Adoption



In Washington, RCW 26.33. and WAC 388-27 govern adoptions.  The adoption must be in the child’s best interest.  There are special laws/rules for Indian Child adoptions and Interstate adoptions.  In a Washington Agency adoption for a foster child, DSHS or its licensee would be the Petitioner and have temporary placement custody pending the final hearing, whereas in a private adoption the adoptive parents are the Petitioners and would have temporary placement.  Step-parent adoptions are often simpler than other adoptions because a pre-placement report (with criminal background check, etc.) is not necessary, though a post-placement report is still required.  See RCW 26.33.220.  A child medical report must be provided to the adoptive parents prior to placement.  The final step in an adoption is the finalization hearing.  Legal requirements, rules, and procedures must be followed closely throughout the proceeding, with particular attention to notice requirements.  Generally if the adoption is by consent it is called a Relinquishment, and a Consent with waiver of notice can be filed; otherwise in a contested case the matter will proceed as a Termination.  Costs/Fees for adoptions vary, but the filing fee and placement reports alone typically approach or exceed $1,000.