Adoption Law Washington


In the state of Washington the adoption law is governed by the Revised code of Washington in Title 26. As per the law of Washington any person may be adopted regardless of his or her age or residence, by any person who is legally competent and who is eighteen years of age or older may be an adoptive parent.


A petition for adoption may be filed in the superior court of the county in which the petitioner is a resident or of the county in which the adoptee is domiciled.

An adoption proceeding is initiated by filing with the court a petition for adoption by the prospective adoptive parent or parents.

A petition for adoption shall contain the following information:

  1. The name and address of the petitioner;
  2. The name, if any, gender, and place and date of birth, if known, of the adoptee;]
  3. A statement that the child is or is not an Indian child covered by the Indian Child Welfare Act; and
  4. The name and address of the department or any agency, legal guardian, or person having custody of the child.

The written consent to adoption of any person, the department, or agency has to be filed with the petition. The consent to an adoption shall be required of the following if applicable:

  1. The adoptee, if fourteen years of age or older;
  2. The parents and any alleged father of an adoptee under eighteen years of age;
  3. An agency or the department to whom the adoptee has been relinquished and
  4. The legal guardian of the adoptee.


Any person may at any time request an agency, the department, an individual approved by the court, or a qualified salaried court employee to prepare a preplacement report.

The preplacement report shall be a written document setting forth all relevant information relating to the fitness of the person requesting the report as an adoptive parent.

The report shall be based on a study, which shall include an investigation of the home environment, family life, health, facilities, and resources of the person requesting the report.

The report shall include a list of the sources of information on which the report is based. The report shall include a recommendation as to the fitness of the person requesting the report to be an adoptive parent.

The report shall also verify that the following issues were discussed with the prospective adoptive parents:

  1. The concept of adoption as a lifelong developmental process and commitment;
  2. The potential for the child to have feelings of identity confusion and loss regarding separation from the birth parents;
  3. Disclosure of the fact of adoption to the child;
  4. The child's possible questions about birth parents and relatives; and
  5. The relevance of the child's racial, ethnic, and cultural heritage.


In determining the date and place of birth of a person born outside the United States, the court shall:

  1. If available, enter in the decree the exact date and place of birth as stated in the birth certificate from the country of origin or in the United States department of state's report of birth abroad or in the documents of the United States immigration and naturalization service;
  2. If the exact place of birth is unknown, enter in the decree such information as may be known and designate a place of birth in the country of origin;
  3. If the exact date of birth is unknown, determine a date of birth based upon medical testimony as to the probable chronological age of the adoptee and other evidence regarding the adoptee's age that the court finds appropriate to consider;
  4. In any other case where documents of the United States immigration and naturalization service are not available, the court shall determine the date and place of birth based upon such evidence as the court in its discretion determines appropriate.


After the reports have been filed, the court schedules a hearing on the petition for adoption upon request of the petitioner for adoption. Notice of the date, time, and place of hearing is given to the petitioner and any person or agency whose consent to adoption, unless the person or agency has waived in writing the right to receive notice of the hearing.

Notice of the adoption hearing shall also be given to any person who or agency which has prepared a pre-placement report.

If the court determines, after review of the petition, preplacement and post-placement reports, and other evidence introduced at the hearing, that all necessary consents to adoption are valid or have been dispensed with and that the adoption is in the best interest of the adoptee, and, in the case of an adoption of an Indian child, that the adoptive parents are within the placement preferences of or good cause to the contrary has been shown on the record, the court shall enter a decree of adoption.

If the court determines the petition should not be granted because the adoption is not in the best interest of the child, the court shall make appropriate provision for the care and custody of the child.


A decree of adoption shall provide, as a minimum, the following information:

  1. The full original name of the person to be adopted;
  2. The full name of each petitioner for adoption;
  3. Whether the petitioner or petitioners are husband and wife, stepparent, or a single parent;
  4. The full new name of the person adopted, unless the name of the adoptee is not to be changed;
  5. Information to be incorporated in any new certificate of birth to be issued by the state or territorial registrar of vital records; and
  6. The adoptee's date of birth and place of birth.