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When and how do i file child abandonment in WA state, child abandonment law in WA state, WA DSHS

Spokane, WA |

What is the time frame in Washington State when one can file abandonment? I heard it was after 2 years, Is this correct?
Also my daughter who is now 12 wants to be adopted by step father (who has raised her 11 out of 12 years of her life) does she now have a say in the courts to what she wants?
If not, what age is it when children can have say?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. There is no formal doctrine of "child abandonment" in Washington and nothing to file that would create such a status. If you mean, "will the court terminate the biological father's rights and allow the stepfather to adopt?" the answer is, "maybe." It isn't a matter of years. It's a matter of serving the biological father with a motion to terminate his parental rights as part of the stepfather's petition to adopt. If the bio father consents, or is defaulted (for example, due to his failure to respond after being served by publication if he cannot be found) then, yes, his rights will be terminated. If he contests, however, then it becomes very difficult (but not impossilbe) to terminate his rights.

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