If you have made the decision to grow your family, but the traditional route of pregnancy isn’t possible for you, or you want to provide a home to a child in need, adoption is an exciting and rewarding route to take. At The Law Offices of Mackenzie Sorich, PLLC, we are thrilled to offer Adoption Law Services in support of a range of situations in King and Snohomish Counties. If you’re just beginning to investigate adoption as an option, today’s blog post is for you. We’re looking at six things you need to know about Washington’s adoption process before you get started.
1. The state of Washington has guidelines regulating who can adopt. To adopt you must be over 18 years of age, and cannot have a record of committing any crimes against children or violent crimes. You must have a stable income that will allow you to provide for your family reliably. You can be married or single.
2. If you are looking for a child to adopt, there are services that may be able to match you. In some states it is illegal to facilitate adoption for a fee. Washington restricts this only in regulating that licensed agency workers and attorneys are the only ones who can accept payments to help place a child. To be able to advertise your interest in adopting a child, you must first complete a successful home study.
3. The child’s biological parents or legal guardians must consent to the adoption. Parents’ legal rights can in some cases be involuntarily terminated when it is in the child’s best interest. In these cases, the agency or department to whom they have been relinquished must typically consent.
4. If the child you are adopting is 14 or older, he or she must also agree to the adoption.
5. The adoptive parents and birth parents may choose to enter into a post-adoption contact agreement regulating how much contact there will or will not be between them. Keep in mind that these are only legally binding if entered into through a court order.
6. Sixty days after an adoptive child enters into a home in Washington, the same person who conducted the initial home study will conduct an post-placement report evaluation. After this, the adoption can be finalized.
If you have questions, we can help!
If you have any questions about Washington adoption, our team is here to help you. Please contact The Law Offices of MacKenzie Sorich, PLLC today to discuss your unique situation and needs. We can’t wait to hear from you.