Laws & Requirements

Thank you for visiting our website. Children’s Administration is now part of the Department of Children, Youth, and Families. Content that previously was bookmarked on this page is now available at While some former Children’s Administration content is available at, that information is now outdated. Please visit for the most current information. Thank you for your understanding.

Adoption in the United States is governed by state and federal laws and regulations.

Washington State laws and rules that pertain to adoptions can be found at the following:

Federal child welfare laws can be found at:

  • - a service of the Library of Congress that makes Federal legislative information freely available to the public via the Web.

To be an adoptive parent, you are required to be:

  • 18 years of age or older
  • Legally competent
  • Have an approved home study

For additional highlights of Washington State laws and rules, see Adoption Laws at-a-glance.