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Options for public and private adoptions in Virginia

Newport News individuals and couples considering parenthood options can benefit by speaking with an attorney. Virginia adoptions simultaneously may satisfy the needs and desires of several people. Family courts' greatest concerns are the best interests of children, which are carefully evaluated during the adoption process.

Many Virginia adoptions take place between family members, with stepparent adoptions leading the way. Adoptions through social service agencies and foster care occur less frequently. At 34.4 adoptions per 100,000 children, Virginia's public adoption rate is the second lowest in the nation, although not for the reason you may imagine.

The state also has the country's lowest number of children in foster care. Forty-six percent of children who enter foster care at some point return to their families. Virginia's 2012 adoption placement rate among children remaining in foster care was over 46 percent, not significantly different than the national average of 48.9 percent.

Private adoptions also are available for prospective parents who seek them. Agencies may be used to facilitate the process, but some individuals or married couples conduct their own searches for a child. An attorney can address concerns for biological parents and individuals or couples who wish to adopt.

The birthparents' parental rights are terminated for adoptions to take place. Disputes sometimes occur when one but not both biological parents consent to an adoption. Individuals involved should realize what rights they have throughout the adoption process.

Adoptive parents and biological parents should be aware Virginia laws prohibit unauthorized payments to birthparents. Payments may include coverage of adoption agency costs, legal fees and the birth mother's medical expenses and basic living costs. A violation of these rules can result in a Class 6 felony charge.

Questions about adoption qualifications, legal procedures, costs and possible conflicts can be answered by a family law attorney. Lawyers also prepare and file the necessary adoption documents, while representing the interests of clients.

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