Washington Adoption Lawyer
Many individuals in Washington become involved in the adoption process, either by looking to expand their family or by needing to put a child up for adoption. In any of these cases, a Washington adoption lawyer can help.
If you are considering adopting a child or placing a child for adoption, an experienced family law attorney can guide you through the lengthy and complex – yet rewarding- process.
Legal Considerations for Adoption
There are many legal considerations that arise when it comes to adoption, including who may be adopted, who may adopt, and whether any third-parties must give consent to the adoption.
Washington state law allows anyone to be adopted, even adults. However, most adoptions involve children and when minors are adopted, the court may require approval from several different parties so that the adoption can be finalized without fear that one party may later return and seek custody of the adopted child.
This is typically in the best interest of the adoptive child, since his or her bond with his or her adoptive families are best served by having stability in his or her home life and family relationships.
Common Types of Adoptions
Some of the most common adoption cases involve:
- Prospective parents working with an adoption agency
- Birth parents selecting adoptive parents
- Step parents adopting stepchildren
- Grandparents adopting grandchildren
- Foster parents adopting their foster children
Whatever the specific circumstances, an experienced Washington state adoption lawyer can help families considering adoption.
Consent Required for an Adoption
The parties who must give consent for an adoption include the birth mother, the birth father, the child’s legal guardians – if different from the birth parents, and any state agencies involved, such as child services. The adoptee must also consent if he or she is 14 or older.
Termination of Parental Rights
If a birth parent does not give consent, the adopting parents, the other birth parent, or social services may seek termination of parental rights. Even if a birth parent is not on the child’s birth certificate and has never been involved in the child’s life, it may still be necessary to notify him or her and seek his or her consent before moving forward with termination of parental rights.
An experienced adoption lawyer from Washington state can help make sure adoptive parents meet the consent and notification requirements.
Steps Potential Adoptive Parents Must Take
Adoptive parents in Washington must be age 18 or older, considered legally competent by the court, and must successfully complete an adoption study, or so-called family assessment.
Unlike some other states, Washington does not require a temporary residency requirement. In other words, the adoptee does not need to live with the adoptive parents for a specific period before an adoption can be finalized.
LGBT Adoption Rights
Many adoptive parents in Washington are LGBT. The state of Washington allows both same-sex couples and single LGBT persons to become adoptive parents, and same-sex partners may seek stepparent adoption of their partner’s child.
Consult an Experienced Washington Adoption Attorney Today
Whether you are a birth parent looking to place a child for adoption, or an adoptive parent seeking for your relationship with your child legally recognized, an experienced Washington adoption lawyer can help you protect your rights and those of the child or children involved.
An attorney can help you understand the process and the steps you need to take to make the adoption process as easy as possible. They can make sure you meet important deadlines and take all the necessary steps to have a successful adoption.