Washington Adoption Lawyers

To adopt under Washington state family law, one or both of the child's biological parents must have had their parental rights terminated by a court. In some cases, this termination is involuntary. In other circumstances, one or both biological parents may terminate their parental rights so that the child may be adopted by a new family, relative, or stepparent. In any of these situations, it is advised- and even sometimes required by law- that prospective adoptive parents work with an adoption lawyer.

If you are considering adopting a child, it is important to understand the process from beginning to end. Many adoption cases are complex and require ample guidance to ensure all parties are protected. Our goal is to both inform clients of their adoption options and assist adoptive families in achieving their goals.

Understanding Stepparent Adoption

Perhaps the most common form of adoption is stepparent adoption. In this proceeding, the parental rights of one parent are terminated to allow a child to be adopted by the other parent's new spouse or domestic partner. This is a relatively straightforward process if:

  • All parties involved are in agreement
  • The proposed adoptive parent is approved by a social worker who conducts an investigation called a post-placement study
  • The court gives final approval

This process can be considerably more arduous when a parent wishes to deny his or her consent to terminate parental rights. Our lawyers can help you understand what your options are in this situation, such as the possibility of forced termination of the other biological parent's parental rights.

Understanding Second Parent Adoption

A second parent adoption allows an individual to adopt his or her partner's biological or adopted child without terminating the latter's parental status. McKinley Irvin’s adoption lawyers have extensive experience handling second parent adoptions, which often include:

  • Preparing petitions
  • Arranging required post-placement reports
  • Representing clients at final hearings

Our lawyers are sensitive to the unique issues that often accompany second parent adoptions, and welcome any opportunity to help LGBT clients secure their family's future.

The Experience You Want on Your Side

McKinley Irvin has the experience and resources you need to be confident in your representation. In adoption cases, attention to detail can be pivotal to the outcome, so you can be assured that no stone will go unturned. For couples or individuals looking to adopt, the first step is asking questions. We extend the invitation to contact McKinley Irvin to schedule a consultation. Our goal is to help you understand both your rights and responsibilities as a prospective adoptive parent.

Laura Carlsen, one of McKinley Irvin's Washington adoption lawyers, has represented numerous couples and individuals seeking to add to their families through processes such as stepparent and second parent adoptions. Laura is driven by a desire to achieve successful results while never sacrificing her clients' well-being.

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