Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
Children's Administration, Department of Social and Health Services
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Indian Child Welfare Manual

06.70 CHILD IN NEED OF SERVICES

  1. To commence a Child in Need of Services (CHINS) proceeding, the social worker, the child’s parent, or the child may complete and file a CHINS petition with the juvenile court.
  2. If the social worker files a CHINS petition regarding an Indian child, the social worker must comply with the requirements of sections 06.10 through 06.40 regarding verification of tribal court jurisdiction.
  3. If the child is a ward of tribal court or is a resident or domiciled on an exclusive jurisdiction Indian reservation, the social worker immediately refers the case to the child's Tribe.
  4. If the child is a resident of or domiciled on a concurrent jurisdiction Indian reservation, the social worker may only file a CHINS petition:
    1. After having made active efforts to assist the child and the parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, to file a tribal court proceeding; and
    2. Such efforts have been unsuccessful.
  5. The social worker documents efforts in the ICW section of the service record.

  6. If the child is not a ward of tribal court and is not a resident of or domiciled on an exclusive jurisdiction Indian reservation, the social worker contacts a qualified expert approved by the child's Tribe or an Indian interpreter for assistance in communicating with the family regarding provision of reunification services and transfer of the case to tribal court. See Chapter 14 for definition of "qualified expert" and "Indian interpreter."
  7. The social worker does not file a CHINS petition in juvenile court unless the worker has satisfied the CHINS requirements of the CA Case Services Policy Manual and the CA Practices and Procedures Guide, Chapter 3000.
  8. The social worker follows the notification procedures below:
    1. After the social worker files the CHINS petition, the social worker immediately sends notice of the proceeding to the child's Tribe, using Notice to Tribe of CHINS Proceeding, DSHS 09-758; or
    2. The social worker sends notice to the Tribe when the worker becomes responsible for case plan development or a placement recommendation if one of the following parties files the CHINS petition and the child's Tribe has not been previously notified of the proceeding:
      1. The Indian child;
      2. The child's parent(s); or
      3. The child’s Indian custodian, if any
  9. In arranging foster care placement for the child, the social worker follows the Tribe’s placement preferences or foster care placement preferences found in Chapter 07, unless the child's Tribe has changed or waived the preferences.

