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How to successfully complete a do it yourself stepparent adoption?

Tacoma, WA |

I've gone the do-it-yourself route in the past for my divorce so I'm familiar with the general process of things when not having a lawyer to oversee everything. What possible unkown risks are there to doing this process specifically (stepparent adoption) ourselves? (It is NOT un-contested. We have birth parent's consent.)

When doing this ourselves, what is a detailed timeline of the process and the steps?

Thank you!

Please assume for the sake of this question that we will not be seeking attorney assistance to complete this. Thank you.

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Attorney answers 2


Step parents are allowed to skip the pre-placement report (RCW 26.33.220), but after you file you will still need a post-placement report (basically a home study/interview to make sure it's in the child's best interests to finalize the adoption); timeline depends a lot on scheduling with the adoption investigator and completion of background checks.

You say both that it is not uncontested and the birth parent is on board, so it's unclear which you meant, but if the latter is true and you actually meant that it IS uncontested, your local court has a great resource with forms and contact information for their case workers:

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Thank you very much! Yes I did mean it is uncontested or consented, I apologize.


You should schedule a free consultation with an adoption attorney to discuss the details. It’s always best to consult with a good family law attorney to discuss the details before you act. See my AVVO Legal Guides on adoption for more information about the legal issues raised by your inquiry. Click on my photo. On my AVVO home page click on "View Contributions" or scroll down further and click on "Legal Guides." Scroll down the list of my 29 Legal Guides and select the topics relevant to your question. If you like my answer and Legal Guides, please make sure you mark them as “helpful.”

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