Back in January, I sent out a special issue of my newsletter addressing one of my top legislative priorities: adoption. As many of you may not know, I, as well as my three siblings, was adopted! Enacting legislation to help protect the child, along with the biological and adoptive families has been a huge priority of mine since taking my seat in the House.
We’ve seen some progress, big and small, on many of these bills since January, and I wanted to revisit them in time for next week’s second funnel deadline. Below, I’ll provide updates on each bill, where they stand in the legislative process, along with a general overview of their individual purpose.
On Thursday, I floor manage HF474, my fifth bill related to adoption this General Assembly. It passed 93-2.
2023 Adoption Bills
HF400: This bill provides assurances to mothers considering placing their unborn child for adoption by allowing them to revoke their voluntary termination of parental rights after the allotted time if the father later declines to terminate his rights. Update: Passed the House on March 15.HF469: This bills allows for the waiver of an in home placement investigation if the child to be adopted by the child’s guardian and has been in the home for at least 3 years. Update: Passed the House on March 15 HF268: This bill allows for the addition of biological parent information of an adult adopted person to an original certificate of birth if both the father and mother (or their legal representatives) agree. Update: Passed out of Judiciary Committee and has been assigned to the Ways and Means Committee as there is a fee related to obtaining the amended original birth certificate. HF369: This bill expands the role of the State Public Defender’s office by permitting them represent all adoptive parents and guardians ad litem who are adopting children out of the foster care system. Update: Passed out of the House on March 9. HF272: This bill requires employers to extend the same parental family leave policies that they have for biological parents to adoptive parents of children up to the age of 6. Update: Passed the House on February 22. Only needs to pass the Senate and will go to the Governor.
HF351: This bill doubles the Iowa income tax credit for adoption expenses from $5,000 to $10,000 over 2 years. Update: This bill is assigned to Ways and Means and awaits committee action.
HF474: This bill allows birth mothers to relinquish babies within 90 days of birth directly to a non-profit private placement adoption agency under the Safe Haven Law. Update: Passed out of the House on March 22.
I’d again like to give a quick shout-out to my colleague and friend Rep. Megan Jones for her help in co-sponsoring these bills with me. I also must add that it was Rep. Jones that came up with the idea of having the State Public Defender represent adoptive parents back in 2021.