06.75 Dependency Guardianship

  1. The social worker follows the requirements of section 06.55 before filing a dependency guardianship petition in juvenile court. In developing the plan for dependency guardianship, the social worker places within the Tribe’s placement preferences, if known, or follows the placement preferences found in chapter 07.70 unless the child's Tribe has waived or changed the preferences.
  2. Prior to filing a dependency guardianship petition, the social worker staffs the case with a designee from the child's Tribe and obtains tribal recommendations. See chapter 04 regarding confidentiality. If a tribal designee is unavailable, the social worker may staff the case with the LICWAC. See chapter 10 regarding LICWAC procedures.
  3. To commence a dependency guardianship proceeding, the social worker (or the agency's legal representative) completes and files a Dependency Guardianship Petition, DSHS 09-453, with the juvenile court. The social worker also completes and files with the court anAddendum to Petition, DSHS 09-771.
  4. The social worker follows the notice procedures below.
    1. The social worker provides notice to the parties or potential parties using the following forms, as applicable, as described in subsequent paragraphs:
      • Notice to Parent/Indian Custodian , DSHS 09-543
      • Notice to Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, Band, or Nation , DSHS 09-541
      • Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-542
      • Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-544
    2. After filing the dependency guardianship petition, the social worker immediately takes necessary steps to arrange for the child's parents (including any alleged father) and Indian custodian, if any, to be personally served with formal Notice and Summons. The Court Clerk must issue the Notice and Summons. The social worker must also provide the Notice to Parent/Indian Custodian, DSHS 09-543.
      1. If personal service cannot be given, the social worker arranges to send notification by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address.
      2. The social worker arranges for notice by publication if notice by personal service or by mail cannot be given.
      3. The child's parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, must receive written notification at least 15 business days prior to the dependency guardianship fact-finding.
    3. After filing the dependency guardianship petition, the social worker immediately arranges for the Court Clerk to issue the Notice and Summons and to send Notice to Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, Band, or Nation, DSHS 09-541, to the child's Tribe by registered mail, return receipt requested.
      1. The social worker arranges to send notification to the Tribe address listed in Chapter 12 below.
      2. If the child is a member of or eligible to be a member of more than one Tribe, the social worker arranges to send notification to all such Tribes.
      3. The child’s Tribe(s) must receive notification at least 15 business days prior to the dependency guardianship fact-finding hearing.
    4. When the social worker sends written notice to the child’s parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, and the child’s Tribe, the worker also sends:
      1. Copies of the petition;
      2. Scheduling orders, if applicable;
      3. Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-542, to the child’s Tribe; and
      4. Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-544, to the child’s parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any.
    5. Notice to BIA
      1. If the social worker does not know the location or identity of the child’s Tribe, parent(s), and Indian custodian, if any, the worker arranges to send notification to BIA by registered mail, return receipt requested, at least 35 calendar days prior to the fact-finding hearing, using Notice to BIA, DSHS 09-545. See Chapter 12 for BIA contact information.
      2. The social worker also sends to the BIA a copy of the notices to the parent(s), the Indian custodian, if any, and the child's Tribe and all other background information that may assist the BIA in locating or identifying the child's parent(s), Indian custodian, and/or the child's Tribe.
    6. The child’s Tribe and/or parent(s)/Indian custodian may request a continuance for at least 20 calendar days from the date of the scheduled fact-finding hearing. CA provides the following forms for this purpose: Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-542, and Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-544.
    7. If the child’s Tribe or Indian custodian requests to intervene in the proceeding, the social worker supports intervention. If the child’s Tribe or parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, requests transfer of the proceeding to tribal court, the social worker supports the transfer.
  5. At the dependency guardianship fact-finding, the court may grant the guardianship only upon proof that continued parental custody will likely result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child.
    1. The social worker must demonstrate provision of active efforts to eliminate the need for placement and to preserve the family.
    2. The standard of proof for this finding is “clear, cogent, and convincing” rather than a preponderance of the evidence.
    3. The social worker uses a qualified expert witness to meet this standard. See Chapter 14 for the definition of “qualified expert witness.”
  6. The social worker provides a copy of the dependency guardianship order to the child’s parent(s), the child’s Indian custodian, if any, the child’s Tribe, the guardian, and any other party to the proceeding.
  7. The social worker notifies the child’s parent(s), including any alleged father, the child’s Indian custodian, if any, the child’s guardian ad litem, and the child’s Tribe of any proceeding for modification or termination of the dependency guardianship order. The worker provides the following forms, as applicable:
    • Notice to Parent/Indian Custodian , DSHS 09-543
    • Notice to Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, Band, or Nation , DSHS 09-541
    • Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-542
    • Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-544
  8. When the state court modifies, terminates, or dismisses dependency guardianship order, the social worker provides a copy of the modification, termination, or dismissal order to the child’s parent(s), Indian custodian, if any, the child’s Tribe, the dependency guardian, and any other party to the proceeding.
  9. When the state court returns an Indian child to the custody of a parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, the social worker notifies any other parent, Indian custodian, the child’s Tribe, and any other party to the proceeding. The social worker provides written notification and specifies the name and address of the person to whom the child has been returned, unless the safety of the child or the care provided would be jeopardized by providing this information.
  10. After the court establishes a dependency guardianship, the social worker provides services following placement as required in chapter 07, section 07.73.

