Second Parent Adoption

Washington and Idaho will not allow a single mother to terminate the rights of an abusive or absent father  without a family member or other suitable adult willing to adopt the child. When termination is in the best interest of a child, a single parent may have a family member or another suitable adult adopt through a second parent adoption. Mark R. Iverson has assisted families in sensitive situations and can meet with families to explore different options.

What Is a Second Parent Adoption?

In order to terminate the right of a birth father, there must be a person who is willing to step forward and adopt the child. The court does not want to disinherit a child without a second parent becoming responsible through adoption. At times, a single mother finds herself in a situation where it is in the child's best interest to terminate the parental rights of the birth father.  The single mother, however, is not in a relationship with a significant other. In such circumstance, a family member or another suitable adult that has a significant relationship with the child may adopt the child in a second parent adoption.

Termination of Parental Rights

Termination of Birth Father's Rights in Washington

  • Consent to adopt:

The birth father must be given notice of adoption proceedings. A consent is presented to the birth father.  If he signs the consent, his rights are terminated and the family member or other suitable adult may proceed with an adoption.

  • When birth father refuses to sign consent:

If the birth father refuses to sign a consent, it is necessary to personally serve the birth father with a petition to terminate his parental rights.  If the birth father fails to appear at a hearing or respond in any manner, he will be found to be in default and his rights are terminated and the family member or other suitable adult may proceed with an adoption.

  • When birth father is unknown:

If the location of the birth father or identity of the birth father is unknown  it is still possible to terminate the birth father’s rights. It is necessary will be necessary to  publish notice to the birth father in a newspaper.  This gives the birth father notice of the proceedings and, if the birth father fails to respond, his rights are terminated by the court.

Termination of Birth Father's Rights in Idaho

  • Consent to adopt:

The birth father may sign a consent  in the presence of a judicial officer.

  • When a consent is not necessary:

If the birth father is not married to the birth mother and he fails to register with the Putative Father Registry, the birth father's consent is not necessary and the adopting parent may proceed with an adoption.  

  • When personal service is necessary:

If the birth father is married to the birth mother and refuses to sign a consent it is necessary to personally serve the birth father with a petition to terminate his parental rights.  It he fails to appear at a hearing or respond in any manner, the court will terminate rights and the adopting parent may proceed with an adoption.

  • When the birth father is unknown:

When the birth father resides outside the state of Idaho and his identity or whereabouts are unknown the adopting parent may publish notice to the birth father, and if the birth father fails to appear or respond in any manner parental rights are terminated.

Home Study

The adopting partner must obtain an approved home study (pre-placement report) to adopt the child. In a second parent adoption there are psychological and emotional issues that must be addressed by the home study provider.  For instance, if the maternal grandmother or maternal grandfather adopts the child as a second parent, the grandparent becomes equal to the mother as a parent to the child. 

Birth Certificate

A new birth certificate is issued showing the mother and the second parent as parents of the child.  The child's name may also be changed. 

Free Consultation

For more information on second parent adoption please contact us.