Practice Areas

Stepparent Adoption

Choosing a Washington Adoption Lawyer

Stepparent adoption is perhaps one of the most common forms of adoption in the United States. In stepparent adoption proceedings, one parent agrees to terminate his or her parental rights so that the other parent's new spouse or partner can adopt the child.

Provided that the adoption is uncontested, this can be a relatively straightforward process. The prospective adoptive parent must also be:

  • Approved by a social worker who conducts an investigation called a post-placement study, and
  • The court must give final approval.

Without a parent's consent to terminate his/her parental rights or a forced termination for other reasons, the process can be substantially more difficult, if not impossible.

The Adoption Process in Washington State

  • Consent - The first step in any adoption case is attaining the biological parents' consent. This can be done via signing an affidavit.
  • Petition for Adoption - In order to commence the adoption process with the Court, the parties must submit the petition for adoption.
  • Post-Placement Evaluation - The court will appoint a social worker to interview both parents and ask questions about their background, employment, etc.
  • Confirmation of Consent - If you are adopting in King County, Washington, then you will need to submit a confirmation of consent from the biological parents.
  • Finalization Hearing - At this hearing, both parties appear in court together with the adoptive child to make their case that this adoption is in the best interests of the child. The judge or court commissioner reviews the documents and finalizes the adoption.
  • Documentation - The parents should receive certified copies of the Decree of Adoption after it is signed. Within 30 days, the decree will be sent to the Vital Statistics Division so a new birth certificate can be created.

Your Premier Family Law Firm for Stepparent Adoptions

Having served thousands of clients over 25 years, McKinley Irvin family lawyers have successfully represented clients in all types of adoption cases. From straightforward, uncontested stepparent adoptions to more complex contested cases, our firm has the experience you need to arrive at the most favorable outcome. To find the lawyer best suited for your stepparent adoption case, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.

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