Adoption is an amazing opportunity to grow your family and expand your heart, and while it can be a somewhat daunting process, an experienced Bellevue adoption lawywer can help ensure that your case proceeds smoothly and efficiently. If you’re ready to pursue adoption, don’t delay reaching out for the professional legal guidance you need.
Adoption Requirements in Bellevue , WA
Every state, including WA, has their own requirements when it comes to adoption. In the State of WA, you can adopt as an unmarried couple, but you must be able to check all of the following boxes:
- You are at least 21 years old.
- You are financially stable.
- You have accurately completed an application to adopt.
- You have successfully completed the home study process.
- You have freely shared all information requested about your background and lifestyle (and have been deemed responsible and mature enough to adopt in the process).
- You have provided references regarding your suitability to adopt.
- You have provided proof of marriage and/or divorce (as applicable)
- You (and every adult living in your home) have submitted to criminal and child abuse background checks
It’s a lot, but with the professional counsel of a dedicated adoption attorney by your side, there’s nothing to worry about. The process is arduous because the outcome is so important, and WA is committed to always championing the best interests of the children involved. Because you are committed to providing your adoptive child with the love, security, and care that he or she deserves, your successful adoption will likely be a matter of moving carefully through the process.
The Adoption Process in Bellevue , WA
Regardless of the approach you are taking toward adoption, the procedural components remain the same, including:
- Your Informational Meeting – At this meeting, you’ll be informed about the intricacies of adoption and the steps you must be prepared to go through. This meeting will provide you with a comprehensive idea about what the adoption process is going to look like, and you’ll be allowed to ask any initial questions you have.
- Your Preparation Meeting – At your preparation meeting, you’ll meet with a member of the WA Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS). Here, you’ll gain a more in-depth understanding of the adoption process, and the DFPS staff member will ascertain your qualifications as an adoptive parent.
- Your Training – WA has a 35-hour parenting course for prospective adoptive-parents entitled Parent Resource Information Development Education (PRIDE) that will allow you to better explore important adoption considerations as they apply to you and your unique situation. Beyond PRIDE, you’ll attend three additional programs for training and certification – all designed to help you further educate yourself about meeting the needs of an adoptive child.
- Your Home Visit (or home study) – Finally, you’ll have a home visit with a DFPS caseworker who will go over all those elements of your life that are deemed significant in relation to adopting a baby (or child). Expect to review your personal history, your lifestyle choices, your experience with childcare, and more. This interview process will include every member of your household, including other children. The goal here is to compile a more complete picture of the family unit you can provide a prospective adoptive-child and to determine how well prepared you are to take on such a challenge. Your home, itself, will also be scrutinized in relation to its suitability for children. Many people become anxious at the prospect of a home visit, but if you are ready to commit to adopting a child into your life, your home and your interview will naturally reflect this deep commitment.
Each of these steps is designed to help move you forward in the journey toward adoption. It may be helpful to know that every prospective adoptive-parent experiences similar trepidation at the beginning of the process, but the ultimate reward of welcoming a new child into your life has a way of smoothing the path forward.
Seek Experienced Legal Guidance from an Adoption Lawyer in Bellevue , WA
Adoption is a massive commitment and responsibility that comes with an even more significant reward, the opportunity to lovingly welcome a child into your family. While the adoption process is exacting, there’s a very good reason for that – protecting the safety and well-being of every child. If you’re ready for adoption, a dedicated and compassionate Bellevue adoption lawyer at Aberdeen Family Law will be committed to engaging their vast experience to help you on your adoption journey. To learn more, please don’t hesitate to contact or call us at (972) 961-2755 today.