Washington Adoption Lawyers
Helping Families Grow Since 1991
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 attorney.
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.
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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.
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