If you are going down the path of adopting a child in Virginia, you should understand the laws and processes involved to make adoption easier for you. Here are some of the adoption laws in the state that you should be aware of.
Adoption in Virginia
Virginia family law allows for two types of adoptive placements: agency and non-agency placements. You will have to deal with the Local Department of Social Services or a licensed child-placing agency if you go the former route. The court grants these agencies custody over the child, so, they are the ones that will give you consent when requesting to adopt their children.
For non-agency adoptions, the birth parents of the child or the legal guardians will give you consent to the adoption. Once the agreement is settled, you will have all the parental rights over the child. This type of adoption is common among close relatives and stepparents.
Virginia laws regarding adoption
- You must be 18 years of age or older.
- If the child you want to adopt is 14 years or older, they must give consent.
- You can be single, married or divorced to adopt a child.
- You must be healthy enough to take care of the child and raise them well.
- You must pass a home study and provide adequate space for the child.
After you have fulfilled all these requirements, the agency will conduct a thorough background check to see if you make a fit parent. It may be helpful to consult with an attorney to know what the law requires of you during the adoptive process.
Sometimes, first-time adoptive parents develop “adoption obsession.” They think too much about the process, feeding into their fears or worries to a point where they even drop the whole process altogether. When you understand the legal process and what’s expected of you as an adoptive parent, you can feel more confident about completing the adoption.