Completing Intercountry Adoptions Not Finalized Abroad - Idaho

Date: May 2019

Requirements for Completing the Adoption

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1514

Proceedings to adopt a foreign-born child who has been allowed to enter the United States for the purpose of adoption shall be commenced by the filing of a petition under this section. A petition under this section shall be initiated by the person or persons proposing to adopt the child and shall be filed with the district court of the judicial district in which said person or persons reside. The petitioner shall have resided and maintained a dwelling within the State of Idaho for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the filing of a petition. The petition shall set forth the following:

  • The name and address of the petitioner or petitioners
  • The name of the child proposed to be adopted and the name by which he or she shall be known when adopted
  • The degree of relationship of the child, if any, to the petitioner or petitioners
  • The child's country of origin and date of birth, if known
  • That the child has been issued a visa or other document authorizing entry into the United States as an immigrant or for the purpose of adoption or for humanitarian reasons relating to adoption in the United States and the date of the person's entry into the United States
  • That a home study of the petitioner or petitioners was prepared and the name of the person or agency performing the home study
  • That, to the information and belief of the petitioners, the birth parents of the child to be adopted are residents of another country
  • That the adoption of the child is in the child's best interests

At the time fixed for the hearing on a petition for adoption under this section, the person or persons adopting the child and the child to be adopted must appear before the court where the petition was filed. The judge shall examine the petitioner or petitioners at the hearing and, if satisfied that the proposed adoption is in the best interests of the child to be adopted, shall enter a decree of adoption. The petitioner or petitioners shall at such time execute an agreement to the effect that the child shall be adopted and treated in all respects as the petitioner's own lawful child.

This section governs the adoption of all foreign-born children who have entered the United States to be adopted. No consent shall be required from the birth parents of the child to be adopted if the child has been granted permission by the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enter the United States for adoption or for humanitarian reasons relating to adoption by U.S. citizens. A visa or other document from the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security authorizing entry into the United States for adoption or for humanitarian reasons relating to adoption by U.S. citizens shall be deemed conclusive evidence of the termination of the parental rights of the birth parents and compliance with the laws of the country of the child's birth.

The decisions and orders of foreign courts and government agencies, authorized to approve adoptions, shall be accorded judicial comity or the same full faith and credit accorded a judgment of a sister State without additional proceedings or documentation, provided the U.S. Department of State or the U.S. Department of Homeland Security has allowed the child to enter the United States.

Required Evidence/Documentation

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1514

A copy of the home study shall be attached to the petition.

Background Studies

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1506; Admin. Code §

Prior to the placement for adoption of any child in the home of prospective adoptive parents, a thorough social investigation of the prospective adoptive family and all household members must be completed.

In regulation: Adoption home studies must include an assessment of the following:

  • Names, including maiden or other names used by the applicants
  • Verification that the person adopting is at least 15 years older than the child or age 25 or older
  • Verification that the family has resided and maintained a dwelling within the State of Idaho for at least 6 consecutive months prior to the filing of the petition
  • Adequacy of the family's house, property, and neighborhood for providing adoptive care as determined by on-site observations
  • Educational background of the applicants
  • Employment, family income, and financial resources, including access to health and life insurance and the family's management of these resources
  • Current and past mental illness, drug or alcohol abuse, and medical conditions and how they may impact the adoptive parents' ability to care for an adopted child
  • Previous criminal convictions and history of child abuse and neglect
  • Family history, including childhood experiences and the applicants' methods of discipline and problem-solving
  • Verification of marriages and divorces
  • Decision-making, communication, and roles within the marital relationship, if applicable
  • The names, ages, and addresses of all birth and adopted children currently residing inside or outside the home
  • Information regarding the current adjustment and special needs of the applicants' children
  • The religious and cultural practices of the family, including their ability to nurture and validate a child's cultural, racial, religious, and ethnic background
  • Individual and family functioning, including interrelationships with each member of the household and the family's ability to help a child integrate into the family
  • Activities, interests, and hobbies
  • Reasons for applying for adoption
  • The family's prior and current experiences with adoption, understanding of adoption, and ability to form relationships and bond with a specific child or general description of children
  • The attitudes toward adoption by immediate and extended members of the family and other persons who reside in the home
  • Emotional stability and maturity in dealing with the needs, challenges, and related issues associated with the placement of a child into the applicants' home
  • The family's attitude about an adopted child's birth family, including their ability to accept a child's background and help the child cope with his or her past
  • Training needs of the applicants
  • A recommendation regarding the family's ability to provide adoptive care to a specific child (if known) or general description of children

Placement Supervision and Reporting

Citation: Admin. Code §§;

Following the adoptive placement, a period of support and supervision by the Department of Health and Welfare lasting at least 6 months must be completed prior to the finalization of the adoption. The family services worker will make scheduled visits to the home at least monthly during this period to assist the child and the family in their adjustment to each other and will update the child's permanent record by means of monthly progress reports.

Progress reports must be made at intervals not to exceed 30 days. These reports will include the family services worker's or certified adoption professional's observation of each child and the prospective adopting parents, with emphasis on the following:

  • Special needs, special circumstances, or both, of each child at time of placement
  • Services provided to each child and the family during the report period
  • General appearance and adjustment of each child during the report period, including, but not limited to, eating, sleep patterns, responsiveness, and bonding
  • Adjustment of each child to all of the following that apply: school, daycare, and day treatment program
  • Health and developmental progress and medical practitioner information for each child
  • Whether the child has been accepted for coverage on the family's medical insurance, when coverage begins, and whether there will be any limitations, exclusions, or both
  • The family's adjustment to the adoptive placement
  • Changes in the family's situation or circumstances
  • Areas of concern during the report period as addressed by each child and the adoptive parent(s)

Effect of Adoption Decree on Parental Rights

Citation: Ann. Code § 16-1508

A child or adult, when adopted, may take the name of the person adopting, and the two shall thenceforth sustain toward each other the legal relation of parent and child and shall have all the rights and shall be subject to all the duties of that relation, including all the rights of a child of the whole blood to inherit from any person.

Obtaining a U.S. Birth Certificate

Citation: Ann. Code § 39-259

When it appears from a final decree of adoption issued by an Idaho court that a person born in a foreign country has been adopted in Idaho by someone other than the person's natural parents, the court shall require the preparation of a report (denominated as a certificate in accordance with Idaho court rules) of adoption on a form prescribed and furnished by the State Registrar of Vital Statistics. The report shall contain evidence from sources determined to be reliable by the court as to the true or probable date and place of birth and parentage of such person; shall provide information necessary to establish a new certificate of birth for the person adopted; and shall identify the order of adoption and be certified by the clerk of the court. Upon receipt by the State registrar of the report of adoption, the State registrar shall make and file a new birth certificate for the child when requested to do so by the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents, or the adopted person.

The new birth certificate shall show the true or probable foreign country (and city, town, village, or other local designation, if known) of birth and the true or probable date of birth as established by the court and shown on the court report of adoption, the child's new name and parentage as stated in the report of adoption, and any other necessary facts as required by the State registrar. This birth certificate shall not be evidence of U.S. citizenship. The form and content of the certificate of foreign birth shall be established by the director.