A. Alene Anderson Lawyer Seattle

Adoption

Washington adoption laws often require termination of parental rights. This may be voluntary when one or both biological parents agree to termination so that a child may be adopted by a new family or a step-parent, or may also be involuntary and imposed by Court Order after a hearing based on a petition to terminate parental rights. In any case, the assistance of an adoption attorney is advisable and in some cases is required by the law.

Seattle Lawyer A. Alene Anderson
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Alene Anderson has represented many adoption clients including step-parent and second parent adoptions, domestic partner adoptions, as well as agency adoptions and DSHS adoptions.

Step-Parent Adoption

The most common form of adoption is step-parent adoption, also referred to as second parent adoption. The step parent adoption is relatively straight forward process when a parent agrees to terminate his or her parental rights in order to allow a child to be adopted by the other parentís new spouse. The adoption requires formal approval by the court and is normally completed relative quickly when all parties are in agreement and the proposed adoptive parent is approved by the social worker who conducts an investigation called a home study. Without a termination agreement or forced termination for other reasons (such as death, unknown sperm donor, or termination in prior Court proceedings), the process can be substantially more difficult and time consuming, and with no guarantee as to the outcome.

Domestic Partner Adoption

There is no legal reason why same sex couples should be denied the right to adopt a child. Luckily, Washington is one of only a few states in the United States that permits gays and lesbians to adopt children, but it is important to recognize that there still may be difficulties arising during the process of adoption for same sex couples. While a domestic partner adoption is similar to a step-parent adoption, there can be additional or different hurdles depending on the circumstances of the birth father/donor. As an experience lawyer in domestic partner adoptions, Alene Anderson will do everything she can to help make sure adoption goes smoothly for you and your partner.

Agency Adoption (foreign & domestic)

When adopting through an adoption agency, the agency will first conduct an investigation of the potential adoptive parents, which will later or simultaneously include a home study investigation and report by a social worker. If the results of the investigation are positive, the agency will then assist the adoptive parents in finding a child to adopt. With a match made, the adoptive parents file a petition for adoption with the court, and the biological parents sign documents which terminate their parental rights and otherwise consent to the adoption. An adoption lawyer represents the adoptive parents, and a different adoption attorney provides advice and counsel to the biological parents.

DSHS Adoptions

Foster parents who want to become legal parents of their foster children should seek the assistance of both DSHS and an attorney to assist with the adoption proceeding.