06.80 INVOLUNTARY TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

  1. The social worker follows the requirements of Chapter 06.55 before filing a petition for involuntary termination of parental rights in Juvenile Court.
  2. Prior to filing a termination petition, the social worker staffs the case with a designee from the child's Tribe and obtains tribal recommendations. See Chapter 04 regarding confidentiality. If a tribal designee is unavailable, the social worker consults with LICWAC. See Chapter 10 regarding LICWAC.
  3. To commence a termination proceeding, the social worker or the agency's legal representative completes and files a Termination Petition, DSHS 09-766, with the juvenile court. The social worker also completes and files with the court an Addendum to Petition, DSHS 09-771.
  4. The social worker follows the steps below:
    1. After filing the termination petition, the social worker immediately arranges for the child's parent(s), including any alleged father, and Indian custodian, if any, to be personally served with formal Notice and Summons, issued by the Court Clerk, and with Notice to Parent/Indian Custodian, DSHS 09-543.
      1. If the social worker cannot arrange for personal service, the worker arranges for notification to be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address.
      2. The social worker arranges for notice by publication if notice by personal service or by mail cannot be given.
      3. The child's parent(s) and Indian custodian, if any, must receive written notification at least 15 business days prior to the termination fact-finding.
    2. After filing the termination petition, the social worker immediately arranges for formal Notice and Summons, issued by the Court Clerk, and Notice to FederallyRecognized Indian Tribe, Band or Nation, DSHS 09-541, to be sent to the child's Tribe by registered mail, return receipt requested.
      1. The social worker arranges for notification to be sent to the Tribe's address as listed in Chapter 12 in this manual.
      2. If the child is a member of or eligible to be a member of more than one Tribe, the social worker arranges for notification to be sent to all such Tribes.
      3. The child's Tribe(s) must receive notification at least 15 business days prior to the termination fact-finding.
    3. When the social worker sends written notice to the child's parent(s), the child’s Indian custodian, if any, and the child's Tribe, the social worker also sends:
      1. Copies of the petition;
      2. Any scheduling orders, if applicable;
      3. Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-542,to the child's Tribe; and
      4. Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-544, to the child's parent(s) and Indian custodian, if any.
    4. Notice to BIA
      1. If the social worker does not know the location or identity of the child’s Tribe, parent(s), and Indian custodian, if any, the worker arranges to send notification to BIA by registered mail, return receipt requested, at least 35 calendar days prior to the fact-finding hearing, using Notice to BIA, DSHS 09-545. See Chapter 12 for BIA contact information.
      2. The social worker also sends to the BIA a copy of the notices to the parent(s), the Indian custodian, if any, and the child's Tribe and all other background information that may assist the BIA in locating or identifying the child's parent(s), Indian custodian, and/or the child's Tribe
    5. The child's Tribe and/or parent(s) or Indian custodian, if any, may request the case be continued for at least 20 calendar days from the date of the scheduled fact-finding hearing. The Tribe may use Tribal Intervention/ Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-542, and the parent(s) or Indian custodian uses Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance, DSHS 09-544.
    6. If the child's Tribe or Indian custodian requests to intervene in the proceeding, the social worker supports intervention. If the child's Tribe, parent(s), or Indian custodian, if any, requests transfer of the proceeding to tribal court, the social worker supports the transfer.
  5. The state court may terminate the parent-child relationship of an Indian child and the child's parent(s) only upon proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that continued parental custody will likely result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child and that the social worker has made or provided active efforts to eliminate the need for placement and to preserve the family. The social worker uses a qualified expert witness to meet this standard. See Chapter 14 for definition of "qualified expert witness."
  6. The social worker provides a copy of the termination order to the child's parent(s), the child’s Indian custodian, if any, the child's Tribe, and any other party to the proceeding.
  7. The social worker follows:
    1. Tribal preferences or the placement preferences found in Chapter 07, section 07.05, unless the child's Tribe has changed or waived the preferences.
    2. The requirements of Chapter 07.20 regarding notice to the child's extended family.
  8. When the state court dismisses a termination proceeding, the social worker provides a copy of the dismissal order to the child's parent(s), the child’s Indian custodian, if any, the child's Tribe, and any other party to the proceeding.
  9. When a court terminates the rights of a child's parent(s) involuntarily, the social worker provides services following placement as required in chapter 07, section 07.74.

06.85 VOLUNTARY RELINQUISHMENT/TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND CONSENT TO ADOPTION

06.851 Introduction

  1. The social worker does not accept a voluntary consent to relinquishment/termination of parental rights or adoption of an Indian child until the social worker has followed the:
    1. Procedures in Chapter 06.10 through 06.40 regarding verification of tribal jurisdiction and special requirements that apply to Washington State Indian Tribes, and
    2. Consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption procedures described in this section.
  2. Voluntary consents to relinquishment/termination or adoption are not valid unless the parent signs the consent before a tribal or juvenile court/superior court judge more than 10 calendar days after the child's birth and unless the judge approves the consent.

