Adoption occurs when kids who have been separated from their biological parents are placed under the care of new parents (adoptive parents). In this case, the new parents are awarded rights similar to those of the birth parents, whereas the responsibilities and rights of the birth parents would be terminated. At Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC, we represent individuals throughout Stafford County, Prince William County and Spotsylvania County with adoption needs.
Termination of parental rights and adoption cases can be disturbing and nerve-racking for all the parties involved. When planning to fight it out in an adoption case in Virginia, hiring an experienced attorney to help you out is very important.
There are two primary types of adoption placements in the state of Virginia. The first one is where adoption is carried out by recognized and authorized agencies, such as private licensed agencies and public social services departments. The second type of placement involves adoption being made by legal parents or biological parents. As a family law firm in Northern Virginia, Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC will work with you to determine what works best for you and your family.
Agency Placement Adoptions
This happens when a child is under the care of a licensed child placing agency or social services. Once the parental rights are terminated, a child becomes available for adoption. An agency adoption commonly occurs after a child has been in foster care.
With non-agency adoptions in Virginia, the birth parents or guardians agree to the adoption. The parental rights are eventually terminated with a final order of adoption.
Parental Placement Adoptions
This type of adoption occurs when the authorized agency completely fills out a comprehensive home study report and then goes on to file a petition in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court for approval and granting of custody to the potential adoptive guardians. The court is tasked to review the collateral materials and the home study report to find out whether the requirements of the law have all been met, approves the parent consent, and grants custody to the adoptive guardians. In case of denial via a court’s decision, they can decide to appeal by filing a petition in the Circuit Court.
An interstate adoption must meet the requirements of the ICPC. The only exception is if a specific family member is pursuing adoption of the child. An interstate adoption is complex and involves very detailed information.
With an international adoption, certain laws must be met from the couple's country of origin. Once complete, prospective adoptive parents are given the opportunity to re-adopt the child in their home state.
Adult adoption involves the adoption of persons aged 18 years or more when the adoption petition is being filed. In this situation, the agency is also involved as soon as the adoption petition is filed in the Circuit Court.
When it comes to stepparent adoptions in Virginia, the spouse of an adoptive or birth parent is adopting the child. In this case, consent has either been obtained or isn’t needed at all. Furthermore, an investigation is only likely to happen if the court concludes that it is indispensable, way before adoption is completed. Should the court decide that an investigation is vital; the agency is included in the adoption petition, in the Circuit Court.
Stepparent adoption is one of the most common types of adoptions in Virginia. Although it usually involves multiple steps, they can all be executed with the assistance of an attorney. The initial step usually involves addressing the rights of the birth parent. Some biological parents may be willing and ready to consent adoption of their child, but others are not.
In case the whereabouts of a biological parent is unknown, steps can be taken to allow for adoption of the child. It's important to understand that the objection of a birth parent doesn’t necessarily suggest that adoption won't be allowed. A court can grant adoption without consent if the parent does not attend a scheduled hearing or is working against the child’s best interests.
Almost every adoption calls for a home study in Virginia. Basically, a home study is just a thorough review of any individual(s) looking to adopt. The study is conducted by an accredited business or organization specializing in home studies. They typically will review everyone living in the home and look into potential issues that may exist. Items considered include the overall family dynamics of the prospective parents, the potential of the family to add a new member to the family and reasons why the family wants to adopt. The study takes about five to nine weeks and is guided by Virginia’s adoption law requirements.
Contact Us - We Have Offices in Stafford & Fredericksburg
From Stafford & Fredericksburg, Williams Stone Carpenter Buczek, PC has a proven team of attorneys to handle adoption options throughout Northern Virginia. By seeking guidance from an attorney well-versed in Virginia adoption laws, you can be certain the process will go smoothly, whether you are filing for adoption or putting your child up for adoption. Contact us today by calling 540-657-0111.