In Washington State and across the country, adopting a child is a common occurrence and is considered a noble endeavor. Not only does it help people who, for many reasons, choose to adopt to form a family, but it also benefits the children. However, as with most family legal issues, adoption can be a complicated process rife with potential trouble spots. This is why it is imperative to have a full understanding of the process in both a personal and legal sense. To do that, it is wise to have assistance from an experienced attorney.
Adoption is not a simple matter of looking for a child, signing a few papers and bringing the child home. There are many different factors that go into it. Anyone moving forward with an adoption will have different justifications and goals. For example, perhaps a stepparent would like to legally adopt a stepchild. Or it might be that a single parent is looking to adopt. There could be a surrogate delivering the baby, a gestational carrier or, as is more common, the adopting parents work with an adoption agency. In other cases, it is LBGT people who want to adopt.
The construction of a family is no longer the way it was in the 1950s when the only socially acceptable family structure was man, woman, and children. Nowadays, more and more same-sex married couples and domestic partners are either adopting with no biological connection to the child, or have one member of the couple serve as the biological parent with the other adopting the child so that both have legal rights and responsibilities. These factors can be complicated in family law and can often lead to strife if the couple chooses to part ways and has a disagreement about custody and visitation.
Given the number of factors that go into adoption, it is an area of family law that is often understated but no less important to those who are making the decision to adopt. Whether there is a child custody concern or a simple matter of needing to have help in the adoption protocols, speaking to a lawyer is always a smart decision.