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Understanding the process of adoption in Washington State

Family law issues can be complicated in Washington State and it's important to understand the various factors that go into certain goals. One in particular is adoption. While it's a noble endeavor to take in a child who needs a home and loving family, there are legal hurdles that have to be overcome to complete the process successfully. Adoptive home study is one part that requires attention.

Parents planning to adopt must take part in adoptive home study. The requirements will be completed via the Family Home Study. This is done so that the parents are evaluated to determine whether they meet the qualifications to be allowed to adopt a child. There are certain aspects to the adoptive home study that must be included prior to the adoption and its approval. The application must be filled out and classes to prepare for parenthood are needed. In addition, there must be 30 hours of training and a person who is trying to adopt will go through a background check for criminal history. This will be completed for every person who is over the age of 16 and lives in the residence where the adopted child will live. For people 18-years-old and above, there will be a fingerprint check.

A portion of the background check will be dedicated to inquiries for neglect and child abuse. This includes the adoptive parents' vital information with place of birth, family situation, education, history of employment and other factors.

If there is a relationship with another person, other children or other people living in the residence, they will be examined. Religious affiliation, experience with children, medical history, criminal history, what neighborhood the residence is in and the financial situation are also part of this procedure. There are many other factors that are part of an adoption for prospective parents to consider. Family legal issues can be complicated. Having competent legal assistance when planning to adopt can be an important part of family law. That should be the first call for a person that is planning to adopt.

Source: dshs.WA.gov, "Steps to Adopt," accessed on Jan. 6, 2015

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