For almost all family law matters in Washington state a person is required to use the state’s mandatory forms to pursue an action – but not for adoptions (there aren’t mandatory forms). So where do you start? The best place to start is purchasing the adoption packet from King County, Washington. You will either have to purchase the packet in-person or mail-in a request with payment. Clark County, Washington has a copy of the packet in their law library (at the Superior Court) to view but you cannot check it out and copies will cost money. Plan accordingly.
For an agreed stepparent adoption (in which you have a stepparent who wants to adopt their stepchild and both biological parents are in agreement), you will need the following documents to begin the proceeding:
- Petition for Adoption by Step Parents
- Petition for Relinquishment of Parent-Child Relationship of Father/Alleged Father/Mother
- Father’s/Alleged Father/Mother Consent to Adoption and Termination of Parent-Child Relationship
- Consent of Child (if the child to be adopted is 14 years or older)
- UCCJEA (Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act) Affidavit
- Confidential Information Form (and an Addendum to Confidential Information Form if needed)
In addition to these documents, you will also need to request the court enter an Order for a Post Placement Report (a pre-placement report is not needed if the child is living in the same home as the step parent already). You make this request by filing the following documents at the same time as all the other documents, as stated above (when you initially file at the courthouse):
- Motion and Declaration for Post Placement Report
- Notice of Hearing
There will be a filing fee, so call your courthouse to double check on the amount because the fee is updated periodically. That should get you started. Keep in mind, this is for agreed adoptions where the stepparent is adopting the stepchild. If the facts surrounding the adoption fall under other circumstances, there will be different procedures and documents required.
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Every legal issue is very unique. Accordingly, the information in this blog is intended as general education material and not as legal advice. If you think you may have a legal issue you should consult an attorney.