06.852 Child a Ward of Tribal Court or Resident/Domiciled on an Exclusive Jurisdiction Indian Reservation

  1. If a parent seeks to voluntarily consent to relinquishment/ termination of parental rights or adoption of an Indian child, the social worker verifies if the child is a ward of tribal court or is a resident or domiciled within the boundaries of an exclusive jurisdiction Indian reservation. See Chapter 06.10 through 06.40 for information about jurisdiction.
  2. If the child is a ward of tribal court or resident/domiciled on an exclusive jurisdiction Indian reservation, the social worker:
    1. Informs the parent that the Tribe has exclusive jurisdiction to approve the relinquishment/termination or adoption.
    2. Assists the parent, at the request of the Tribe's social service program, to obtain tribal court approval of the consent to relinquishment/termination as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

06.853 Child NOT a Ward of Tribal Court or NOT Resident/ Domiciled on an Exclusive Jurisdiction Indian Reservation

  1. When a parent seeks to voluntarily consent to relinquishment/termination of parental rights or adoption of an Indian child who is not a ward of tribal court and is not resident/domiciled on an exclusive jurisdiction Indian reservation, the social worker informs the parent of:
    1. Requirements regarding placement preference, notification of the child's Tribe and extended family, and court validation of the consent.
    2. The possibility of relinquishing/terminating parental rights or pursuing the adoption through a tribal court proceeding.
    3. The name, address, and phone number of a contact person from the child's Tribe.
    4. The rights of adopted Indian children to obtain adoption record information.
  2. The social worker uses Relinquishment and Adoption Information to Parent of Indian Child, DSHS 09-769, to provide the information required in paragraph A, above. The social worker gives the original of the form to the parent and puts a copy in the service file.
  3. When the social worker knows the identity of the prospective adoptive parents, the worker informs the prospective adoptive parents of:
    1. Requirements regarding placement preference, notification of the child's Tribe and extended family, and court validation of the parent's consent.
    2. The possibility of pursuing the adoption through a tribal court proceeding.
    3. The possibility of receiving assistance through the Adoption Support Program.
    4. The name, address, and phone number of a contact person with the child's Tribe.
    5. The right of adopted Indian children to obtain adoption record information.
  4. The social worker uses Information To Prospective Adoptive Parent of Indian Child, DSHS 09-778, to provide the information required in paragraph C, above. The social worker gives the original of the form to the prospective adoptive parents and puts a copy in the service file.
  5. The social worker encourages the child's parent to contact an Indian interpreter or a representative of the Tribe's social services program to ensure that the consent is voluntary and that the parent understands what the parent is doing. See Chapter 14 for definition of "Indian interpreter."
    1. The social worker documents the encouragement in the ICW section of the service record. If the worker refers the parent to an identified individual, the worker includes in the ICW section of the service record documentation of the referral date and the name of the individual to whom the worker made the referral.
    2. Upon request, the social worker provides the documentation to the child's Tribe.

06.854 Pre-Validation Services

  1. Prior to assisting a parent of an Indian child to obtain state court validation of a voluntary consent to relinquishment/ termination or adoption, the social worker makes active efforts to provide the parent with services designed to prevent the breakup of the Indian family and to keep the child with the parent. In providing such services, the worker consults with the social services program of the child's Tribe when possible.
  2. The social worker seeks to identify, locate, and notify the non-consenting parent before helping a parent obtain court validation of a voluntary consent to relinquishment/ termination or adoption.

06.855 Involvement of Tribal Social Services

Before seeking validation of a voluntary consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption in juvenile/superior court, the social worker:

  1. Encourages the parent to contact the child's Tribe regarding available services that may help the parent retain custody of the child or further the child's family and tribal relationship.
  2. Documents in the ICW section of the service record efforts to have the parent contact the child's Tribe regarding available services.
    1. If the social worker refers the parent to an identified individual within the child's Tribe, the social worker includes in the ICW section of the service record documentation the date of the referral and the name of the person to whom the worker made the referral.
    2. The social worker provides the documentation to the child's Tribe, if requested.

