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Virginia Adoption Laws

Adopting a child can be a wonderful, exciting experience. However, there are strict laws that govern the process and it can be complex. If you are considering adopting a child in Virginia, this article will give you a short overview of the law, a breakdown of the main statute, and some resources you can use to start your journey.

Virginia Adoption Laws at a Glance

The finer points of adoption law, such as residency requirements and the age at which a child's consent is needed, tend to vary from state to state. Virginia adoption laws, for instance, require a six-month home residency period prior to finalization and require the consent of children 14 and older. Anyone may apply to adopt a child, but married persons must file jointly unless it is a stepparent, in which case the biological parent signs a petition giving consent.

How to Adopt a Child in Virginia

Virginia adoption law allows for either agency placements or non-agency placements (direct parental placement, for instance). Prospective parents must complete a home residency in order to have a child placed in their home. Upon completion of the six-month residency, the adoptive parents must petition the court and obtain consent from the agency in order to finalize the adoption.

The Virginia Department of Social Services maintains a suite of resources to help prospective parents navigate the adoption process. These resources include a listing of children available for adoption in Virginia; an Adoption Inquiry Form, which helps refer families to the appropriate adoption agencies; and a legal overview of the adoption process in Virginia.

The main provisions of Virginia adoption laws are listed below. See FindLaw's Adoption section for additional articles and resources.

Code Section

§ 63.2-1200, et seq., of the Virginia Code

Who May Be Adopted

Any child; adult under certain conditions

Age that Child's Consent Needed

14 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any natural person may petition to adopt a minor child. If the petitioner is married, the spouse must join. Any natural person may adopt another adult under certain conditions.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

6 months (may be omitted by the court)

State Agency/Court

Social Services/Circuit

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

6 months

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Virginia adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

Virginia Adoption Laws: Related Resources

Learn More About Virginia Adoption Laws from an Attorney

Adoption laws can be hard to understand and even harder to follow. Why not make the process a whole lot easier by having a legal expert on your side? Contact a skilled adoption attorney in Virginia today who can answer your questions and even represent you in adoption proceedings.

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