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Adoption

 Adoption

The guiding principle behind the adoption process for Washington courts is to determine what is in the best interest of the child. The intent behind the adoption statutes in Washington is to provide stable homes for children. There are literally thousands of children each year in need of adoptive homes. Every child deserves a permanent and stable family.

In Washington, any person who is legally competent and at least eighteen years old may be an adoptive parent. Every state requires that adoptive parents complete orientations and pre-adoptive classes.

The decision of whether or not to adopt is a serious one. It is a lifelong commitment that can have a big impact on your family.

The lawyers at Burkhart and Burkhart can help you understand the laws that apply to adoption and the various options and procedures. In some cases, parents can adopt sibling groups to keep brothers and sisters together. Many issues can arise in adoption cases, such as communicating with the birth parents or terminating their rights as parents.

Under Washington family law, an adoption will usually occur after one or both biological parents' rights have been terminated. Sometimes termination is involuntary, and sometimes one or both biological parents agree to termination so that a child may be adopted by a new family. The assistance of an attorney is a good idea. In some cases, an attorney's participation is required by law.

Stepparents are one of the most common types of people seeking adoption of children. Generally in this scenario, the biological parent agrees to terminate their parental rights to allow the stepparent to adopt.

If all parties are in agreement, and the proposed adoptive parent is approved by a social worker and the court gives final approval, the adoption can occur relatively smoothly. Without a parent's consent to terminate rights or a forced termination, the process can be substantially more difficult, and having an attorney to represent the new parents' interests is even more important.

For more details about the adoption process, contact Burkhart and Burkhart for assistance.



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