06.856 Explanation Of Consent To Relinquishment/Termination or Adoption

  1. The social worker explains the consent form, Relinquishment, Consent to Termination/Adoption, and Court Certification, DSHS 09-764, to the parent of an Indian child prior to obtaining the parent's signature on the form. The social worker uses an Indian interpreter, when possible, to explain the form to the parent. See Chapter 14 for definition of "Indian interpreter."
  2. The social worker requires the parent to read the consent form prior to obtaining the parent's signature on the form.
    1. If the social worker has any doubt about the parent's ability to read and understand the consent form, the worker must read and explain the form to the parent.
    2. If there is any doubt about the parent's ability to understand English, the social worker arranges to have the form read and explained to the parent in the parent's primary language.
  3. The social worker obtains the parent's signature on the consent form acknowledging that the parent has read the consent form, understands the consent form, and wishes to consent to relinquishment/termination of parental rights or adoption of the child.
    1. The social worker gives the parent a copy of the signed consent form.
    2. The social worker explains to the parent that:
      1. The consent is not valid until the parent also signs the form in court and a judge approves the consent; and
      2. The parent must sign the consent in court, and an impartial, competent person who is selected by the parent and who is at least 18 years of age must witness the signing.
  4. Pending court approval of the parent's consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption, the social worker does not place an Indian child in the temporary custody of the prospective adoptive parents/placement agency unless the worker places the child in accordance with:
    1. Chapter 06.50, Voluntary Consent to Place in Foster Care; or
    2. Chapter 06.60, Shelter Care Placement; or
    3. Chapter 06.65, Dependency.

06.857 Validation Procedure

  1. To obtain court validation of a parent's consent, the social worker:
    1. Files a petition for relinquishment in juvenile or superior court;
    2. Uses Petition for Relinquishment and Termination of Parent-Child Relationship, DSHS 09-474, and attaches the consent form signed by the parent to the petition; and
    3. Completes and files with the court a Declaration of Adoption Facilitator, DSHS 09-765.
  2. Upon filing the relinquishment petition, the social worker:
    1. Provides the parent(s), including any alleged father, with at least 20 calendar days written notice of the date, time, and place of any court proceeding to validate the consent to relinquishment. The worker uses Notice and Summons (Relinquishment/ Termination/Adoption), DSHS 09-770. The social worker arranges for notice:
      1. To be personally served on the parent(s), including any alleged father;
      2. To be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address if personal service cannot be given;
    2. Provides the consenting parent(s), including any alleged father, with a copy of the consenting parent's signed consent, a copy of the notice sent to the child's Tribe, and a copy of any petitions or other court documents filed in the proceeding.
    3. Provides the child’s Tribe with at least 20 business days written notice of the date, time, and place of any court proceeding.
      1. The social worker provides the Tribe with copies of:
        • Notice to Parent/Indian Custodian , DSHS 09-543
        • Notice to Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, Band, or Nation , DSHS 09-541
        • Tribal Intervention/Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-542
        • Parent/Indian Custodian Request for Continuance , DSHS 09-544
      2. The social worker sends notice by registered mail, return receipt requested.
      3. If the child is a member or eligible to be a member of more than one Tribe, the social worker sends notice to all such Tribes.
    4. Provides the child’s Tribe with a copy of the parent’s signed consent and a copy of any petitions or other court documents filed in the proceeding.
  3. (no C. listed j.u.)
  4. If the child’s Tribe requests to intervene in the proceeding, the social worker supports intervention. If the child’s Tribe or parent(s) requests transfer of the proceeding to tribal court, the social worker supports the transfer.
  5. The consenting parent(s) must appear inperson at the relinquishment hearing to enter on the record the parent’s consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption.
  6. At the relinquishment hearing, the parent(s) signs the consent before the judge.
    1. An impartial, competent person, at least 18 years of age, who is selected by the parent must witness the parent’s in-court signature. The consent form must contain a statement identifying the witness by name, address, and relationship to the parent.
    2. The social worker or the social worker’s legal representative presents the consent form to the court for approval and court certification. The worker or legal representative uses Relinquishment, Consent to Termination/Adoption, and Court Certification, DSHS 09-764.
  7. Upon entry of an order approving the relinquishment and terminating parental rights, the social worker provides a copy of the termination order to the consenting parent(s), any parent whose rights have not been terminated, and any other party to the proceeding.
  8. The social workerfollows the:
    1. Tribal placement preferences or the preferences found in Chapter 07, section 07.05 unless the child’s Tribe has changed or waived the preferences; and
    2. Follows the requirements of Chapter 07, section 07.20 regarding notice to the child’s extended family.

