You must file the Petition and consent(s) at either DJA Office, E-609 King County Courthouse in Seattle or the DJA Office, 2-C Regional Justice Center in Kent, depending on the jurisdiction you live. Then proceed to the ex-parte department to present Motion, Declaration and Order Directing Filing of Post Placement Report. [You will not be given names of post placements reporters, since this is an independent stepparent adoption. You are responsible for finding your own postplacement adoption social worker.] You then need to contact your independent social worker to make arrangements for an interview.
Post Placement Report
A post placement report is a document required by law for the finalization of the adoption process. Since we are only discussing independent stepparent adoptions here, preplacement reports are not necessary under RCW 26.33.190. Progress of the child after placement, coupled with homestudies and offices visits will be done. The parties must also complete financial forms, medicals, and criminal background checks. Some post placement reporters will help you facilitate this, however, there is an additional cost for these services. Typical costs range from $300-$900 and the post placement report can take anywhere from 3-6 weeks. The financial forms, medical forms, and criminal background forms can be done independently by you, which can help to save you some money.
Confirmation of Consents
Before noting your case for final hearing (requires 14 days notice) you are required to refer your case to the King County Superior Court, Family Court Services, Adoption Unit, preferably a minimum of 30 days before your anticipated date of the hearing. An adoption social worker will make sure that there is voluntariness of the consents given and then make a recommendation to the court on termination. There are fees for these services as well. See King County Ordinance 10643.
Considering an Experienced Adoption Attorney
While In-Home Stepparent adoption is far easier than other options of adoption, the process is still cumbersome and the papers are voluminous. It is higly advisable to consult with an attorney to assure that all the necessary steps are covered.
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