Step 6: Legal Procedures and Finalization
- Contact an attorney. You may find your own or ask your social worker for a list.
- Complete the Adoption Support application provided to you by your social worker. When the application is completed and filed, an Adoption Support Program Specialist will be assigned to you. The program specialist will review your application to determine if the child qualifies for the program according to state and federal rules. A negotiated contract (called an agreement) outlining program benefits and terms will then be presented for signature. The adoption must not be finalized until the agreement is signed by you and the DSHS representative.
- Your social worker completes a post-placement report. This report provides the court with an update on the child's and family's well-being since placement.
- DSHS provides a Consent to Adopt. This is a written statement authorizing that the child may be adopted.
- Your social worker sends your attorney a packet containing documents needed to finalize the adoption.
- Your attorney prepares the documents to present to the court, files the petition to adopt, and gets a court date to finalize the adoption.
- On the date of finalization you will go to court as advised by your attorney. You may take as many family and friends as you want. You may also bring cameras and video to record this special event.