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Giving a Baby Up for Adoption to a Family Member: Is It Right for You?

Sometimes, women who face unplanned pregnancies in Iowa already have someone in mind to adopt their child: a relative. Knowing that she cannot provide the lifestyle she wants for her child, a prospective birth mother may look to a trusted family member whom she knows can provide the opportunities she wants for her child. It can seem like the best option for her in several ways: her child gets the life he or she deserves, while she can maintain a special relationship with him or her as they grow up.

Giving your child up for adoption to a family member in Iowa is certainly an option for you if you are facing an unplanned pregnancy — but it’s a decision that will also come with unique challenges. Placing your child with a relative is in many ways different from placing a child with an unrelated adoptive family. It’s a choice that requires a great deal of thinking and discussion from both sides.

If you do decide that you wish to place your child with a family member, know that the legal professionals at the Nelson Law Firm can help you complete this process. Attorney Ken Nelson and his team can guide you through every step of this legal process and make sure you are comfortable with this path moving forward.

For more information about the legal process of giving a baby up for adoption to a family member, please call our law firm at 319-291-6161 or contact us online.

Can I Let a Family Member Adopt My Baby After Delivery?

While it’s not as common of a situation, sometimes prospective birth mothers wonder about relative adoptions in Iowa. They may think:

  • My family wants to adopt my baby. Is that possible?
  • Can my mom adopt my baby?
  • My sister wants to adopt my baby. Is this the right choice?

Legally, know that this is an option for you. There are no adoption laws in Iowa preventing the adoption of a child by a relative. In fact, you may find that the legal process and the requirements for adoptive parents are a bit easier when they are related to you, the prospective birth mother. It may also be an easier emotional journey when you know your child will be raised by loving, supportive people — people who you have seen successfully raise children of their own or be good parents.

If you are considering giving your child up for adoption to a family member, as long as that family member meets the requirements to adopt, this can be an option for you.

How to Place Your Child with a Family Member

If you are giving a baby up for adoption to a family member in Iowa, your adoption process will be very similar to any other adoption journey. It may actually be expedited, depending on your personal adoption preferences and goals. You always have the right to work with an adoption agency for 24/7 counseling and support, but you can also choose to work solely with an adoption attorney from the Nelson Law Firm to complete the entire process.

Here’s how this kind of adoption journey usually works:

Step 1: Talk with your family member about your adoption preferences and goals to ensure you share the same expectations moving forward.

Step 2: Talk with an adoption professional, such as our adoption attorneys, to learn more about the process ahead of you.

Step 3: Create your adoption plan, including your preferences for a post-placement adoption relationship.

Step 4: Prepare for delivery by creating a hospital plan.

Step 5: Give birth and sign your adoption consent. Your adoption attorney will guide you through this legal process whenever you are ready.

If you are placing your child with a close relative, they will often be heavily involved in every step of the process. However, know that you always have the right to a separate attorney and adoption counselor to ensure your rights and interests are protected every step of the way.

Remember: If a family member is involved in your adoption, there is no chance to “get your child back.” You will still consent to the termination of your parental rights, and you will no longer be that child’s mother, despite the other familial relationship you will gain.

Things to Consider About Giving a Baby up for Adoption to a Relative

In some ways, giving a baby up for adoption to a relative can make your adoption process easier. You will not have to go through the process of selecting a previously unknown family to raise your child, and you will not have to establish a relationship with them during your pregnancy. You will already trust this relative to raise a child safely and lovingly, and you may have a closer (distance-wise and emotionally) post-placement relationship than you would with other adoptive parents.

However, you should ask yourself these questions before giving a baby up for adoption to a family member in Iowa:

  • Am I prepared for how our family dynamic will change? While you will be your child’s biological mother, placing that child with a relative can impact your non-genetic relationship with them. For example, if you place your child with your parents, that child will legally be your sibling — which can be confusing for all members as time goes by. You should think about how this will affect your family relationships.
  • Have you discussed parental roles and boundaries? Just because you place your child with a relative does not mean you will play a role in your child’s parenting. Your family member will be your child’s legal parent; this will not be a co-parenting situation. Talk in depth with your relative before the adoption is complete to ensure your post-placement relationship is properly established and everyone knows what to expect.
  • How will your family talk about your adoption? While it may be tempting to keep your adoption a secret within the family, openly discussing your journey will be helpful to everyone involved — especially your child as he or she grows up. Have a detailed conversation with your family members about how you will address this situation in your son or daughter’s childhood to come.

Some of these topics are more difficult than others, which is why you may consider reaching out to a local adoption counselor for more guidance. Our legal team can always provide references to free, trusted adoption counselors, should you need them. To learn more, or to start your relative adoption in Iowa today, please contact the Nelson Law Firm.

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