Adoption has brought hundreds of children to hundreds of loving parents across the state of Washington. If you’ve decided you wish to expand your family, you may wonder what to expect during the process.
What to Expect When Adopting in Washington State
To adopt a child under the Washington State law, the parental rights of one (or both) of a child’s biological parents must have been terminated. Parental rights can be involuntarily terminated through the courts or parents can choose to voluntarily give up their rights.
Regardless of how parental rights are terminated, it is in the best interest of you – and your child’s future – for you to work with an experienced adoption attorney in Washington State.
Do You Need a Lawyer to Adopt a Child?
As you go through the journey of adopting a child, you need to follow the process from the very start to the very end. You don’t want to make any mistakes or take any shortcuts.
It is not uncommon for adoption cases to be complicated and they often require a generous amount of legal advice to ensure your best interest and the best interest of the child are protected.
As an experienced adoption lawyer in Washington State, our goal at LaCoste Family Law is to inform you of your options and to help you welcome your new child as smoothly as possible.
Adoption by a Stepparent
The most common type of adoption in Washington State – and all around the U.S. – is stepparent adoption. This is the process that involves an individual getting into a relationship with someone who already has a child with someone else.
If you marry someone who has a child from a previous relationship and the parental rights of the other parent is terminated, you can adopt the child.
A stepparent adoption must meet the following requirements:
- All parties involved must agree on the adoption
- A social worker has to approve the adopted parent
- The court has to approve the adoption
What Happens When a Parent Doesn’t Willingly Terminate Their Rights?
Unfortunately, stepparent adoptions are not always a straightforward process. If the other parent does not wish to terminate their parental rights, you will not be able to adopt the child without significant and complex litigation.
At LaCoste Family Law, we can help you evaluate your options in that situation and determine if forcing the other biological parent to terminate their parental rights is a viable option.
Bringing a new child into your family should be an exciting and joyous time. Please contact us or send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us be your voice during the court process so you can focus on celebrating the expansion of your family.