Adoptive parents often feel anticipation mixed with unnamed anxiety.
What you feel during these moments will remain in your memory forever– the colors, the smells, the words, the emotions.
The Adoption Process in Oregon
In Oregon, about half of all adoptions each year are step-parent adoptions.
After the adoption the step-parent is granted all the rights and responsibilities as if the child was their biological child. The legal process of adoption will help you formalize the family that you and your spouse have already built with the child.
First, the minimum residency and consent requirements must be met. Either the adoptive parent, the placing parent, or the person being adopted must have been an Oregon resident for at least six months.
Additionally, if the child being adopted is fourteen years or older, their consent must be obtained.
Second, begin the process of independent adoption. An independent adoption is one that is conducted without the Department of Human Services (DHS), but often with the assistance of an attorney. The attorney should ask for copies of birth and marriage certificates and help with the appropriate background check and DHS paperwork. They will also draft the numerous court documents, called pleadings, that will need to be filed.
Of All Oregon Adoptions are Step-Parent Adoptions
Third, file for adoption in an Oregon court. The attorney will file the documents with the court and serve a summons on the other biological parent (unless they already consent to the adoption). Adoption packets must also be served on DHS.
Fourth, comply with the court proceeding requirements. The attorney will represent you before the court and assist you with any hearings or additional paperwork.
After the adoption the step-parent is granted all the rights and responsibilities as if the child was their biological child. Learn more about the stepparent adoption process.
Second Parent Adoption
If you are a same-sex couple and you want the non-biological partner to have parental rights, there is a streamlined process you can consider. Learn more about the second parent adoption process.
What you generally need to prepare
The adoption process can be lengthy. Here are some items you can prepare before the process begins.
Documentation and Payment
- Court filing fees
- Proof of marriage
- Birth certificate of the child
- List of fees paid for the adoption paperwork
- Addresses of the child for the last 5 years
How we can help
- Complete the necessary DHS and OHA paperwork
- Request a waiver of home study from DHS
- Request background checks of all parties
- Prepare the Summons
- Prepare the Petition for Adoption
- Assist the biological mother with her Declaration
- Prepare all other court documents (Show Cause Motion, Statements, ASSIS, CIF)
- File court documents and serve the Summons
- Serve the adoption packet on DHS
- Order new birth certificates
- Answer any questions you may have along the way
If you have more questions please do not hesitate to contact us.
Oregon Adoption Laws
Below are some of the laws that apply to Oregon step-parent adoptions.
ORS 109.309(2) requires that one biological parent, the child, or step-parent be an Oregon resident at the time that the Petition for adoption is filed with the court.
ORS 109.328(2) states that if the child is 14 years old or older the adoption cannot be completed without their consent.
ORS 109.332(1) states that grandparents may ask the court to award them regular visitation rights after the adoption is completed.