06.858 Withdrawal of Consent

The parent(s) of an Indian child may withdraw consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption at any time before entry of the adoption decree. See chapter 08, sections 08.90 and 08.125, for procedures governing the setting aside or termination of an adoption.

  1. If a parent of the Indian child withdraws consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption prior to entry of the adoption decree, the social worker must promptly return the child to the parent’s custody unless:
    1. The parent voluntarily consents to foster care placement of the child. See Chapter 06.50 regarding voluntary consent to foster care placement; or
    2. A court previously entered an order for foster care placement, the order remains in full force and effect; or
    3. Return of custody would likely cause an emergency resulting in harm to the child’s health, safety, or welfare.
  2. The social worker returns custody to the parent(s) unless a law enforcement pick-up has been initiated or a shelter care/pick-up order has been entered. See Chapter 06.60 regarding shelter care placement.
  3. If the social worker returns the child to the parent(s)’ custody following withdrawal of the consent, the worker, in cooperation with the social services program of the child’s Tribe, assists the child to make as successful a return to the custody of the parent(s) as possible. Assistance includes:
    1. Helping the child adjust emotionally and psychologically to the change in placement.
    2. Helping the parent(s) to understand and effectively meet the child’s needs.
    3. Helping the foster/pre-adoptive family adjust to the loss of the child.
    4. Assisting the child make a successful transition back to parental custody.
    5. Using a qualified expert to help the parent(s), child, and foster/pre-adoptive family or placement facility, if necessary. See Chapter 14 for definition of “qualified expert

06.859 Withdrawal of Consent to Adoption After Final Decree

  1. Only within the first two years after the entry of a final decree of adoption of an Indian child, the parent may withdraw consent to the adoption on grounds that consent was obtained through fraud or duress. The parent may petition the court to vacate the adoption decree.
  2. Upon a finding that the consent was obtained through fraud or duress, the court must vacate the decree and may return the child to the parent or order other placement.
  3. See section 06.858, above, for requirements and limitations on returning the child to the parent as well as guidelines for assisting the child and parent to adjust to reconciliation.

06.8510 Legal Procedures for Termination

The social worker complies with the following procedures regarding termination of parental rights under chapter 26.33 RCW, the adoption statute. The termination procedures apply when one parent has relinquished parental rights and the other parent, including any alleged father, has not relinquished parental rights.

