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International Adoptions

Whatcom County Superior Court

Instructions and Documents for

International Adoptions
(Revised 8.30.2011)

NOTE:  The Department of Health form and the Adoption Data Card mentioned below are separate downloads. 

  1. Petition for Adoption ($250.00 filing fee, cash only)  With the filing of the Petition, the Clerk will assign a case number and a judge.  You should write the case number on the remaining documents.  All of the above must be filed before the matter may be set for hearing, step 6.

  2. Petitioner’s Sworn Statement

  3. Background Clearances (all forms/documents from international agency) 
  4. Motion & Order Directing Filing of Post-Placement  Report (Take to counter at County Clerk suite to be presented to judicial officer, along with an additional $30.00 fee, cash only.) (Now two separate documents.)

  5. Post-Placement Report 

  6. Note for Motion Docket (Schedules the hearing to complete the adoption: take it to counter at the County Clerk suite and you will be referred to the assigned judge’s judicial assistant to schedule the hearing.)  (Updated 8/29/2011)

At the time of filing the Petition for Adoption, also present the following documents:

  1. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 

  2. Decree of Adoption You will probably need FIVE certified copies, at the cost of $6.00 each, cash only. ($30.00 total)
  3. As your adoption is an international adoption of a child previously adopted in a foreign county, you are required to present at the hearing the ORIGINALS of all foreign documents for the court's review. These will be then returned to you.
  1. Once the Court has signed your decree, at the Clerk's office you must ask for and complete:
    • The multi-copy Department of Health "Application for Adoption Registration" and give it to the Clerk along with your check or money order payable to the Department of Health, in the amount of $35.00.  The form may be printed by clicking here, to use to write the information on the original form at the Clerk's office.
    • You may pre-fill the DSHS Adoption Data Card and give it to the Clerk to complete the court portion (to download in Word, click here.)




If you file any of the above documents within the five days immediately preceding the hearing to finalize your adoption you must deliver courtesy Judge working copies to the County Clerk. Before you file any document be sure to make copies for this purpose. Please indicate the Judge’s name, the date and time of the hearing in the upper right hand corner of the top page.