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     Idaho Statutes

Idaho Statutes are updated to the website July 1 following the legislative session.


16-1506.  Proceedings on adoption. (1) Proceedings to adopt a child shall be commenced by the filing of a petition together with a copy thereof. The petition shall be initiated by the person or persons proposing to adopt the child and shall be filed with the district court of the county in which said person or persons reside, unless the adoption concerns a child who is the subject of a child protection case. If the adoption concerns a child who is the subject of a child protection case, the petition shall be filed in the court having jurisdiction over the child protection case, unless that court relinquishes jurisdiction over the adoption proceeding. The petitioners shall have resided and maintained a dwelling within the state of Idaho for at least six (6) consecutive months prior to the filing of a petition, unless the adoption concerns a child who is the subject of a child protection case. In order for a nonresident petitioner to adopt a child who is the subject of a child protection case, the child must have lived with the petitioner continuously for at least six (6) months immediately preceding the filing of the petition. The petition shall set forth the name and address of the petitioner or petitioners, the name of the child proposed to be adopted and the name by which the person to be adopted shall be known if and when adopted, the degree of relationship of the child, if any, to the petitioner or petitioners, and the names of any person or agency whose consent to said adoption is necessary. At the time fixed for hearing such petition, the person adopting a child and the child adopted, and the spouse of the petitioner if a natural parent of the child, must appear before the court of the county wherein the petition was filed. The petitioner shall at such time execute an agreement to the effect that the child shall be adopted and treated in all respects as his own lawful child should be treated.
(2)  If the adoption concerns a child who is the subject of a child protection case, then, in addition to the petition filed pursuant to subsection (1) of this section, the department of health and welfare shall file the permanency plan prepared pursuant to section 16-1620 or 16-1622, Idaho Code, associated with the child protection case. If the court determines that the person proposing to adopt the child is not the proposed adoptive parent named in the permanency plan, then the judge shall stay the proceeding pending the department preparing and filing an amended permanency plan pursuant to section 16-1620 or 16-1622, Idaho Code, and the approval of the amended permanency plan by the judge presiding over the child protection case.
(3)  Any person or persons whose consent is required shall execute such consent in writing, in a form consistent with the provisions of section 16-2005(5), Idaho Code, which consent being filed in the court where the application is made shall be deemed a sufficient appearance on the part of such person or persons. If any adoptive parent, or a person not a minor being adopted by a resident adult under the provisions of section 16-1501, Idaho Code, is a member of the armed services and is unable to attend the hearing, his appearance and testimony shall be received by means of deposition, which shall be filed in the court at the time of the hearing.
(4)  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 of its members, consistent with the rules regarding such investigations promulgated by the department of health and welfare, shall be completed and a positive recommendation for adoptive placement shall have been made. The social investigation may be performed by any individual who meets the requirements of the law. A copy of the study must be submitted to the department and the department may impose a reasonable fee, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50.00), for oversight of such privately conducted studies. If the prospective adoptive parent has a disability as defined in this chapter, the prospective adoptive parent shall have the right, as a part of the social study, to provide information regarding the manner in which the use of adaptive equipment or supportive services will enable the parent to carry out the responsibilities of parenting the child. The person performing the social investigation shall advise the prospective adoptive parent of such right and shall consider all such information in any findings or recommendations. The social investigation of any prospective adoptive parent with a disability shall be conducted by, or with the assistance of, an individual with expertise in the use of such equipment and services. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to create any new or additional obligation on state or local governments to purchase or provide adaptive equipment or supportive services for parents with disabilities. In those instances where the prospective adoptive parent is married to the birth parent or is the grandparent of the child to be adopted, such social investigation shall be completed with regard to the prospective adoptive parent only upon order of the court. In exigent circumstances where the prospective adoptive parents are determined by the court to have been unable to complete a social investigation of the family with a positive recommendation prior to the time the child is placed in the home, the child shall remain in the home unless the court determines the best interests of the child are served by other placement. If exigent circumstances exist, a social investigation shall be initiated within five (5) days of placement. Once initiated, all studies shall be completed within sixty (60) days. Upon the filing of a petition to adopt a minor child by a person unrelated to the child or unmarried to a natural parent of the child, and at the discretion of the court upon the filing of any other petition for adoption, a copy of such petition, together with a statement containing the full names and permanent addresses of the child and the petitioners, shall within five (5) days be served by the court receiving the petition on the director of the department of health and welfare by registered mail or personal service. If no private investigation is conducted, it shall then be the duty of the director, through the personnel of the department or through such qualified child-placing children’s adoption agency incorporated under chapter 30, title 30, Idaho Code, as the director may designate, to verify the allegations of the petition and, as soon as possible not exceeding thirty (30) days after service of the petition on the director, to make a thorough investigation of the matter to include in all cases information as to the alleged date and place of birth and as to parentage of the child to be adopted as well as the source of all such information and to report his findings in writing to the court. The investigative report shall include reasonably known or available medical and genetic information regarding both natural parents and sources of such information as well as reasonably known or available providers of medical care and services to the natural parents. A copy of all medical and genetic information compiled in the investigation shall be made available to the adopting family by the department or other investigating children’s adoption agency prior to entry of the final order of adoption. The petition, statement and all other papers, records or files relating to the adoption, including the preplacement investigation and recommendation, shall be returned to the court with the investigative report. The department of health and welfare or other children’s adoption agency may require the petitioner to pay all or any part of the costs of the investigation. If the report disapproves of the adoption of the child, motion may be made to the court to dismiss the petition.
(5)  Proceedings for termination of parent-child relationship in accordance with chapter 20, title 16, Idaho Code, and proceedings for adoption may be consolidated and determined at one (1) hearing, provided that all of the requirements of this chapter as well as chapter 20, title 16, Idaho Code, be fully complied with. Nothing in either chapter shall be construed as limiting the initiation of any petition for approval of a verified financial plan for adoption expenses pursuant to section 18-1511, Idaho Code, prior to the birth of the child who is the subject of any adoption proceeding. In all disputed matters under this chapter or chapter 20, title 16, Idaho Code, the paramount criterion for consideration and determination by the court shall be the best interests of the child.
(6)  Proceedings for the adoption of an adult shall be as provided in subsection (1) of this section, and any consents required shall be executed as provided in subsection (3) of this section. Upon a finding by the court that the consent of all persons for whom consent is required has been given and that the requirements of section 16-1501, Idaho Code, have been proven to the satisfaction of the court, the court shall enter an order granting the adoption. In cases where the adult proposed to be adopted is incapacitated or disabled, the court may require that an investigation be performed. The form and extent of the investigation to be undertaken may be as provided in subsection (4) of this section, or as otherwise ordered by the court. If an investigation is performed, the court must review and approve the findings of the investigation before issuing an order approving the adoption.