  1. "Parent" and "alleged father" as used in this section mean a parent or alleged father whose parental rights have not been previously terminated.
  2. Pending court approval of the relinquishing parent's consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption, the social worker does not place an Indian child in the temporary custody of the prospective adoptive parents/placement agency unless the worker places the child in accordance with:
    1. Chapter 06.50, Voluntary Consent to Foster Care Placement; or
    2. Chapter 06.60, Shelter Care Placement; or
    3. Chapter 06.65, Dependency.
  3. The social worker, or the agency's legal representative, completes and files a termination of parental rights petition in superior or juvenile court, using Petition for Termination of Parent Child Relationship, DSHS 09-474. The social worker also completes and files with the court a Declaration of Adoption Facilitator, DSHS 09-765.
  4. Upon filing the termination petition, the social worker:
    1. Provides the non-consenting parent, including any alleged father, with at least 20 calendar days for parents in-state and 30 calendar days for parents out of state written notice of the date, time, and place of any court proceeding to terminate parental rights. The worker uses Notice and Summons (Relinquishment/ Termination/Adoption), DSHS 09-770.
      1. The social worker arranges for the notice to be personally served on the parents, including any alleged father.
      2. If personal service cannot be given, the social worker arranges for notice to be sent by registered mail, return receipt requested, to the person's last known address.
      3. The social worker arranges for notice by publication if notice by personal service or notice by mail cannot be given.
    2. Provide the non-consenting parent, including any alleged father, with a copy of the consenting parent's signed consent to relinquishment/termination or adoption and sends a copy of the notice to the child's Tribe, along with a copy of any petitions or other court documents filed in the proceeding.
    3. Provides the child's Tribe with at least 20 business days written notice of the date, time, and place of any court proceeding to terminate parental rights, using Notice to Federally Recognized Indian Tribe, Band or Nation, DSHS 09-541.
      1. The social worker sends notice by registered mail, return receipt requested.
      2. If the child is a member or eligible to be a member of more than one Tribe, the social worker sends notice to all such Tribes.
      3. If the social worker does not know the location or identity of the child’s Tribe and/or parent(s) and/or Indian custodian, if any, the worker arranges for notification to send notification to the BIA by registered mail, return receipt requested, at least 35 calendar days prior to a fact-finding hearing, using Notice to BIA, DSHS 09-945.
    4. Provides the child's Tribe with a copy of the consenting parent's signed consent and a copy of any petitions or other court documents filed in the proceeding.
  5. If the child's Tribe requests to intervene in the proceeding, the social worker supports intervention. If the child's Tribe or parent(s) requests transfer of the proceeding to tribal court, the social worker supports the transfer.
  6. A state court may terminate the parent-child relationship of an Indian child and the child's non-consenting parent or non-consenting alleged father, where paternity has been claimed or established, only upon proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that continued parental custody will likely result in serious emotional or physical damage to the child and that the social worker has made or provided active efforts to eliminate the need for placement and to preserve the family. The social worker uses a qualified expert witness to meet this standard. See Chapter 14 for the definition of qualified expert witness.
  7. The social worker provides a copy of the termination order to the parent whose rights are terminated pursuant to the order, any parent whose rights have not been terminated, and any other party to the proceeding.

06.8511 Services Following Placement

When a state court has terminated the rights of a child's parent(s) under chapter 26.33 RCW, the social worker provides services following placement as required in chapter 07, section 07.74.

06.90 OPEN ADOPTION AGREEMENTS

  1. RCW 26.33.295 provides that the parties to an adoption proceeding may enter into agreements regarding future communication with or contact between child adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents. These agreements are not legally enforceable unless the terms are set forth in a written court order entered in accordance with the statutory provisions.
    1. An agreement need not discuss the identity of the parties to be legally enforceable.
    2. The court cannot enter a proposed order unless the terms of the order are approved in writing by:
      1. The prospective adoptive parents;
      2. Any birth parent whose parental rights have not been terminated; and
      3. The CA social worker, if the child is in the custody of DSHS or a child placing agency at the time of the proposed agreement; and
      4. An attorney or a guardian ad litem representing the child in the proceeding.
    3. The court may not enter a proposed order unless the court finds that the terms of the order are in the child's best interests.
    4. Failure to comply with the terms of an agreed order regarding communication or contact is not a basis for setting aside an adoption decree. Agreed orders may be enforced through a civil action.
  2. If all parties to an adoption have reached a clear agreement regarding continuing contact between the child and the child's birth parents, the social worker will assist the parties to include terms of their agreement in a proposed court order separate and apart from the termination order and the adoption decree.
    1. Although RCW 26.33.295 does not specifically address contact or communication between the child and the extended birth family members, the parties to the adoption enter into such an arrangement under provisions of chapter 26.10 RCW regarding non-parental visitation.
    2. If all parties to an adoption have reached a clear agreement regarding continuing contact between the child and members of the child's extended birth family, the social worker will assist the parties to set forth their agreements in an agreed order separate and apart from the termination order and the adoption decree.