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| || WHY ADOPT IN THE NORTHWEST?
| ||Simply because the laws of Washington and Oregon, the two states we actively service in our adoption division, are among the very best in the country to seek and complete adoptive arrangements. (Note: We can usually work with adoptive parents and birth parents in any state.)|
- One of the few states in the country in which birth parents may legally sign their consents before birth.
- With the ability to revoke the consent ending with a judge signing a termination order 48 hours after birth.
- Only residence or domicile of the birth mother, the child or the adoptive parents is required for Washington courts to have jurisdiction to handle both the termination of birth parents' rights and the adoption by a family and no minimum time of residence or domicile is specified by statute.
- If acceptable for Interstate Compact (ICPC) purposes of the adoptive parents' home state, a homestudy done by a private caseworker with some experience in adoption will usually be acceptable by Washington courts for both temporary custody and adoption finalization.
- Adoption advertising is allowable if a homestudy acceptable under Washington law has been completed and the ad is placed by a Washington licensed lawyer or adoption agency.
- Payment of all of birth mother's expenses related to the pregnancy is permissible. Fortunately, most birth mothers qualify for state paid pregnancy and delivery medical assistance, which is not reimbursable by the adoptive parents. Other expenses such as maternity clothing, counseling, pregnancy related transportation, loss of income and/or short term living expenses are regularly approved by our judges, especially if independent attorney review occurs on behalf of the birth mother.
- Our local judges are most accommodating of signing temporary custody and parental termination orders on Saturdays, evenings and the like.
- Washington law also provides for enforceable adoption agreements, one of the few laws like it in the country. These agreements specifically lay out the parties arrangements, limit the parties expectations to those in writing, and most importantly, protect the validity of the adoption in the event of a dispute.
- Washington's ICPC office has historically been quite sensitive to the urgency of imminent adoption, and giving verbal or fax travel authorizations.
Oregon's laws are similarly advantageous, but somewhat different.
- The birth mother's consent cannot be signed until after birth, but once signed, becomes binding (1) if signed before a caseworker from an Oregon licensed adoption agency, or (2) when a guardianship order is signed by the court.
- Residence of the birth mother for the greater part of the six months before petitioning to adopt, or of adoptive parents is generally required for the court to have jurisdiction.
- Both the termination of the birth mother's rights and the adoption can take place through the Oregon courts.
- The adoptive parents' home state homestudy can be used for initial placement, and the Oregon Children's Services Division will arrange, through an Oregon licensed adoption agency, for the report necessary to finalize the adoption.
- Oregon has a birth father registry system which eliminates the need for notice to, or consent of, most putative birth fathers. The procedure requires an affidavit of the birth mother that he has not (1) registered with the state, (2) been married to her, and (3) supported or lived with her or the child in the 60 days prior to the adoption proceeding.
- Adoption advertising is also permitted in Oregon.
- Payment of a birth mother's pregnancy related expenses are also allowable similar to Washington, with the law requiring filing a sworn expense disclosure statement and court review.
- County by county variances exist, but generally Oregon courts are quite supportive of reimbursements for all reasonably related pregnancy and birth expenses.
- Most birth mothers qualify for state paid pregnancy and delivery expenses without adoptive parent reimbursement.
- Oregon's ICPC office is generally responsive to the travel plans of adoptive parents.
A NOTE ABOUT IDAHO: Although we do not currently have a staff attorney licensed to practice in Idaho, because of our proximity, we regularly work with adoptive couples and birth mothers from Idaho. We have found Idaho laws, procedures and ICPC to be quite reasonable to work through when necessary, plus we have good associations with competent attorneys in Idaho when we need to act under its laws.