Adoption is an important and needed service that can provide for both children in need and parents looking to raise their own. The process of adopting can be long, and sometimes expensive. In addition to federal guidelines, each state has their own requirements for adopting. If you’re in Washington State, you may have questions, concerns, or assumptions. Here are some facts about adopting in Washington that will help start you on your journey.
You Shouldn’t Worry About Not Being Eligible.
True, there are limitations on who can adopt. In Washington, however, the gate is wide. Washington State only requires that a prospective parent be at least 18 years old and deemed legally competent by the court. As part of competency, the parents will go through a family assessment to make sure they are capable of providing for the child’s physical and emotional needs. Prospective families are also required to undergo background checks; both the parents, and anyone living in the house over the age of 16. Assuming green lights for these, you shouldn’t have to worry about your eligibility!
You Don’t Have to Be Wealthy to Adopt!
Prospective parents often wonder about family income requirements. Washington State has no specific income requirement for adoption. Many agencies will require parents to have an income that is above the federal poverty line. A home study is done to ensure that you are capable of providing for the child; and while this includes financial stability, you don’t have to be wealthy!
Adoption Doesn’t Have to Break the Bank.
A common misconception about adopting is that the expensive process can only be afforded by the most wealthy of parents. In reality, the cost to adopt varies greatly. In Washington State it can run from as low as $4,000 up to $40,000. However, Washington State offers many financial resources for families adopting children. The Adoption Support Program offers reimbursement for adoption costs, in addition to tax credits. Furthermore, all children in the Adoption Support Program qualify for medical, dental, and mental health services.
Adoption Doesn’t Happen Overnight.
Adoption has a reputation for being a very long process. And it can be, however, the process generally takes around a year. This is affected by the type of adoption. Adopting from foster care for example can be different and slower adoption process than an adult adoption. When most people think of adoption they think of private adoption, which is between the adopting family and the birth family, usually in the same country. If you opt to adopt internationally, you may need to prepare for a longer adoption process.
If you’re looking to adopt and need representation you can trust, contact our team at The Narrows Law Group. We specialize in family law and adoptions and are experienced to give you the knowledgeable care and council you need.