Iowa

Iowa

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

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Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.43A

The following persons may register with the mutual consent voluntary adoption registry:

  • The adult adopted person
  • An adult sibling
  • The birth parents

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.16

Any information compiled relating to medical history, medical and developmental history, and social history of the person to be adopted shall be made available at any time by the clerk of court, the department, or any agency that made the placement to:

  • The adopting parents
  • The adopted person who is age 21 or older
  • Any person approved by the department if the person uses this information solely for the purposes of conducting a legitimate medical research project or of treating a patient in a medical facility
  • A descendant of an adopted person

The identity of the adopted person’s birth parents shall not be disclosed.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.43A

The State Registrar shall reveal the identity of the birth parent to the adult adopted person or the identity of the adult adopted person to the birth parent, shall notify the parties that the requests have been matched, and shall disclose the identifying information to those parties if all of the following conditions are met:

  • A birth parent has filed a request and provided consent to the disclosure of his or her identity to the adult adopted person upon request of the adult adopted person.
  • An adult adopted person has filed a request and provided consent to the disclosure of his or her identity to a birth parent upon request of the birth parent.
  • The State Registrar has been provided sufficient information to make the requested match.

If the adult adopted person has a sibling who is a minor and who also has been adopted, the request will be denied.

The State Registrar shall reveal the identity of the adult adopted person to an adult sibling if the following conditions are met:

  • An adult adopted person has filed a request and provided consent to the disclosure of his or her identity to an adult sibling.
  • The adult sibling has filed a request and provided consent to the revelation of his or her identity to the adult adopted person.
  • The State Registrar has been provided with sufficient information to make the requested match.

A person who has filed a request or provided consent may withdraw the consent at any time prior to the release of any information by filing a written withdrawal-of-consent statement with the State Registrar. The adult adopted person, adult sibling, and birth parent shall notify the State Registrar of any change in the information contained in a filed request or consent.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.24

The original birth certificate may not be inspected except under order of a court. The State Registrar shall, upon the application of an adult adopted person, a birth parent, an adoptive parent, or the legal representative of the any of the former, inspect the original birth certificate and reveal to the applicant the date of the adoption and the name and address of the court that issued the adoption decree.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Iowa Mutual Consent Voluntary Adoption Registry, Iowa Department of Public Health, Bureau of Vital Records

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

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Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.8
A background information investigation and a report of the investigation shall be made by the agency, the person making an independent placement, or an investigator.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 600.8; 600A.4
The background information investigation and report shall not disclose the identity of the adopted person.The report shall include, to the extent available:

  • The complete family medical and social history of the adopted person, including any known genetic, metabolic, or familial disorders
  • The complete medical and developmental histories of the adopted person
  • A social history of the adopted person

The social history may include, but is not limited to:

  • The minor child’s racial, ethnic, and religious background
  • An account of the minor child’s prior and existing relationship with any relative, foster parent, or other individual with whom the minor child regularly lives or whom the child regularly visits

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 600.8; 600A.4
The background information investigation and report shall not disclose the identity of the birth parents of the minor adopted person.The report shall include, to the extent available, a social history of the minor adopted person’s family that does not disclose the identity of the birth parents. The social history may include, but is not limited to, a general description of the minor child’s birth parents.

A birth parent may also provide ongoing information to the adoptive parents as additional medical or social history information becomes known by providing information to the clerk of court, Department of Human Services, or agency that made the placement, and may provide the current address of the birth parent. The clerk of court, department, or agency that made the placement shall transmit the information to the adoptive parents if the address of the adoptive parents is known.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.8
The report shall be completed and filed with the court prior to the adoption hearing prescribed in § 600.12.A copy of the background information investigation report shall be furnished to the adoption petitioners within 30 days after the filing of the adoption petition.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.8
Any report required by this section shall not be needed when the adopted person is an adult or when the prospective adoption petitioner is a stepparent of the adopted person. However, in the case of a stepparent adoption, the court, upon the request of an interested person or on its own motion, may order an investigation or report.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

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Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 633.223
A lawful adoption extinguishes the right of intestate succession of an adopted person from and through the adopted person’s birth parents and vice versa.An adoption of a person by the spouse or surviving spouse of a birth parent has no effect on the relationship for inheritance purposes between the adopted person and that birth parent or birth parent’s heirs. An adoption of a person by the spouse or surviving spouse of a birth parent after the death of the other birth parent has no effect on the relationship for inheritance purposes between the adopted person and the deceased birth parent’s heirs.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 633.223
The adopted person inherits from and through the adoptive parent(s) and vice versa.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 633.267
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children who were adopted by the testator after the execution of his or her last will, the child shall receive a share in the estate equal in value to that which the child would have received under Iowa law if the testator had died intestate, unless it appears from the will that such omission was intentional.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

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Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 600.15

A decree establishing a parent-child relationship by adoption that is issued pursuant to due process of law by a juvenile court or court of any other jurisdiction within or outside the United States shall be recognized in this State.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.25A

The Department of Public Health shall adopt rules pursuant to chapter 17A to establish a procedure for the issuance of a certificate of birth for children adopted pursuant to § 600.15.


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