Adoption Assistance for Birth Mothers
If you are pregnant or have recently had a child and are considering placing the child for adoption, the decisions you face can be overwhelming. With years of experience working in adoption, Washington state adoption attorney Joyce Schwensen can help you.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself and your child is to recognize that there are choices available to you. Simply realizing that you have choices can empower you and give you the strength you need to move forward, whatever choice you make. The Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen can help you understand your options. And if adoption is the choice you make Joyce Schwensen can guide you from the beginning of the adoption process to the end.
Washington Adoption Lawyer for Birth Mothers
If you are considering adoption for your child, Seattle adoption lawyer Joyce Schwensen can help you, as she has helped other birth mothers in her many years of working in the field of adoption. The decision about whether to place your child for adoption or parent the child yourself is a very important and difficult decision. We at the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen respect your right to make a decision that is best for you and your baby. We can help you with information, support, counseling, and in some cases financial assistance. Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065.
The assistance offered by the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen is free of charge to birth mothers considering adoption. Wherever you live in Washington State - Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver or elsewhere - we can help you with your adoption decision.
Birth Mothers Information Center
- Choosing an Adoptive Family for your Child
- Financial Assistance for Washington Birth Mothers
- Choosing an Open, Semi-Open, or Closed Adoption in Washington
- Issues with Others Involved in Washington Adoptions
Whether you need help to select the adoptive parents for your child, or whether you have already chosen adoptive parents through family, friends or your community, we can help you.
If you have chosen a family, we can help make sure they meet all the legal requirements and walk them through all the steps to complete the adoption. But most birth mothers want help to find just the right adoptive family. With our help you can decide on the type of family that is a perfect fit for your child. There are many wonderful families waiting to adopt a child, and in choosing a family you can decide what is most important to you.
You may want to choose adoptive parents who share your interests, your heritage or your religion. Or you may want a family from a certain region of the country, or one who will share your desire for an open or semi-open adoption. If it is important to you to place your child with a family that may otherwise not have an opportunity to become parents, then you might choose a family with no other children, or a family with other adoption challenges. If educational or travel opportunities for your child are important to you, a family can be chosen that shares these goals as well.
And if the decision is simply too difficult for you, we can even choose a wonderful adoptive family for you that meets the criteria you specify. The most important thing is for you to know that there are wonderful, loving families who are willing to dedicate their whole lives to raising a child, and if adoption is the choice you make, we can help you find the right family for your child.
In addition to meeting your requirements, adoptive parents are screened carefully to determine their fitness as parents. They are interviewed by social workers in their home, and have to provide medical and financial information, references, and criminal and child abuse background checks. They are also educated about how important it is for adopted children to know about their adoption story and respect the difficult decision that their birth parents made in choosing adoption. You can be assured that the adoptive parents you choose will be well qualified, and will raise the child to know about you and respect your adoption decision.
Having a child comes with many costs: medical bills, transportation to doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, special diets, maternity clothes and more. Sometimes work is missed either during the pregnancy or after the birth.
Financial assistance may be available to you to cover some or all of these expenses. The law of Washington allows for medical and legal expenses of birth parents in adoption cases to be paid by the adoptive parents. Other expenses that are directly related to the pregnancy and birth can also be paid with court approval.
We at the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen will talk with you about your particular situation and give you advice about what financial support can be asked for. We can even go to court and ask for approval to have the adoptive parents cover other expenses beyond medical and legal bills. By contacting our office as early as possible during your pregnancy, you will give us a better opportunity to get court approval to support your financially through the pregnancy and for a few weeks after the birth.
Some birth mothers want to keep information about their adoption decision private and for this reason may prefer a closed adoption plan. Others hope to maintain a lifelong relationship with the adoptive family and the child, and for these birth parents Washington law allows for open adoptions. And many birth parents prefer a semi-open adoption in which they regularly receive pictures and information about the child’s life, but do not have face-to-face visits with the child and the adoptive family.
The Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen can help you decide what type of adoption will work best for you and your particular circumstances, and help you find an adoptive family whose hopes for adoption match yours. If you want an open adoption, the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen will help you choose adoptive parents who are comfortable with the arrangement and willing to engage in such a relationship.
You will be able to get to know the adoptive family to some extent prior to the child’s birth to make sure that you are all committed to the open adoption plan. But whatever amount of contact you prefer to have with the adoptive family, the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen will prepare binding legal documents to be approved by a court, so that you can be assured that the arrangements are legal and binding as long as the best interest of the child is served.
Under Washington law, both parents of the baby must give consent to an adoption. If the baby’s father is in favor of the adoption, we will ask him to sign consent documents before the baby is born. If he is not cooperative, then we can serve legal papers on him, and if he does not resist the adoption his rights as a parent will be terminated. If you do not know the name or the location of the father, then our office can ask the court to allow a 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.
In situations where you know the name and address, but the birth father refuses to consent to the adoption, it may be necessary to prove that he will be an unfit father. In this situation it is very important that you get good legal advice as early in the pregnancy as possible, so that the best possible case can be made to help the adoption go forward, if that is what you choose to do.
If you are a minor considering adoption for your child, you may be concerned about the role your parents will play in your decision whether to place the child for adoption or raise the child yourself.
Under Washington law, you have the right to decide for yourself about whether or not to place the child for adoption. Your parents do not even have to be told about the pregnancy if you do not want them to know. The court will appoint a social worker or lawyer to help you with your decision, to tell you about resources that may be available to you, to give the court advice on whether you completely understand the decision to place your child for adoption, and whether you are making the decision of your own free will.
As a young woman making this very important decision, you need and deserve the help of caring adults who will support you in whatever path you choose. By contacting our office as early as possible during your pregnancy, we can make arrangements to get you the support you need as quickly as possible.
Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen | Washington Adoption Attorney Representing Birth Mothers
If you are thinking about placing your child for adoption, you don't have to go it alone. Joyce Schwensen is an experienced Washington adoption lawyer available to help assist you, and make sure you know the options available to you. If you choose adoption, Joyce Schwensen will work to help you complete the process with peace of mind and with your interests protected.
Call the Law Offices of Joyce S. Schwensen today at (206) 367-1065 to schedule a free consultation.