Newborn Adoption Attorneys in Washington State
Starting a family is a dream for many. For some people, that dream can feel out of reach at times. Through ethical adoption, adoption attorneys, Christina T. Sherman, PLLC, can work with you to make your dream of family formation a reality through newborn adoption. Ethical adoption works to ensure that the rights of all parties to the adoption are secure an protected and that we are working together to guard the best interests of our infant adoptees.
At Christina T. Sherman, PLLC, we have helped hundreds of clients through the adoption process. Please contact our firm today. We can walk you through the various options and then provide essential legal services to make your dream a reality.
Is a Newborn Adoption in Washington State Right for You?
The Newborn Adoption Process in Washington State
We work closely with our clients through every stage of the adoption, including:
- Choosing an adoption type. You might seek an international, domestic, or interstate adoption.
- Completing a home study. This study is a prerequisite to adoption.
- Finding a match. Some people work with agencies, that find mothers, whereas other people self match and/or hire a lawyer to begin a search.
- Reaching agreement on the adoption process. It is paramount that you work with an ethical adoption lawyer to ensure that the rights of all parties are safeguarded in the delicate process of making an adoption plan.
- There is quite a bit of legwork involved, including obtaining temporary custody orders; terminating parental rights; and agreeing upon the natural parents’ level of contact with the child post adoption, among other issues.
- Finalizing the adoption. You finalize in court by filing an adoption petition.
This is a general overview. Some adoption types require more legal steps, like obtaining visas to bring a child to the United States if you choose international adoption.
Open versus Closed Adoption in Washington State
Once upon a time, all adoptions were closed. As a hold over to this tradition, to this day, all adoption court files are sealed and not available to the public. The adoptive parents never mentioned the word “adoption,” and children were surprised to learn in adulthood that they had been adopted. Natural mothers and adoptive parents typically didn’t even meet.
Today, closed adoption is rarer. Many parents instead opt for “open” adoptions, in which the natural mother (and sometimes fathers) have ongoing contact with the adoptive parents and their children. This contact can include phone calls and emails—and continues even after the placement of the child with the adoptive parents.
Through open adoption, the natural mother maintains some sort of presence in the child’s life. This presence can take many forms: email exchanges with parents, exchanging birthday cards with the child, and even in-person visits.
Many natural mothers are requesting open adoption, and they won’t select a family unless they agree to continue contact. Our firm can discuss this option in greater depth. Parents who agree to open adoption should identify of time what type of contact is expected and incorporate these expectations in a valid, written contract.
Domestic Adoption According to the National Council for Adoption, 1,844 adoptions in Washington in 2020 were domestic. There are advantages to adopting within the United States. Reduced travel and expense are the primary drivers.
Many adoption agencies exist that specialize in domestic adoptions, but you can choose to work independently to find a natural mother through your own personal networks of family and friends.
Looking for a child out of state expands the pool of potential natural mothers, but it does add complications. Every state is a signatory to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children(ICPC). Under the ICPC, a child may not leave their home state until that state and the receiving state both provide formal approval. Meaning, it is possible for adoptive parents to have a long wait before they may return home with their infant. At Christina T. Sherman, PLLC, we are well versed in ICPC adoptions and requirements. We will be prepared well in advance for ICPC process; expedite the ICPC approval process and get you home with your new baby as soon as possible. Looking outside Washington makes sense, even though Washington has experienced some of the highest birth rates in the country. The fact is that it’s easier to find an adoptable child when you cast a wider net.
This is another option. Prospective parents can work with an agency, either in Washington or another state. These agencies actively look for natural mothers and then help connect them to
prospective adoptive parents. Agencies also have lawyers on staff who handle legal work, and they coordinate the required home study.
But you can also hire your own attorney. We can hire a social worker to perform the home study, draft and review all legal agreements, and actively search for natural mothers. We can also help you create a “family profile,” which might be a website or binder that contains helpful information about you and your spouse.
Contact Our Washington Adoption Attorneys Today
Your family is important to us. Contact us today.
We understand that the adoption process may seem overwhelming, and we are dedicated to getting answers to whatever questions you may have.
We serve clients throughout Tacoma, Pierce County, King County, Thurston County, Kitsap County, and the Western Washington area.