(a) Where Hearings are to be Held. All adoption hearings shall be heard in the Ex Parte and Probate Department of the case assignment area designated for that case unless specially set before a Judge. All hearings shall be noted in conformity with paragraph (b) of this rule.
(b) Notice of Hearing. All adoption hearings requiring notice shall be noted for hearing, on an approved Notice of Court Date form, no later than 14 days in advance of the hearing date unless otherwise required for the hearing by law. The moving party shall serve and file all motions documents no later than 14 days in advance of the hearing date.
(c) Notice to Adoption Service. Upon noting a hearing, the petitioner shall immediately notify King County Adoption Services, by delivering a copy of the Notice of Court Date no later than 14 days in advance of the hearing date to Adoption Services.
(d) Court’s Working Copies. Working copies of pleadings and Notice of Court Date shall be submitted to the hearing judge or commissioner, pursuant to the requirements of LCR 7(b), no later than 12:00 noon two judicial days prior to the date set for hearing.
(e) Post Placement Reports and Services. No person shall provide post-placement services in a private or independent adoption until authorized by the Court. Unless otherwise specifically ordered by the Court, the adoption agency having legal custody of the child may be appointed to prepare the post-placement report required by statute. In independent adoptions, the motion to appoint a qualified person to provide post-placement services shall be supported by a written curriculum vita or resume.
(f) Case Schedule. If the matter is certified for trial, the petitioner shall promptly contact the assigned judge to schedule a LCR 16 conference.
(g) Confirmation of Consent. Except where legal custody of the adoptee is held by a licensed child placing agency, King County Family Court Services shall investigate and provide to the Court a report confirming the voluntariness of any consent to relinquish parental rights. Subject to the following exceptions, no consent to relinquish parental rights shall be approved until the Court has received a report complying with this rule:
i) Where minors are appointed GALs or Birth Parents have attorneys that can validate the consent, and,
ii) Where parents have signed irrevocable consents from other states. The Court may waive this rule in contested proceedings in which the consent is signed before the trial judge.
(h) File Review. Adoption Services shall review and forward to the Court the adoption checklist not less than two judicial days prior to any properly noted hearing. Adoption Service shall notify the Court and parties of any deficiencies noted in the court file.
[Amended effective September 20, 1990; September 1, 1996; September 1, 1999; September 1, 2004; September 1, 2008; June 1, 2009; September 1, 2018, September 1, 2021; September 1, 2022.]