Families pursue stepparent adoption for many reasons. Blending families
is never easy, but stepparent adoption has many advantages and formalizes
the relationship between a child and his/her stepmother or stepfather.
Like any form of adoption, adoption by a stepparent can take time and
may entail guidance from a family attorney.
With the help of a Washington family law lawyer, you can navigate the legal
process ahead. Learn more about stepparent adoption or get in touch with
a legal representative from McKinley Irvin for additional information
about your legal rights as an adopting stepparent.
The Stepparent Adoption Process
The adoption process begins with a petition for adoption, accompanied by
a filing fee. In addition to the petition, you must obtain consent from
both birth parents – your significant other and the relinquishing
If the child is 14 years or older, you must also acquire consent from the child.
Where to file:
Your residential jurisdiction determines where you file the petition and
consent forms. If you live in King County, you will file at the DJA Office,
E-609 King County Courthouse in Seattle or the DJA Office, 2-C Regional
Justice Center in Kent.
Finalizing the Adoption Process
To finalize the adoption, you must complete a post-placement report. Additional
steps during the final phase of adoption include:
- Financial Forms
- Medical Forms
- Criminal Background Check
The post-placement report will most likely take between three and six weeks
Before you meet for your final hearing (approximately 30 days before you
anticipate the hearing), you must confirm that each party gives their
consent to the adoption. Additionally, a social worker will ensure that
each party voluntarily provided their consent.
While stepparent adoptions are one of the easier forms of adoption, legal
proceedings, forms, and other factors can be tedious. Consider working
with a Seattle family law attorney from McKinley Irvin to make sure that
the adoption process moves efficiently and smoothly. To learn more, request
a consultation with one of our attorneys.