Nothing in the practice of law is more rewarding than to help create a family through adoption. The adoption attorneys at Tuohy Minor Kruse has facilitated more than 3,100 adoptions over the past 28 years. We can guide you through this important process.
Here are a few types of adoption in Snohomish County and Skagit County:
The areas of adoption listed above are interrelated and overlapping. We can help you navigate what can be complicated issues, both emotionally and legally, in the area of adoption.
A child's foster family often is the placement of choice when that child becomes legally free for adoption. This is especially true when the child in question have special needs and when a strong attachment has grown between foster parent and child during the course of the foster care placement. The Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) has a foster adopt program designed to match foster parents who want to be adoptive parents with children considered likely to be adopted.
There is a preference under state law for a dependent child to be placed with a relative when the child’s birth parents are incapable of providing proper parenting. Sometimes the DSHS fails to fully consider relatives as placement resources for dependent children. If your niece, nephew or grandchild is “in the system” as a foster child, we can help make sure your voice is heard and timely consideration is given to placement of a family member with you. Involvement early in the process increases your chances to continue to remain a part of your loved one’s life.
DSHS Disputes & Litigation
Our firm is experienced in resolving disputes with state agencies like DSHS. If we cannot negotiate a satisfactory resolution, we have the experience to litigate your case in Juvenile Court. If you feel your point of view is not respected or “heard” by the social worker making critical decisions about a child you cherish, we can assist in ensuring that your voice will be heard by the judge who will ultimately decide placement.
A step-parent adoption is a common form of adoption is by a step-parent who assumes moral, financial, and legal responsibility for a spouse’s child. In the process, the non-custodial parent is released from all parenting responsibilities. The procedure is fairly straight forward when the adoption is not opposed by the non-custodial parent. In addition, the homestudy required is less extensive and therefore less expensive than with other types of adoption.
International Adoption is another way to build your family. In some countries, such as China, the international adoption is finalized in the country of origin, so once you come home with your child, he or she is already legally yours. With adoptions from those countries, our firm’s role is to assist in the “re-adoption” process whereby the adoptive family obtains a decree of adoption under Washington law and a Washington birth certificate.
In other countries, notably South Korea, the adoption family takes custody through an arrangement with an adoption agency such as World Association of Children and Parents ("WACAP”). After the child has resided with the family in Washington for several months, the adoption occurs in Washington. Our firm’s role in such cases is to prepare the pleadings necessary to accomplish that adoption.
There are a number of countries that work with U.S. couples hoping to adopt, so identifying which country works best for your family is usually the first step you would take when moving forward.
Private, Unrelated Parties
A private adoption occurs when the adoptive parents hope to adopt a child they already know or adopt through an individual birth mother and do not have to go through an adoption agency to acquire an adoptive child. This type of adoption may exist in a variety of cases such as where a child of family friends is orphaned or when one knows of an acquaintance who can no longer take care of their child and is hoping to have the child adopted.
If you are working with an agency to find the right child for your family, either domestically or internationally, we can assist in finalizing the adoption.