A step parent adoption is an adoption when only one birth parent relinquishes or terminates his/her rights to the child. Then, by adoption, the other birth parent’s new husband or wife may adopt their step child. When the adoption is finalized, the new spouse of the custodial birth parent is put on the birth certificate in place of the terminated birth parent (ex-spouse). This terminates the any future child support obligation of the parent whose rights are terminated.


A public agency adoption (Washington State Division of Children and Family Services – DSHS) provides adoption services for children within the foster care system. A child may come into foster care because of neglect or abuse by a parent. The parent/child relationship between the birth parents and the child may be terminated by court order after a trial, if the birth parents are unable to adequately parent. Once this is done, the child will be free to be adopted.

Please contact one of our experienced family law attorneys to answer your questions about adoption. You can call us at 425-255-4542 or read other articles about adoption on our firm web page. We are willing to assist you with your legal needs.