Adoptions can be wonderful. They can help you bring new children into your family or to adopt your husband’s or wife’s child as your own. Adoptions can happen in many ways, and they’re fantastic when the right people get paired with the correct children.

Like in other states, Iowa has a state foster care and adoption program through the Department of Human Services. If you want to adopt, you should know that many people start with foster care. This may not be in your plan, but it can be one of the more affordable ways to adopt. You have the right to pursue international, private or foster-care adoption once you’re approved to adopt, but be aware that foster-to-adopt programs do have a goal of reunification with the child’s original parents when possible. In around 70% of cases, children in foster care in Iowa do end up back with their parents or a relative.

How do you know if a foster child could be up for adoption?

If you do choose to foster a child, you’ll only be able to adopt them if the parents’ rights are terminated.

If you are a relative of a child who is entering the foster-care program, then you may want to look into a permanency plan. You should call the child’s Department of Human Services caseworker to ask more. Remember, even if you are a family member, you can only adopt if you are an approved adoptive family by the Department of Human Services, which is something you may want to discuss with your attorney.