[(16-1506) 1879, p. 8, sec. 6; am. 1885, p. 25, sec. 1; R.S., sec. 2550; reen. R.C. & C.L., sec. 2705; C.S., sec. 4687; I.C.A., sec. 31-1106; am. 1951, ch. 283, sec. 2, p. 611; am. 1969, ch. 188, sec. 2, p. 554; am. 1970, ch. 14, sec. 1, p. 26; am. 1972, ch. 196, sec. 1, p. 483; am. 1974, ch. 23, sec. 2, p. 633; am. 1980, ch. 197, sec. 24, p. 451; am. 1980, ch. 368, sec. 1, p. 950; am. 1988, ch. 26, sec. 1, p. 33; am. 1988, ch. 139, sec. 1, p. 251; am. 1992, ch. 341, sec. 1, p. 1031; am. 1994, ch. 393, sec. 2, p. 1244; am. 1994, ch. 426, sec. 1, p. 1334; am. 1995, ch. 161, sec. 1, p. 639; am. 1996, ch. 195, sec. 3, p. 611; am. 2000, ch. 171, sec. 5, p. 429; am. 2002, ch. 233, sec. 7, p. 675; am. 2005, ch. 391, sec. 3, p. 1264; am. 2016, ch. 347, sec. 1, p. 999; am. 2017, ch. 58, sec. 2, p. 93; am. 2023, ch. 10, sec. 4, p. 39; am. 2024, ch. 142, sec. 1, p. 547.]

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