6814 Greenwood Avenue N.
Seattle, WA 98103

206.367.1065

How Do I Start the Adoption Process?

When you find out you are pregnant, the feelings you have and the choices you face can be overwhelming. You may be considering whether to find a family to adopt the baby, but not even know where to begin. We at the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen are here to help you.

Beginning an Adoption

If you are thinking about adoption for your child, a good place to start is by calling an experienced adoption attorney who can help you through the whole process. Joyce Schwensen has many years of experience helping birth mothers in Washington. She will provide you with free, no obligation information about the choices available to youand help you make the choice that is best for you and your baby.

If you decide to go forward with an adoption, the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen can help you select a qualified adoptive family that shares your values and philosophies about being a parent. We will respect you and your decision, and help you through the entire experience to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible, and that the needs of you and your baby are taken care of. If you are considering adoption, call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 to schedule a free consultation.

Joyce Schwensen assists birth mothers with adoptions throughout Washington, including in Seattle, Spokane, Vancouver and Tacoma.


When to Start the Adoption Process

If you are pregnant and thinking of making an adoption plan, you do not have to wait until the baby is born. We can answer your questions and start helping you with your decision just as soon as you discover you are pregnant. And if you have already had the baby, but are feeling that you cannot continue to raise him or her, we can still help you. Deciding whether or not to place your child with a new family is an important decision, and we are here to help you make the choice that best for you and your child.


How Does the Process Work for Washington Adoptions?

The first thing that we, at the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen, will do to help you with your adoption decision is get to know you and your situation. We will ask you to give us some information about yourself and your pregnancy, what you know about the father of the baby, what kind of support network you have, and whether you have any health concerns. By sharing information about yourself with us, we will be better able to help you understand your options, assist you in making your decision, and help you find a great family if adoption is the choice you make.

There are many wonderful families who are hoping to adopt a child, and we can match you with a family who shares your values and shares your adoption vision, whether you want an open adoption, a closed adoption, or something in-between. We know from our experience working on many adoptions how important it is that the match between you and the adoptive family be positive and comfortable.

As the child’s mother, we recognize your right to have your wishes honored, and to have your needs in the adoption process be provided for. By contacting our office as early in the pregnancy as possible, you allow yourself the most possible time to consider adoptive families, and to think carefully about your decision. So we encourage you to contact our office as soon as you can so that we can assist you as much as possible.

If the father of the baby agrees with you about placing the child for adoption, the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen will work with him in much the same way we work with you. The two of you can choose an adoptive family together, if that is what you prefer.

On the other hand, if the father of the baby is not in agreement about the adoption arrangements, the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen will give you information about your options and how his disagreement with your decision may change the adoption procedures.

If you do not know the name or the location of the father, then our office can ask the court to allow notice to be published in a legal newspaper and if possible mailed to the birth father’s last known address. After this, his rights as a father will be terminated unless he responds to the notices by coming to court or getting an attorney to fight the adoption.


After the Adoptive Family is Chosen

Once an adoptive family is chosen, you may be able to get to know them a bit through phone calls and sometimes even face-to-face meetings. This way you can discuss your values and interests, and be assured that your chosen family is a good fit for you. Then, when the time for the birth is fairly close, we will prepare consent documents for you to sign, that we will hold in our file until after the baby is born.

Under Washington law you can revoke your consent to the adoption until a court approves it and approves the adoptive parents. The court cannot approve the arrangements until the baby is at least 48 hours old. So you will have at least 48 hours after the baby is born to decide whether to revoke your consent to the adoption and keep the baby.

If you do not revoke your consent, the baby will go home from the hospital with the adoptive family. A few weeks later, the adoption will become final. If you and the adoptive family have agreed to an open or semi-open adoption, we will ask the court to confirm your open adoption agreement as a court order, so you will know that it is binding and enforceable as long as it is in the child’s best interest. In both open adoptions and semi-open adoptions, the adoptive parents usually begin sending pictures of the baby and information about how the baby is doing to the birth mother (and sometimes the birth father) within a few weeks.


Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen | Washington Adoption Attorney

If you are pregnant and considering adoption, it is not too early to begin learning about the choices available to you, so that you can get the help you need. Washington adoption lawyer Joyce Schwensen can help you through the entire adoption process, from beginning to end. Call today at (206) 367-1065 to set up a free consultation.

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