Adoption with DSHS Consent | Foster Adopt
Process and steps to complete adoption through DSHS placement and consent through the Law Office of Kathleen McCann
- Tell your DSHS adoption caseworker that Kathleen McCann will be representing you in finalizing the adoption. The caseworker will deliver to my office some of the needed paperwork for filing. This will include the Homestudy and Postplacement report(s), Consent of the State of Washington/DSHS to the adoption, any agreements for communication and contact with birth parents, copies of court orders terminating parent-child relationship with birth parent(s), adoption subsidy agreement approved by adoptive parents and DSHS.
- Submit the completed Adoption questionnaire to my office. My paralegal, Kim Kemp and I will prepare drafts of the court pleadings for your review. These will include the petition, note for hearing, findings of fact and conclusions of law, decree of adoption, consent for any adoptee over the age of 14, and application for re-registration of the birth certificate to show child’s new name, if any, and new legal parent(s).
- After your review and any revisions, where needed, —Client(s) and attorney to sign petition and we file the case with the Clerk’s Office.
- We will need an advance fee deposit for the attorney fees and costs, Clerk’s filing fee, charge for new birth certificate, and charges for certified copies of the decree of adoption. Our office will provide you a quote for this advance fee deposit and, in most cases, it will be fully reimbursed to you by the Department of Social and Health Services approximately one month after the finalization hearing.
- Attorney will prepare and sign the citation for the docket for the finalization hearing. Client to select a convenient date, legal assistant will confirm availability of dates. Adoption finalization hearings are at 2:00 p.m. on Fridays at the Family Law Annex. (not the courthouse)
- With the information provided by client in the completed adoption questionnaire, The Law Office will also prepare the Adoption Data Card and Application for Adoption Registration. These forms are necessary to get a new birth certificate. There is a fee of $35 in Washington to get a certified copy of the Birth Certificate from the Washington Department of Health if child was born in Washington. Other states have different charges.
- On the day and time set for the adoption finalization hearing, client(s) and family members coming to the hearing will meet the attorney at the Family Law Annex. Most adoption hearings are at 2:00 p.m. or after. The court takes the cases one at a time until all are completed. The Judge will usually pose with the family for photos.
- Once the hearing is over and the Judge has signed the originals of the decree of adoption and findings of fact/conclusions of law your adoption is completed. You will get a complete set of copies of all documents filed in the case at the hearing.
- I will deliver one certified copy of the decree and a copy of your bill for reimbursement to the adoption social worker with DSHS after the hearing.
- You will need at least one, and preferably two certified copies of the Decree of Adoption. Your attorney will get these for you after the finalization hearing and will order the new birth certificate at the same time.
- The new birth certificate will usually at least 60 days and will be mailed to your home. The following Monday after the finalization hearing you can come by our office and pick up your certified decree.