Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P.

Serving Story County and Central Iowa since 1906

323 6th St.
Ames, IA 50010-0664

Phone: (515) 232-4732

FAMILY LAW :: Back to Practice Areas

I. General Information about Family Law
II. Marriage
     A. Traditional
     B. Common Law
III. Premarital/Prenuptial Agreement
IV. Divorce
     A. Grounds
     B. Fault or No-Fault
     C. Annulment
     D. Alienation of Affection
V. Alimony, Spousal Support and Maintenance
VI. Division of Property
     A. Community Property
     B. Equitable Distribution
VII. Adoption
     A. Public adoption
     B. Private adoption
     C. Transracial adoption
     D. Intra-national and International adoption
     E. Single parent adoption
     F. Summary of Adoption procedure
VIII. Child Custody and Visitation
IX. Child Support
X. Conclusion
Frequently Asked Questions


Adoption is the practice in which an adult assumes the role of parent for a child who is not biologically their own and giving him or her all the rights and privileges of one’s own child.
Most laws are designed with the best interests of the child in mind, not the best interests of the adult who intends to adopt. The adoption procedure varies depending on whether the child comes from an agency which handles adoptions or comes from a stranger or relative, along with the age of the child and the adoptive parent or parents.

Adoption law is generally governed under state law. All 50 states have statutes governing adoption.

Public adoption

What you face in a public adoption are children who are wards of the state because their parents could not provide adequate care for them, or neglected or abused them. These children are of all ages and most have been in foster homes for a long period of time. Public adoptions are run by a government funded agency.

Private adoption

Private adoption is a legal method of building a family through adoption without using an adoption agency. The biological parents relinquish their parental rights directly to the adoptive parents. Private adoption is also governed by state laws.

Transracial adoption

A trans-racial adoption places children with an adoptive family of another race. Such adoptions may be through public and private agencies. However, most trans-racial adoptions take place through the public child welfare system.

Intra-national and International adoption

Due to a shortage of healthy, Caucasian infants, potential adoptive white parents started adopting children from other countries. International adoption has grown in popularity as more families recognize the need to provide homes for waiting children. International adoption is a wonderful option for people who have been trying unsuccessfully to adopt in the United States. Each country has policies regarding the age, income level and marital status of prospective parents.

Single parent adoption

As one-parent households become more common, single parent adoption increases. The issue of personal finances and single income families has become less important since adoption subsidies are available nationwide.

Summary of Adoption Procedures

The formal steps involved in adoption are generally the same in all states. Notice of adoption is given to all parties who have a legal interest in the case, except for the child. The parents seeking to adopt must file a petition in court that contains specific information such as the adoptive parents names as well as the child’s, the child’s gender and age, and the names of the natural parents, if known. Written consent of the agency or the natural parents must be attached with the petition.

A hearing is then held so the court may review the qualifications of the potential parents and either grant or deny the petition. Most states require a period of probation during which time the child resides with the adoptive parents and a state agency monitors the development of such relationship. If the relationship is working well for all parties concerned, the agency will recommend to the court that a permanent decree of adoption be issued. However, if the agency feels the relationship in unsatisfactory, the child is either returned to his or her previous home or is taken care of by the state.

Following the adoption proceedings, a certificate of adoption is issued for the adopted child which replaces the original birth certificate. The certificate of adoption lists the new family name, the date and place of the child’s birth along with ages of the adoptive parents at the time the child was born. The old birth certificate is sealed away and may only be opened with a court order. If you are considering adoption, please seek the advice of one of our experienced family law attorneys.

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Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., is an Iowa general practice law firm with practice including, but not limited to  Administrative Law, Adoption Law, Agricultural Law, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Banking Law, Business Law (including business organization, partnerships, limited liability companies (LLCs), incorporations, and sales of businesses and business assets), Civil Rights, Commercial Law, Construction Law, Corporate Law, Criminal Defense, Elder Law, Employment Law, Family Law (including divorce, prenuptial agreements, child support, child custody, dissolution modification), Government, Government Contracts, Litigation, Personal Injury (including Motor Vehicle Accidents and Wrongful Death), Product Liability, Professional Negligence Law, Real Estate (including mortgage loan closings, IRC Section 1031 exchanges, subdivisions, platting, condominiums, and cooperative housing), Municipal Law, Taxation Law and Tax Preparation, Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning & Probate Law (including financial and medical powers of attorney, guardianships and conservatorships, trust administration, and estate administration), Workers Compensation, Zoning, Planning & Land Use

The offices of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., are located in Ames, Iowa. The lawyers and staff of the Pasley and Singer Law Firm, L.L.P., serve clients throughout Iowa, including the cities of Ames, Nevada, Gilbert, Huxley, Slater, Zearing, Story City, Roland, McCallsburg, Colo, Cambridge, Sheldahl, Des Moines, Cedar Rapids, Fort Dodge, Waterloo, Marshalltown, Boone, Webster City, Eldora, Grundy Center, Newton, Adel, Eldora, Ankeny, Johnston, Indianola, Cedar Falls, Jefferson, Marshalltown, Clarion, Knoxville, and the communities that make up Story, Polk, Linn, Webster, Blackhawk, Marshall, Boone, Hamilton, Jasper, Dallas, Hardin, Warren, Greene, Wright, and Marion counties.