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How does adoption work in Virginia?

Adopting a child may be a goal of yours, and it can be an important step in the development of your family. You could have everything ready to bring a child into your home, but you still need to find that child to adopt. You can do that through an agency or other means, but you still have to do so legally through the state.

If you're looking to adopt a child, then you need to understand how adoption works in the state of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Social Services is in charge of adoption in the state and all adoption procedures are governed under Chapter 12 of the Code of Virginia, making adoption rules clear for all who wish to do so.

With adoption, you have the option of two kinds of placement in your home. The first, known as agency placement, is when a child is placed with you with the help of local departments of social services or licensed agencies. Non-agency adoptions typically take place when a child isn't in the custody of one of the above agencies. Instead, the child could be a stepchild of the adopting parent or a close relative.

Court-ordered services, including supervised visitation and custody investigations, are also controlled by the Virginia Department of Social Services. If parents involved in custody issues want to give up their child, they must be the birth parents and legal guardians of the child in question. Once that's established, then the birth parents or legal guardians may put up their child for adoption in Virginia.

Source: Virginia Department of Social Services, "Adoption," accessed Sep. 03, 2015

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