“I see my role as a facilitator of building new families,” Ken Nelson says. “I try to put the legal process in terms adoptive families can understand, make them feel at ease, and let the worrying stop at my desk.”
For hopeful parents, adopting a baby can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of a lifetime — but the process can also be long, complicated, emotional and demanding at times. You deserve an adoption professional who will not only provide the legal services you need, but also the confidence and peace of mind you deserve through each step of your family-building journey.
Iowa adoption attorney Ken Nelson has helped guide hundreds of families through the infant adoption process during the past 20 years. With the majority of his adoption practice focusing on domestic infant adoption, Ken can provide all of the expertise, guidance and services you need to adopt a baby in Waterloo, Grundy Center, Cedar Falls, or anywhere else in Iowa.
His legal infant adoption services include:
- an initial consultation to explain the adoption process and answer your questions.
- help finding an adoption opportunity or referral to another professional for matching services.
- filing the necessary paperwork with the court.
- ensuring the birth parents legally consent to the adoption and their rights are legally terminated.
- guiding you through post-placement requirements.
- satisfying Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) requirements for interstate adoptions.
- arranging and attending a finalization hearing to complete the legal infant adoption process.
- obtaining a new birth certificate for your child.
- referring you to other top adoption professionals for any additional services you may need.
- and more.
Most importantly, Ken will provide the general oversight, legal advice and support you need to feel comfortable with each step of the adoption process.
How Do You Adopt a Baby in Iowa?
Same-sex couples, unmarried individuals, and those struggling with infertility often come to the same conclusion when they are ready to start a family: “I want to adopt a baby.”
For these hopeful parents, domestic infant adoption can be a wonderful way to add to their families and raise a child from birth. In this type of adoption, an expectant mother voluntarily places her baby for adoption with the adoptive family of her choice. In many cases, domestic infant adoption, also called private adoption, gives adoptive parents an opportunity to get to know their child’s birth family and have more complete information about their history.
No two adoptions are alike, and Ken will tailor his services to meet each family’s unique needs. However, the following provides a general overview of how to adopt a baby in Iowa:
- Learn more about the newborn adoption process. The first step for any hopeful parents considering newborn adoption is to contact Nelson Law Firm to learn more about adopting a baby in Iowa. Ken will answer your adoption questions and explain the process in more detail, so you can make important decisions about your family’s adoption plan.
- Complete a home study. If you are planning to adopt an infant in Iowa, you will need an approved Iowa home study that has been conducted or updated within the past year. The home study consists of a series of background checks, home visits and interviews with a social worker to help ensure you are safe and ready to adopt. If you have not already completed the home study process, Ken can refer you to a qualified professional for these services.
- Find a prospective birth mother to adopt from. Once you have been approved to adopt, you will be ready for one of the most exciting — and at times, overwhelming — parts of the adoption process: searching for an adoption opportunity. Ken can keep your adoptive family on profile, advise you as you search for prospective birth mothers independently, or refer you to a trusted adoption agency for additional matching services. You will likely have an opportunity to get to know your baby’s prospective birth parents and develop a relationship with them prior to placement.
- Meet your baby at the hospital. Many adoptive parents are able to travel to the hospital when their baby is born. As your adoption professional, Ken can help prepare you for what to expect at the hospital. At least 72 hours after the baby’s birth, his or her birth parents can legally consent to the termination of their parental rights, and ultimately you will be able to take your baby home from the hospital. However, if you are adopting an infant across state lines, you will need to remain in the birth mother’s state until the ICPC process is complete; Ken will explain and coordinate this process for you and notify you when you have been approved to return home with your child.
- Finalize the adoption. Once you have physical custody of your baby and the birth parents’ rights have been legally terminated, you can begin post-placement visits with a licensed professional. After a minimum of 180 days, Ken will file your formal adoption petition and arrange and accompany you to a finalization hearing in Iowa, and thereafter the legal infant adoption process will be complete.
- Continue your adoption journey. While finalization is the end of the legal adoption process, adoption is truly a lifelong journey. If you and your baby’s birth parents are interested in open or semi-open adoption, Ken can help you plan and manage your post-placement relationship. Depending on your agreement with your child’s birth family, you may exchange pictures and letters, emails, phone calls, and even visits for years to come. Because your family will continue to be shaped by your adoption story, the adoption process never truly ends.
There are a number of important steps and legal services required in every domestic infant adoption. It is important to work with a knowledgeable attorney who is familiar with state adoption laws to ensure all aspects of your adoption are handled safely and legally.
To learn more about adopting a baby in Iowa, or to discuss how to adopt an infant in your specific circumstances, contact Nelson Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.