1200 5TH Avenue, Suite 1550
Lirhus & Keckemet LLP
How To Start The Independent Adoption Process
How Do We Start?
You start by educating yourself on the subject of independent adoption. In fact, you have already started if you are reading this brochure. There are plenty of other brochures, pamphlets, and books on the subject of adoption. In addition, there are seminars and workshops you can attend.
Where Can I Get More Information?
There are several sources of information on adoption available to you. You might call the Adoption Information Center at the Children's Home Society in Seattle. (206) 524-6020. Any bookstores have various publications on adoption. By calling the author of this pamphlet, other adoption attorneys, or an adoption social worker, you can get more information on how to educate yourself on this subject.
Who Can Help Us Get More Information?
Additional information is available from adoption social workers, adoption attorneys, and adoption support groups.
Okay, Education Is Great, But What Can We Do To Take Action?
After you have adequately educated yourself on the subject of independent adoption, the next logical step is to get a homestudy or pre-placement report prepared regarding you and your suitability to be adoptive parents.
Why Are We Getting A Homestudy Or Pre-Placement Report Done At This Stage?
There are two basic reasons why you want to get the homestudy done at this time. You cannot have a child in your home unless you have a completed homestudy. Second, in Washington State, in order to legally publish information regarding yourselves and your desire to adopt a child, you have to have a favorable, completed homestudy.
How Do We Get A Homestudy Or Pre-Placement Report Prepared?
In independent adoptions, the homestudies or pre-placement reports are generally prepared by an independent adoption social worker or by one of the adoption agencies that is willing to prepare these reports for people although they are not seeking to adopt a child through the particular agency.
Information regarding adoption social workers is available from the author of this pamphlet. The adoption laws of Washington State provide that these reports may be prepared by an adoption agency, the Department of Social and Health Services, an individual approved by the Court, or a qualified, salaried court employee.
Are There People Who Are, Or Have Been, In Our Situation Who We Can Talk To?
Most definitely, there are several adoption support groups consisting of adoptive parents and prospective adoptive parents. These are voluntary organizations of people who have come together to discuss their common concerns, provide support for each other, and share information they have. People interested in independent adoption are well advised to explore one or more of these support groups.
How Is The Child, Birth Mother, Or Adoptive Parents Located?
This takes place in a number of ways, depending on the particular circumstances of the adoptive parents and the birth parents. Generally, it is accomplished by the adoptive parents "putting the word out" that they are interested in adoption. This is done through techniques commonly called "networking" and "advertising."
Who Finds the Child Or Birth Parent?
You may be fortunate enough to come into direct contact with a birth mother wishing to make a plan for adoption. It may be a friend or acquaintance that you know who comes into contact with a birth parent. Or it may be someone that you barely know, but who has somehow learned that you are interested in adoption who puts you into contact with a birth mother.
What Does "Networking" Mean?
"Networking" is a word that means different things to different people. In the context of independent adoption, it means getting the word out to as many people and to as many places as you can that you are interested in adopting a child. This means contacting as many friends, relatives, and acquaintances as you have. It means providing these people with information regarding yourself and your attitude, intention, and desires regarding adoption.
Are There Any Limits On What We Can Do?
There are certain limits. For example, you cannot advertise in Washington State unless you have a favorable, completed homestudy or pre-placement report. However, networking is an area that gives you a wonderful opportunity to express yourselves, exercise creativity, and generally use your imagination.
Where Can We Get More Information On The Subject Of Networking?
The author of this pamphlet can provide additional information to you. Seminars and workshops are available on the subject. You might also contact the Adoption Information Center at Children's Home Society for additional resources.
Okay, We Should Educate Ourselves And Get A Pre-Placement Report Prepared And Then Network, But What If We Learn Of An Adoption Opportunity Before We've Done All That?
You've had good luck! This is good news! Although events may be occurring a little out of order, most of these things can be straightened out by prompt action. Should you be so fortunate as to learn of an adoption opportunity before you've completed all the traditional preliminary steps, contact your adoption attorney or social worker at once and find out what needs to be done in the limited amount of time available to you. Not to worry, most problems in adoption are solvable if the adoptive parents are willing to be flexible and expend the effort.
How And Where Can I Get More Information On Independent Adoption?
If you are serious about wanting additional information on independent adoption, you can call me, Albert G. Lirhus at (206) 728-5858. There is more information available that you should have if you are serious about independent adoption. I will be happy to talk with you on the telephone or meet with you for an hour or so just to discuss generally the subject of independent adoption and provide answers to questions you might have. You will not be charged for this information.
I hope the information in this document will help you. These are, of course, general answers to general questions. For specific answers to particular situation, you should contact an experienced adoption attorney or other adoption professional to be certain you are getting the correct answers to questions based on your particular circumstances. Once again, if you have any questions or want any additional information, feel free to call me.
ALBERT G. LIRHUS
Albert G. Lirhus, Attorney at Law
Here are some articles that will give you some answers to your questions. Click on any that may be of interest.
The information in this web site is all general information. The information is applicable only to the state of Washington, unless otherwise stated. This general information is not legal advice for your particular circumstances. If you have legal questions you should consult your lawyer.
Lirhus & Keckemet LLP