Lynchburg Adoption Attorney Provides Comprehensive Guidance
Experienced lawyer advises prospective Virginia parents on what to expect
Bringing a child into your home through adoption is very exciting, but the legal requirements can frustrate even the most prepared families. At The Bice Law Group in Lynchburg, I help Central Virginia clients who are looking to adopt understand the relevant rules so they can complete the placement process successfully. Whether you’re just beginning to explore your options or you know what type of adoption works best for you, my firm will help you clear the legal hurdles so you can concentrate on creating the best environment possible for your new son or daughter.
What are the different types of adoption?
My firm gives Virginians comprehensive counsel on the different types of adoptions that are available, such as:
- Agency placements — If you’re looking to adopt a youth who is presently in the custody of a licensed child placing agency or local department of social services, the adoption is handled through the relevant agency. In these cases, parental rights have been terminated.
- International adoptions — Welcoming a child from another country means that, in addition to state law, you need to be aware of pertinent federal regulations and the rules that govern outplacement in the child’s native country.
- Parental placements — In a parental placement, the family looking to adopt works with the child’s birth parent(s) to complete the adoption. This process is often used with infant placements and might be discussed prior to the baby’s birth.
- Step-parent and close relative adoptions — Sometimes after a divorce and remarriage, a young person’s step-parent will handle child-raising responsibilities. I advise clients on step-parent adoption as well as measures that can be taken when a family member seeks to become a child’s legal parent.
- Open vs. closed adoptions — As you approach the adoption process, you might want to think about whether you would prefer an open placement where contact is maintained with the birth family, or a closed process.
As an accomplished Virginia family and child custody lawyer, I understand the importance of finding the right fit and the emotions associated with parenting matters. Whatever your preferences or priorities might be, I am committed to helping you make informed decisions.
What are the adoption requirements in Virginia?
Virginia requires families to complete a six-month home residency before an adoption is finalized. If you’re looking to adopt someone who is aged 14 or older, they must consent to the adoption. Single and married adults can adopt, but one spouse cannot initiate an adoption unless the other spouse agrees to it.
How do you file for adoption in Virginia?
Whether or not you go through an agency, you will still need to have your adoption approved by the court. This process begins by filing a petition with the court. Filing the required paperwork can be a bit tricky. There are a number of forms that have to be completed accurately and in accordance with Virginia law. I can assist you in preparing the necessary materials and can represent you in the adoption hearing held by the court. Each case is unique, but the process frequently takes about a year, including the six-month residency period, before the adoption is finalized.
What does an adoption attorney do?
No matter which type of adoption you choose, complications can occur. I give clients a legal roadmap so that prospective parents know what to expect on every step of their journey. My firm helps clients avoid common problems and offers counsel on the home study, background check and other aspects of the Virginia adoption process. Everyone who intends to bring a boy or girl into their home looks forward to that joyous day when they become legal parents, so I will work tirelessly to make that dream come true as promptly and smoothly as possible.
Contact a knowledgeable Virginia lawyer to discuss adoption in a free consultation
The Bice Law Group in Lynchburg advises Virginians on all types of adoption matters. Please call (434) 528-1500 or contact me online to make an appointment for a free initial consultation.