How old do you have to be to adopt in Washington? Do you have to be married to adopt in WA? How hard is it to adopt a baby? What do I need to adopt a child?
These are questions we hear frequently at American Adoptions. And since the answers differ from state to state, it’s important to know what Washington state laws say about the requirements for adopting a child. In fact, Washington’s laws are very brief and state simply that any person who is 18 years of age or older and legally competent can adopt a child.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that just anyone can adopt a child. For example, before you can adopt through American Adoptions, you must meet certain requirements set by our agency and complete an adoption home study. This is essentially an assessment of a family’s readiness to adopt and includes a documentation stage with background checks, a home inspection and interviews with each member of the family.
Washington’s requirements to adopt from foster care are fairly brief as well, stating that you can become a foster parent or pursue foster care adoption whether you are:
In a committed relationship
A home owner
A parent with other children
A parent with no other children
Washington citizens who wish to adopt from foster care must also complete a home study, as well as training courses offered by the foster care professional you choose to adopt from.
While emotional requirements for adoption probably aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when wondering about the qualifications for adoption in Washington, they are equally as important as the legal ones. Before you begin to pursue an adoption with American Adoptions, we will ensure that you have:
Told those closest to your family about your plan to adopt a child
Understood that the adoption process has both highs and lows and that it may be emotionally difficult at times
Moved on from infertility, if this is something your family has experienced
Become just as excited about growing through adoption as you might have been to have a child biologically
This is a common question, and the answer is not quite black and white. In general, it depends on the nature of the felony. If you have committed a violent crime or one involving a child, it is unlikely that you would meet Washington’s requirements for adopting a child. If, however, the crime was nonviolent and you can explain how you have changed and what you have learned to a social worker, you may still be able to adopt a baby in Washington.
For more information about Washington adoption requirements, please call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION to speak with an adoption specialist.
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