A stepparent adoption is the most common type of adoption. Obviously, there are many reasons why a step-parent may want to adopt a child. In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent essentially steps into the legal shoes of the biological mother or father and becomes fully responsible for his or her spouse’s child. After the adoption is completed, the relinquishing parent no longer has any rights or responsibilities for the child, including visitation or future child support payments. In Washington State, past-due child support is not extinguished by an adoption.
Adoptions are governed by state law. In addition, in Washington State, the practice varies somewhat from county to county. The procedure is easiest when the natural parent is willing to voluntarily consent to the adoption. A post-placement report must be procured by the petitioning step-parent. The post-placement report is a basic study to ensure that the adoption is in the child’s best interest. The placement report provider must be approved by the court. If the natural parent does not consent to adoption, it is still possible to proceed with the adoption depending on the circumstances.
If you would like to discuss a possible adoption case or another legal matter with us, please call us at 360-675-9310.