Idaho adoption laws


Any resident of Idaho may adopt, as long as the adopting parent is 25 years or older or at least 15 years older than the child (unless the adopting parent is married to the biological parent of the child). Married couples must receive consent from his/her spouse.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.


Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? No.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? No.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Not addressed in state statutes.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling. Living and lost wages: up to $500 without court approval, up to $2000 with approval. No time limit, but total must not exceed $2000. Can petition to over $2000 limit. Birthmother who revokes consent may be required to reimburse adoptive parents.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? After birth, in front of judge.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? After signing.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Not addressed in state statutes.


Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, as long as the foreign adoption decree is valid, and the U.S. Dept. of Homeland Security allows the child to enter the U.S.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, adoptive parents may petition to readopt in an Idaho court if the adoption decree was issued under due process of law and the U.S. Government recognizes the adoption. Adopting parents must provide the court with a copy of the adoption decree and proof that the U.S. Government recognizes the adoption. Readoption is mandatory.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a U.S. birth certificate upon receipt of a copy of the adoption decree with the probable place and date of birth of the child, along with a request from the adopting parents or the adopted person for the birth certificate.


Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: member of a sibling group that is being placed together, has or is at high risk of developing a physical, mental, emotional, or medical condition, is of an age that makes placement challenging. In addition, the child must be in the custody of the Idaho Dept. of Health and Welfare. Subsidies generally begin at adoption finalization, but out-of-state adoptions may qualify for subsidies beginning at adoption placement.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Idaho?

Division of Children and Family Services
PO Box 83720
450 West State Street, 5th Floor
Boise, ID 83720
(208) 334-5697