Washington adoption laws


WHO CAN ADOPT IN WASHINGTON?

An individual who is 18 years or older, legally competent, and has completed an approved home study.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.

WASHINGTON DOMESTIC ADOPTION LAWS

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, a child-placing agency, the state, or a government agency may act as a facilitator. The facilitator can only charge fees for coverage of the birthmother’s prenatal care and medical expenses in connection with the child’s birth and relevant attorney fees and court costs.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, living (rent, food, clothing, utilities, transportation). Lost wages possible but not in addition to general living expenses. No time statute, but in practice, about 2 months postpartum, longer in extraordinary circumstances.

Is there a putative father registry? No.

When can consent to adoption be granted? Any time before birth; can’t be approved until 48 hours after birth.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon court approval, which can take place 48 hours after birth, or consent signing, whichever is later.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, but only if the agreement is in a written court order.

WASHINGTON INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION LAWS

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Not addressed in state statutes.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The Dept. of Registration of Births will issue a birth certificate upon request and receipt of a certified copy of the adoption decree and proof of the child’s date and place of birth.

ADOPTION FROM FOSTER CARE IN WASHINGTON

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available to a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 6 years or older, member of a minority ethnicity, member of a sibling group of 3 or more children being placed together, member of a sibling group with one special needs sibling being placed together, has a diagnosed or is at high-risk of developing a physical, mental, developmental, cognitive, or emotional disability. In addition, the child must be in or likely to be placed in foster care funded by the state. Subsidies begin at adoption finalization.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in Washington? http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/services/srvSum.asp

WASHINGTON ADOPTION UNIT
Division of Children and Family Services
1115 Washington Street, SE — PO Box 45713
Olympia, WA 98504
(360) 902-7968
caip300@dshs.wa.gov
http://www.dshs.wa.gov/ca/adopt/index.asp