Spokane Adoption Lawyer
Adopting a child could be an exciting time for a person who desires to start a family or add another loved one to their existing family. The adoption process is commonly complicated and may confuse someone who is unfamiliar with the conditions that may be required before a person could be approved as an adoptive parent. An experienced Spokane adoption lawyer could review the facts surrounding a person or family’s situation and potentially identify different legal options.
Consulting an accomplished family lawyer who is familiar with the adoption process in Spokane could help streamline the experience. An attorney could assist by working to ensure paperwork is filled out correctly and that prospective individuals are aware of the requirements that may be associated with adoption.
Common Facts About Adoptions in Spokane
Prospective parents who are interested in adoption are frequently single-sex, single, or married. Generally, the criteria to qualify as an adoptive parent is that the individual must typically be 18 or older, legally competent, and have completed a family assessment by an approved agency.
Sometimes parents voluntarily surrender their child for adoption. In other cases, an agency could be involved in placing a child for adoption. The Washington State Department of Health and Social Services or a private placement agency are examples of adoption institutions.
There generally is no age limit for a child to be adopted. However, children who are age 14 or older may need to consent to the adoption before it can be approved. Typically, there is not a requirement for a “waiting period” for a child to reside with adoptive parents before the adoption is finalized.
Consent of the Parties Involved
Before an adoption may take place, the consent of several parties is often required. The birth parents or legal guardians generally must consent. If the child has been handed over to an agency, the agency must typically consent before the process is finalized.
However, there are situations where consent is not required, such as when a child has been removed and parental rights have been terminated. Some reasons parental rights may be terminated are abandonment, abuse, neglect, alcohol or drug abuse. In most cases where rights are terminated, the court typically is attempting to act in the best interests of the child. In some rare cases, after approval, consent may only be revoked within one year and only if is evidence of fraud, lack of mental capacity, or duress.
A dedicated Spokane adoption lawyer could help explain how consent of different parties may influence an adoption case. Discussing the various aspects of an adoption process could significantly help a person looking to adopt a child in Spokane.
The Process of Adopting a Child
Prior to placement, a home study of the adoptive parents also called an assessment, may be required. The study is typically completed by a court-approved agency or individual. The representative completing this assessment may conduct a thorough evaluation of the home environment, the resources of the family, the health of the family members, and potentially identify criminal backgrounds that could be present in a prospective family. Following this collection of information, they generally submit the information in a written report that commonly includes recommendations about the prospective parents’ fitness to adopt a child.
Finding a Child
There are several ways to locate a child who may need an adoptive home. After the home study is completed, a social worker may get in touch with the prospective parents about a specific child who may be a good fit for the family. Alternatively, a prospective parent may have heard about a child waiting to be adopted or found a profile of an available child on the internet.
Visitation and Placement
It may take some time to arrange the child’s first visit to prospective parents’ home. When arranging visitation, the social worker frequently considers the age of the child, location of the adoptive home, school schedules, and other factors that could affect the child’s well-being.
Once arranged, the first visit may occur at a neutral location and last an hour or two. Over time the visits may lengthen and once the child is comfortable, an overnight may be scheduled with the prospective adoptive parents. After a period the visits could lead to a complete and finalized adoption.
The social worker assigned to the case may continue to work with the adoptive parents to arrange for necessary services until the adoption is finalized. Every 30 days the social worker could plan a visit to the home to monitor the child. Once the adoption is finalized by the court, a post-placement study may be conducted to ensure the child has been placed in a safe and appropriate home.
Let a Spokane Adoption Attorney Help
Adoption laws can be complex and the process to adopt a child is often time-consuming. The length of the adoption process alone could be frustrating and improperly filing paperwork could increase a person’s anxiety and potentially prolong the process. When looking to adopt a child, a prospective parent may benefit from meeting with a Spokane adoption lawyer who could help navigate the process efficiently. Additionally, a dependable family lawyer could help avoid potential pitfalls that jeopardize the success of an adoption. A lawyer who thoroughly understands the aspects of adoption law could be significantly beneficial. Call and schedule an appointment to discuss potential adoption options and the processes that could be involved.