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How Does Adoption Work in Virginia?

Family adopting.

Information About Adoption in Virginia

Are you ready to expand your family by adding a new addition? Adoption may be the right choice for you! Adoption is an exciting process, but it can also be scary and you may find yourself feeling overwhelmed or nervous.

To help ease your initial adoption jitters, we created this guide to navigating the adoption process.

Here are a few general facts about adoption in Virginia, including how to start the process, requirements to adopt, and information about adoption placements.

What is Adoption?

Adoption is the process of placing a child who has been legally separated from their birth parents with a new family. A legal and social process can give you, the potential adoptive parent, the same rights and responsibilities as the child’s biological parents.

When you adopt a child, you would be expanding your family by making that child a member of your own family. Once they’re adopted, you will be able to care for them as if they were your own!

There are a few ways you can go about adoption in Virginia: foster care placement, agency placement, adopt as a stepparent, adopt as a close relative, adopt internationally, and more. In Virginia, there are only two types of adoption placements that are available called agency placements and non-agency placements.

What is an Agency Adoption?

Placements through agencies occur when the child is placed in the care of their local department of social services or placed with a licensed child-placing agency. When this happens, all parental rights of the biological parent are taken away and the child is placed into the custody of an agency. Once they’re in the agency’s custody, the agency can contend for the child to be adopted.

Social services agencies usually have a goal to place children with their biological families within 12 months. If they can’t be placed with their families within twelve months, then the children can be adopted. It usually takes 24 months for an adoption to be finalized this way.

What is a Non-Agency Adoption?

A non-agency placement is when children aren’t placed in the custody of social services but are placed with a licensed child-placing agency. With a non-agency placement, the birth parents or the child’s legal guardian can give permission/consent to the child being adopted and have their parental rights terminated once the adoption is final.

Non-agency adoptions are done through parental placement adoptions, step-parent adoptions, or a close relative adoption.

In order to adopt in Virginia, certain requirements must be met first.

What are the Adoption Requirements in Virginia?

If you’ve decided that you’re ready to adopt once seeing the different routes you can take towards adopting a child, you have to make sure you meet Virginia’s requirements to adopt.

Here are a few requirements that you should meet in order to qualify:

  • You are married and still with your spouse.

  • You are married to the child’s parent and are the stepparent.

  • You have custody of the child you want to adopt from an adoption agency.

  • You are the intended parent through a surrogacy contract.

If you’re unsure about your ability to adopt a child based on these requirements, your best option is to contact our adoption attorneys for more information.

How Can Adoption Attorneys Bush & Taylor Help?

Hiring an adoption attorney who is experienced in helping families adopt and explore their route toward adoption is key to getting your adoption process started on the right track. If you would like to begin your journey toward adoption, we’re eager to take the leap with you!

Contact our law office today at (757) 926-0078 to schedule a consultation and work towards expanding your family!

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