Virginia residents who wish to become parents have multiple options under the umbrella of adoption. If you want to go this route, it’s important to know what types of adoption are available in the state.
Adoption often takes place through an agency that places a child with a family. When a child is adopted this way, the biological parents don’t have a say in the process. Instead, the agency makes the decision about which family should get the child.
If the child is not placed in social services, an agency is not responsible for their adoption. Non-agency placements involve the biological parents deciding whether the child should be adopted by a specific couple.
When the biological parent decides they want to make their child available for adoption, they work with an agency to find the right adoptive parents. The birth mother is required to consent to an adoption before the judge can legalize it.
When a stepparent is married to a child’s parent, they have the legal right to adopt the child. This gives them legal responsibility for the child. The stepparent and child’s parent file a petition jointly agreeing to the adoption. However, the other biological parent must give consent and agree to give up their parental rights. Stepparent adoption can also occur when the other parent isn’t in the child’s life.
Close relative adoption
If a child lives with a relative other than their parents for an extended time, that relative can choose to adopt them. This family member could be a sibling, aunt or uncle, cousin or grandparent. Adoption can take place when the child is in the relative’s home for over three years.
Adoption can bring families and children great joy. These are options you can consider if you want to give a child a loving home.