Making the decision to adopt a child significantly changes the lives of everyone involved. State law governs the adoption process ranging from the most basic of laws (including who can adopt and who is eligible to be adopted) to more complex areas of adoption law, such as when consent is needed in an adoption.
Overview of Washington Adoption Laws
While the relevant statutes that govern adoption are best interpreted with help from an attorney, it always helps to become acquainted with the law by reading a plain English summary. Read the chart below for a basic overview of Washington's adoption laws.
Washington Revised Code:
|Who May Be Adopted/Who May Adopt||
Any person, regardless of age or residence, may be adopted.
Before a state will allow an adoption, prospective parents must meet certain requirements. The following persons may initiate an adoption:
|Petition for Adoption||
A prospective adoptive parent begins adoption proceedings by filing a petition for adoption with the court.
A petition for adoption contains the following information:
If a preplacement report hasn't been previously filed with the court, then it must be filed with the petition for adoption.
Who Must Consent
For a valid adoption in Washington, the following entities must give consent:
In some situations, the court will not need the parent's permission to allow an adoption. This includes when the parent's rights have been terminated by the court in the best interests of the child.
|Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?||Not required|
|State Agency/Court||Social & Health Services/Superior|
|Statute of Limitations to Challenge||1 year|
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
Washington Adoption Laws: Related Resources
Need Help with Washington Adoption Laws? Contact an Attorney
The adoption process in Washington can be lengthy and confusing. It's a good idea to get legal representation for help with preparing the required documents, filing the petition to adopt, and getting a court date to finalize the adoption. Consider contacting a Washington adoption attorney today to get started.
Contact a qualified attorney.