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Adoption has been described as the creation of a continuing parent-child relationship not formed by birth. Adoption creates a legal parent-child relation just as if it is a biological one. In Iowa adoption is a two step process involving a termination of parental rights and the adoption itself. After a termination of parental rights has been completed, the provisions of Iowa Code Chapter 600 govern the finalization of the adoption. Iowa law also allows for step-parent and adult adoptions. In a step-parent adoption the husband or wife of a parent can adopt the child and be a legally recognized parent to that child.

For more information on adoptions you can refer to our handouts The Decision to Adopt , The Interstate Compact on the Adoption of Children, Independent Adoptions, and Hard-to-Place Children.