Adoption

Here to help you navigate the adoption process

Every child deserves a loving, stable home. Growing or unifying your family through adoption can be incredibly meaningful, both for your family and for the child you are adopting. Our team of experienced Washington adoption attorneys can help you navigate the adoption process. We will stand by you, helping you understand your options and the legal system while providing you with the education you need to make the best informed decisions for your family.

KNOWING YOUR OPTIONS

Adopting a Child

 

Whether you are considering adoption or have already made up your mind, it is essential to understand the various options for adopting a child in Washington. Our qualified adoption attorneys can help you throughout your journey, whether you are fostering to adopt, doing a private placement adoption, or leveraging an agency.

Adoption

Second Parent Adoption

Second parent adoption is a process that allows one partner to adopt their partner’s child without terminating either biological parent’s rights. Both people in a same-sex relationship are presumed to be the legal parents of a child born during that relationship in Washington State. 

 

However, many same-sex couples choose to go through second-parent adoption to become the legal parents and ensure they are recognized as the legal parent when traveling. Schedule a consult with one of our adoption attorneys to understand your options. 

 

Step-Parent Adoption

If you are a stepparent, you have likely created a deep bond with your partner’s child. That bond will play an important role in that child’s life, but if anything were to happen to your partner, you might not have a say in that child’s future. In Washington, children can only have two legal parents. 

 

To adopt your partner’s child from another relationship, the birth parent must give up their parental rights or have those rights terminated, and the court must determine if the adoption is in the best interests of the child. Contact our office for a consultation. Our adoption team can work with you to answer any questions you may have.

 

Open Adoption

Washington allows birth parents to maintain a relationship with their children in an open adoption setting. This enforceable contract specifies the type of contact biological parents and possibly biological siblings may have after the adoption is finalized. Our attorneys can discuss the level of contact and what is right for you and your family.

 

Closed Adoption

There is generally no communication in a closed adoption between the adoptee, birth parents, and adoptive family. An experienced Washington-based attorney with our firm can help you petition the court for this kind of adoption and prepare you for questions about the child’s background.

 

Adult Adoption

Any adult can adopt any other adult if they agree. This can be a joyous gift to formally recognize the role of an adult who has played a significant role in your life. The adult adoption process is celebratory, quick, and can be very meaningful to a relationship that has often already existed for many years. 

 

There can also be important estate planning reasons to consider an adult adoption. You should speak with an Estate Planning attorney before moving forward with an adult adoption. One of our experienced family law attorneys can guide the adoption process, and our estate planning team can help ensure your wishes are recorded.

FROM PETITION TO FINAL HEARING

The Legal Process for Adoption

 
To adopt a child in Washington, you must be at least 18 years old and undergo a family assessment to ensure that you can care for a dependent minor. To begin an adoption, you must file a court petition. A knowledgeable adoption lawyer can complete this petition. It will include the following:
 
  • Your name, address, and birthdate
  • The adoptee’s name, address, and place, and date of birth
  • The name and address of the social services department or person with custody of the child
  • Written consent to adoption by all parties
  • Your relationship to the child
  • The legal reason for terminating the biological parents’ rights
  • Notice that you are the best caregiver for the child and that adoption is in the child’s best interests
  • A signature from you and your spouse
It is common to change your child’s last name during the adoption process. Our team can file that request along with the adoption petition.
Once the court approves your petition to adopt, a final hearing will be scheduled to finalize the adoption. You may bring guests to witness the occasion. The court often permits photographs of the new family to be taken.

HELPING YOU DEVELOP A PLAN

Speak With a Washington Adoption Attorney

 

Whether you need assistance finding the child’s biological parents, obtaining their consent, or filing the appropriate paperwork, our firm can help. We can even help gather critical medical records from biological parents and other legal documents, including the petition, financial information, employment verification, and proof of residency.

 

Let our team help you understand your legal options and make the best decisions for your case. We can develop a plan tailored to your family’s needs. Begin the process by contacting our firm and consulting with one of our adoption lawyers today.

Adoption

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