Adoption in the State of Washington
In the past 25 years, adoption practice has changed significantly. Historically adoptions have predominantly served families seeking infant placements. Today any child is considered adoptable, whether he or she is an infant, older child, child with special needs, or part of a sibling group.
Adoptions are comprised of a three way relationship often called the adoption triad. Each member of the triad, birth parent, adopted child, and adoptive parents share a relationship, but with a perspective unique to his or her own life experience. Though adoption is a shared journey, no one will experience it in the exactly the same way.
The decision to adopt is an important one. To begin to understand adoption and what it may mean for you, the following basic information is provided as an overview on adoption in Washington state with some basic information on how to get started. Adoption does not end at the issuing of an adoption decree, but is a lifelong journey. As such it is important to individually explore the lifelong impact for you.
Adoption in Washington State occurs through one of the following:
Laws covering all adoptions:
Washington State Law provides certain protection for all parties in the adoption process. Laws pertaining to adoption are covered by Revised Code of Washington (RCW 26.33) and Washington Administrative Code (WAC 388-70-410 through 595).
Laws protecting the child require:
Laws providing protection to the birth parents:
Laws providing protection for the adoptive parents:
Are there any exceptions to the requirements?
If you are adopting the child of your spouse (a stepchild) or if the person being adopted is over the age of eighteen (18), pre and post placement reports may be waived. However, the court may require specific reports to ensure that the adoption is in the best interest of the adoptee. (RCW 26.33.220)
After all required reports are filed, the court will schedule a hearing on the petition for adoption. If the court agrees with the petition, a Decree of Adoption will be entered, a revised birth certificate is issued, and the legal process is completed.
Adoption is a lifelong journey. This information is offered as an introduction to adoptions in Washington State and a beginning step in the journey. It should not be considered the final source of information.
Contact Dave Hawkins today for a consultation.