Washington State
Stepparent Adoption
Frequently Asked Questions

Stepparent Adoption Non-Stepparent Adoption

What is a stepparent adoption?

When a biological parent marries and the new spouse would like to adopt the child from a previous relationship.

In Washington State, a stepparent adoption allows the non-biological parent to form a parent/child relationship between the child and the stepparent and allows the stepparent to be legally recognized as the child's parent. If the stepparent is not legally recognized as the child's parent then he/she would not be able to assert rights if the biological parent become incapacitated.

My spouse wants to adopt my child and the other biological parent is in agreement with the stepparent adoption.
My spouse wants to adopt my child but the other biological parent is not in agreement with the stepparent adoption.
My child is 15 and wants my spouse to adopt him.
There is no father listed on my child's birth certificate. Do I still need to have his Consent to the Stepparent Adoption?
The other biological parent has not seen the child for several years and has not paid child support during that same time period, can their rights be automatically terminated?
When is Home Study required? When is a Post Placement Report required?
What does a Post Placement Report contain?
Can the child's name be changed through a stepparent adoption?