Whether you are a step-parent who wants to adopt your spouse’s child, grandparents who want to adopt your grandchildren, foster parents who want to adopt your foster children, or birth parents who want to work with adoptive parents to facilitate an adoption, we can help.
Adoption requires consent of birth parents (some cases require others to give consent) and the adoptee if the child is 14 or older. Without consent, an adoption can only proceed if the other parent’s rights are terminated. Terminating parental rights typically requires evidence that the parent whose rights are being challenged has failed to perform parental duties showing a substantial lack of regard for his parental obligations and is withholding consent to adoption contrary to the best interests of the child. If successful in a termination proceeding, or if the other parent consents, an order terminating (or relinquishing) parental rights will be entered divesting that parent of all legal rights and duties (except past-due child support obligations).
Once that phase is complete, the court will consider all evidence (including a post-placement report, if required) to determine whether the proposed adoption is in the best interest of the adoptee; if so, the court will enter an adoption decree consistent with applicable Washington Law (RCW 26.33.250).
Judges frequently say that entering an adoption decree is one of the most pleasant and happy parts of their job. Starting a new family or solidifying the legal relationship of a blended family can be one of the most rewarding and fulfilling experiences a parent can have. If you are considering adoption, give us a call and schedule a consultation.