A birth parent’s rights to their child may be terminated voluntarily by the parent signing a Consent. A Consent in adoption is a legal document signed by a birth parent in front of a Notary Public and in front of a Witness. The Consent document identifies the child and indicates that the parent is voluntarily giving up their parent/child relationship to that child. The Consent states that the parent is signing without pressure from another person, and with full knowledge of the legal impact of signing the document. For King County adoptions, King County Adoption Services also investigates to confirm with the consenting parent, that he or she has signed voluntarily.


A birth parent may refuse to sign a Consent in adoption to voluntarily terminate their parent/child relationship. When the adopting parents file a petition and the parent refuses to consent, a trial of the issues will be had in front of a Judge. The Judge may terminate a birth parent’s rights depending on facts of the case. Some of the facts the Judge will consider might include non-payment of financial support, no contact between parent and child, no phone calls from the parent, no written greetings or gifts or correspondence for about 2 years.


A child 14 years or older is required to also consent to his adoption by the adoptive parents. If the “child” is actually an adult (18 years or older), he/she must consent.