Manassas Adoption Lawyers
Legal Guidance Through the Adoption Process In Northern Virginia
Adoption is an exciting time for all parties involved. However, the adoption process can be complicated and involve discouraging setbacks if not carried out correctly. As a result, it is important to have skilled legal counsel on your side to help guide you through the process. Our lawyers at Dougherty Tobias Iszard, Northern Virginia Law, P.C. are committed to streamlining your adoption case and developing a strategy to have the adoption granted. You can rely on our supportive and highly experienced approach to help you achieve a positive resolution.
We provide a wide array of adoption services, including:
- Infant adoptions
- Relative adoptions
- Stepparent adoptions
- Foster child adoptions
- Parental placement adoptions
- Contested adoptions
Our firm understands that adoptions involve more than reaching a legal conclusion. These are decisions that will impact everyone’s lives. We want to do what is best for the child and all involved family members, so clients can be sure that we place an emphasis on compassionately telling their story and representing their point of view to unite their family.
Who Can Adopt?
Any natural person may petition to adopt a minor child or another adult under certain conditions. If the petitioner is married, they must obtain the legal support of their spouse in order to proceed with the adoption. Be aware that Virginia law requires that the interested parents have a 6-month home residency period prior to finalization of the adoption and require the consent of children 14 years and older.
Two Types of Adoption
Virginia adoption law allows for two types of adoptive placements – agency placements and non-agency placements. Agency placements occur when the child is in the custody of a Department of Social Services (LDSS) or Licensed Child-Placing Agency (LCPA). In this situation, all parental rights of the original guardians are terminated, custody with authority to place for adoption is granted to the agency, and the agency consents to the child's adoption. DSS aims to work with the family of origin or prior custodian to return the youth home. The goal is to place children home with their family of origin within 12 months, and if the goal is changed to adoption, it should be finalized within 24 months of a youth entering into foster care.
Non-agency adoptions involve children who are not placed in the custody of a DSS. In a non-agency placement, the birth parents or legal guardian consent to the adoption and parental rights are terminated by entry of the final order of adoption. These types of adoptions are generally parental placement adoptions, stepparent adoptions, close relative adoptions, and adult adoptions.
Note that a parental placement adoption is one where the birth parent places the child with the prospective adoptive parent(s) themselves, and a stepparent adoption is one where termination of parental rights of one parent has occurred and a new parent, such as a new spouse, is adopting the child. A close relative adoption is when a close relative is adopting a youth, and an adult adoption is when a person over the age of 18 is adopted by one or more persons.
Even if the birth parents do not consent, such adoptions can be pursued as contested adoptions if one or more of the birth parents is withholding his or her consent to the adoption contrary to the best interests of the child.
Looking to Adopt? Let Us Help.
If you are looking to adopt in Virginia, consult a dedicated team of compassionate attorneys who will go the extra mile for you. Our attorneys in Manassas, Virginia will help you build and protect your family. You can be sure that you will be working with an experienced team of legal professionals on your adoption case.
Let a team of tried and true adoptions lawyers handle your case.