Peoria, IL asked in Adoption and Family Law for Iowa

Q: If my niece been adopted but now want to be with her real family how do I go about getting custody.

My niece has gotten a hold of us and has been asking if I can get custody of her. The adopted family does not want her anymore. I need some type of advice on what can I do to get custody of her. Her dad used to have custody of but lost her she is 16 year old and can make her own decision. Please what can I do to get her back with her family.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Nicholas Hay
Nicholas Hay
  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Decorah, IA
  • Licensed in Iowa

A: Your options are few and very difficult to achieve. You could attempt to establish a guardianship in Iowa if that is where she is living. Her parents would have to consent to the guardianship if you can't prove that they are unfit. Even though she is 16 it doesn't mean she gets to pick where she lives. If you want to adopt, the window for that option practically closed when she was adopted. To adopt, her parents would have to have their rights terminated. Unless they consent to that it is unlikely that is going to happen. If there was an adoption that took place before, then the department of human services has likely been involved and would most likely become involved again if you attempted to terminate the adoptive parents' rights and then adopt the 16 yr old.

You should contact an attorney in or around the county that your niece is living in with her parents. There is no simple answer to your question, and the battle you would have to fight would be steep and long if there is any resistance whatsoever from the parents about her custody and placement.

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