Adoption is one of the most fulfilling areas of family law. The expansion of one’s family is always a delight, whether it is a step-parent adoption, grandparent adoption, or adoptive parents working with birth parents.
To adopt a child under the Washington State law, the parental rights of one (or both) of a child’s biological parents must be terminated. Parental rights can be involuntarily terminated through the courts or parents can choose to voluntarily give up their rights.
Termination of parental rights is a very complicated process. In order to terminate the rights of a parent the court must find that the parent failed to substantially perform their parental obligations and is withholding consent to adoption contrary to the best interests of the child. Whether consent is voluntary or involuntary, it is important to have a knowledgeable attorney to protect the future of your expanding family.
Once all parties have agreed to the adoption. A social worker is ordered to prepare a pre-placement report and a post placement report. Depending on the type of adoption you may only need a post placement report, i.e. a stepparent adoption.
Once this has all been accomplished, the court will conduct a hearing to consider all evidence (including a post-placement report, if required) to determine whether the proposed adoption is in the best interest of the adoptee; if so, the court will enter an adoption decree.
If you are considering an adoption, please give me a call and schedule a consultation so that I may discuss the joyous process of expanding your family.