WHO CAN ADOPT?
Agencies consider single and married women and men of all races, ages and income levels for adoption. You can be experienced parents with children in your home, first-time parents, or have grown children. Two same sex or two unmarried adults cannot adopt a child in Virginia. A married person cannot adopt without the spouse also adopting the child.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO ADOPT?
The time frame, like the cost, varies with the type of child being adopted. For example, step-parent adoptions can be completed in a matter of weeks, while others may have specific waiting periods.
WHO MAY PLACE A CHILD FOR ADOPTION?
Those who are legally permitted to place children for adoption in Virginia include (i) the child’s biological parent or parents, and (ii) licensed child-placing agencies. In other words, prospective adoptive couples are not limited to agency adoptions. A significant number of adoptions in Virginia are direct parental placement adoptions, where a birth mother places her child directly with the adoptive parents she has chosen.
HOW CAN MY SPOUSE ADOPT MY CHILD?
This is not a difficult process if the other biological parent will consent to the adoption. If you are unable to obtain consent, it is still possible. Contact us for more information.
CAN I FIND OUT INFORMATION ABOUT MY ADOPTION WHEN I BECOME AN ADULT?
Yes. To initiate a search for the birth family, you must fill out an Adoptee Application for Disclosure from: Adoption Reports Unit, Department of Social Services, 730 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219-1849; Phone (804) 692-1944
WHAT IS INVOLVED IN A HOME STUDY?
Under Virginia law, a home study must be conducted by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency in almost every adoption. The purpose of the home study is to ascertain:
Whether the prospective adoptive parents are financially able, morally suitable, and in satisfactory physical and mental health to enable them to care for the child
The physical and mental condition of the child, if known
The circumstances under which the child came to live, or will be living, in the home of the prospective adoptive family, as applicable
What fees have been paid by the prospective adoptive family or on their behalf in the placement and adoption of the child
Whether both the birth parents and adoptive parents have been counseled on any and all other alternatives
If the birth parents and adoptive parents have exchanged the requisite identifying information (or mutually waived that right)
Whether or not there have been any violations of the statute concerning authorized and unauthorized payments between the adoptive and birth parents
CAN I AFFORD TO ADOPT?
There are provisions for military personnel to be reimbursed for adoption costs. Adoption from foster care is a no-cost option. You can also go to Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption to review information and sources of funding for adoptions.
WHAT IS THE ADOPTION TAX CREDIT?
The Adoption Tax Credit is not a deduction on your taxes, but rather a credited amount that acts as payment toward your tax liability. In addition to the tax credit, the law qualifies that a portion of the expenses paid by your employer for a qualifying adoption may be excludable from your gross income. The law states that qualifying expenses, for either the credit or exclusion, may include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, and traveling expenses.
Take the time on your own to learn about legal matters in Virginia. This should never be used as a substitute for the advice of experienced counsel; this education empowers you and can help frame your discussions with your attorney.
Please contact us to schedule an appointment.