If you would like to add to your family through adoption in Virginia, there are several steps to be aware of.
The first step in the process is to decide what type of adoption you would like to pursue, either domestic adoption, international adoption or foster care adoption. Domestic adoption involves adopting a child who is a U.S. citizen, international adoption involves adoption from a foreign country and foster care involves adopting from the U.S. foster care system.
Most adoptive families will choose to work with an adoption agency or an attorney. You will be required to complete a home study, which is an assessment of your home and family. It may include interviews with your family and friends, in addition to you and your spouse, if applicable, and a background check.
This process helps to ensure that the adoptive child will be placed in a safe, stable home.
Placement and petition
Once this step is complete, you will wait for a child to be placed in your home. You will be required to complete several home visits, usually monthly, with your adoption social worker or another representative from the adoption agency.
Then, after a period of time, you can file a petition for adoption with the court. Before you can adopt the child, the child’s biological parents’ rights will be terminated by the court. This may be a voluntary termination, or the court may order an involuntary termination of parental rights.
Once this is complete, the court will issue a final adoption order, which gives all parental rights and responsibilities for the child.