Become a Foster or Adoptive Parent
Thank you for your heart for Iowa’s children!
Becoming a foster or adoptive parent is full of rewards and challenges. We know you have lots of questions, and we’re excited to help you answer them! Here you’ll learn about kids in foster care, the licensing process, your support team and how to get started. Please use the options below to explore more information about foster care and adoption in Iowa.
We’re glad you’re here!
What is Foster Care?
Foster care is a temporary home for a child with a caring family. The goal is to safely reunite these children with their birth families. As a foster parent, your impact goes beyond a child—you may have a chance to help an entire family move toward wholeness.
Children in foster care come from all backgrounds. They range in age from birth to age 18. Many have siblings in foster care with them. Most have experienced abuse or neglect.
These children enter foster care through no fault of their own. However, kids who have faced trauma sometimes have learned habits or behaviors to keep themselves safe. You can give them a nurturing home where they feel safe to learn new habits.
All of these children are in the protective custody of the state. The ultimate goal of foster care is to reunify children with their birth families.
However, in some situations, the courts decide reunification with the birth family will not be possible. A judge can then decide through a series of court hearings to terminate the parents’ legal rights to their child. If both parents have rights terminated, then the child is legally available for adoption, and his or her DHS caseworker may look for an adoptive home.
Ready to Get Started?
Learn how to start the foster care and adoption process today.