Legal Basis for a Virginia Adoption

Virginia adoption laws and procedures are a product of statutes.  Since there is no common law basis for adoption in Virginia, adherence to statutory requirements must be strictly maintained.  The primary adoption laws are set forth in Chapter 12 of title 63.2 of the Code of Virginia.  The key principal in any Virginia adoption is adherence to statutory procedures and requirements.  This is why the services of a family law attorney are almost always necessary.

Types of Virginia Adoption

There are a number of possible types of Virginia adoption.  Some of the most common include:

  1. Foster parent adoption – adoption of a child by a foster parent with whom the child was previously placed by a placement agency
  2. Parental placement adoption – birth parents place a child with adoptive parents that they have chosen
  3. Stepparent adoption – a stepparent becomes the legal parent of a stepchild, which may occur with or without the consent of the other parent
  4. Close relative adoption – similar to a parental placement adoption
  5. Intercountry adoption – for most purposes this refers to a domestic order of adoption entered in Virginia after completion of a foreign adoption

 Jurisdiction and Venue for a Virginia Adoption

Depending on the type of adoption, there are different required procedures for carrying out an adoption.  Virginia adoption proceedings usually begin in the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Courts (“JDR Courts”).  These courts address issues such as consent and voluntary/involuntary termination of parental rights.  A Circuit may process the final adoption petition after the JDR Court makes preliminary findings necessary to allow an adoption to proceed.  A Circuit Court has jurisdiction over any appeals from the Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court in cases where the adoption is contested.

Depending on whether the case is in a JDR or Circuit Court, venue may be where the agency is located, where the adoptive parents live, where the child was born, where the birth mother or father live, or where the birth mother or father executed consent for adoption in a JDR court.

Virginia Adoption Procedures

Virginia adoption procedures vary depending on the type of adoption that is being sought.  For our purposes we will briefly summarize procedures pertaining to parental placement, stepparent, and close relative adoptions.

More content coming soon!

Please contact our Downtown Lynchburg office at (434) 384-046 if you require legal counsel with respect to a Virginia Adoption.

We are a Central Virginia law firm, however our lawyers are available to serve clients throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Our attorneys regularly represent family law clients  in the courts of Central Virginia including the cities and towns of Lynchburg, Bedford, Roanoke, Charlottesville, Forest, Farmville, and Rustburg as well as surrounding areas including the counties of Bedford, Amherst, CampbellAppomattox, Nelson, Roanoke, Albemarle, Prince Edward, and Buckingham, to name just a few.