How adoption works in Virginia

On Behalf of | Apr 6, 2021 | Family Law

When you wish to adopt a child in Virginia, there are certain steps you must follow to initiate and navigate the process. Maybe you are looking to adopt a child with whom you have no existing relationship, or maybe you are looking to adopt a stepson or stepdaughter you already know and love.

Regardless of which type of adoption you are considering, the Virginia Department of Social Services notes that there are some important things to know about the process.

Adoption eligibility

The first step in adopting a child in Virginia involves determining if you are eligible to do so. Most Virginia residents who are at least 18 are eligible to adopt. It does not matter if you have a spouse or are single, or if you rent or own your home. Your religious or sexual preferences also do not matter and do not prevent you from adopting a child within state lines.

Foster parent information

Many prospective adoptive parents believe they must foster a child before becoming an adoptive parent. However, this is not always the case. If you apply to adopt via a Licensed Child Placing Agency, you may move forward with the process even before you foster a child. However, about 60% of all children in Virginia’s foster care system do wind up having their foster parents adopt them.

Types of adoptions

Virginia laws allow for two types of placements: agency and non-agency placements. Agency placements involve social services departments, whereas non-agency placements involve a separate legal process.

Ultimately, what matters most when looking to adopt a child is demonstrating that you have the time, attention and love a child needs to grow and thrive.