific circumstances of your child’s adoption, which country your child is from, and the type of visa he or she has been issued.  If necessary, your child’s name can also be changed during this “re-adoption” or “finalization” process.  Additionally, this process will allow for a U.S. birth certificate to be issued for your child.

What type of documents and information will your attorney need to assist you with these processes?  Be prepared to give her the following: your home study, your child’s birth certificate from his or her country of origin, your child’s certificate of citizenship (if you already have it), the adoption decree, order, or certificate from the foreign court, your child’s passport, an authority to adopt document, the applicable Hague certificate, and any other relevant documents.

If you would like to talk to an attorney about international adoption and the legal process in Idaho following an international adoption, feel free to give us a call or send us an e-mail: 208-495-5360 or


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