Virginia law recognizes three different types of adoption: step-parent adoptions, parental placement adoptions, and agency adoptions. Attorney Virginia Perry has over 40 years of experience in Virginia adoption law and has handled all three types of adoptions. If you are looking to adopt through any of the available means to do so, Perry Law Group can assist you in making it go as smoothly as possible.
The law changes and evolves over time. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the area of child custody. The paradigm has shifted from sole custody to joint custody. The trend is toward the development and adoption of “parenting plans” outlining the role each parent is to play in the life of the children. Child Custody issues are often some of the most challenging issues couples face when trying to come to an agreement. We have been representing parents, step-parents, and grandparents in child custody and visitation cases for 40+ years and also have experience in foster care cases.
As a child of divorce herself, Attorney Perry brings a unique perspective to child custody litigation and is able to argue with conviction and passion for what she believes is in the best interest of the minor children.
Perry Law Group can also advise you in:
- Child Support
- Spousal Support
- Divorce or Separation
- Division of Property
- Simple Wills
- And More!
Q: What is custody?
Q: What does the law generally say about custody?
Q: What if a parent dies?
Q: How do custody cases end up in court?
Q: Where would I file for custody?
Q: Can someone other than a parent file for custody?
Q: What if I want to change the visitation?
Q: What if we've moved out of that jurisdiction?
Q: Is it a crime for one parent to withhold the child from the other?
Q: What is the difference between joint custody and sole custody?
Q: What does the court consider in deciding what is best for the child?
- The age and physical and mental condition of the child
- The age and physical and mental condition of each parent
- The relationship between each parent and each child
- The positive involvement of the parent in the child’s life and the parent’s ability to assess and meet the emotional, intellectual and physical needs of the child
- The child’s needs, including important relationships (siblings, peers and extended family)
- The role each parent has played and will play in the upbringing and care of the child
- The willingness of each parent to actively support the child’s contact and relationship with the other parent
- The willingness and ability of each parent to cooperate in matters affecting the child
- The willingness and ability of each parent to maintain a close and continuing relationship with the child
- The preference of the child, if the court determines that the child is able to express such a preference
- Any history of family abuse
- Such other factors as the court may determine are important
- Failure to cooperate in visitation and other matters affecting a child can be a factor in a court’s consideration of a change of custody.
Q: Do I have to have a lawyer to file for custody?
Q: Is there such a thing as common-law adoption?
Q: Are there different kinds of adoption?
There are also special provisions pertaining to the adoption of adults, interstate adoptions, and international adoptions.
Q: What do you mean by "agency adoption?"
Q: What is a "foster care placement" adoption?
If you have been separated for more than one year, it is not necessary to have a written property settlement. However, having settled issues like property, support and custody can make the divorce faster and easier to obtain, provided no one is in violation of the terms of the settlement.
Q: What is a stepparent adoption?
Q: What is a parental placement adoption?
Q: Who is eligible to be an adoptive parent in Virginia?
Recently, a number of people have inquired about adopting the children of their girlfriend or boyfriend. While this situation is not specifically addressed in the statutes, these individuals are not “stepparents” as defined in law. Because these individuals are not “stepparents,” there is a question about the effect of the adoption on the rights of the custodial parent. At a minimum, the agency and the court would have to consider whether or not the adoption would be in the best interests of the children. It is likely that the agency and the court might be concerned about the stability, or lack thereof, in a situation where someone who is not married to the biological custodial parent seeks to adopt. Clearly, it would be helpful if the legislature clarified whether or not this type of adoption should be approved and identified the procedure or steps to be applied in such cases.
Q: How long does it take to adopt?
Q: What is the Virginia Putative Father Registry?
The 2006 General Assembly passed into law Section 63.2-1249, which established the Putative Father Registry (VPFR) with the Virginia Department of Social Services. The purpose of the registry is to protect the rights of a putative father who wants to be notified in the event of a proceeding for adoption of, or the termination of parental rights regarding a child he may have fathered.
Virginia has established a confidential database to protect the rights of a putative father who desires to maintain rights to children he may father; it provides a uniform way for putative fathers to be notified in the event of proceedings to terminate the parental rights of putative fathers or for adoption.
Q: What if the birth father has been misled by the birth mother?
Q: How does the VPFR affect adoption proceedings?
Q: What is a putative father?
Q: What happens when a child is adopted? What is affected by the adoption?
Q: Can the adoption be attacked later?
Virginia law does provide that once six months have passed since entry of the final adoption order, the order becomes final for all purposes and no attacks may be mounted against the adoption order.
Q: What is the next step I should take after reading this information?
We have experienced an upsurge in our adoption practice from adult stepchildren desiring to be adopted by their stepparents. This is the best present that the adult child could give his stepparent and usually represents the formalizing of the existing relationship within the family. This type of adoption is very simple, provided there is agreement among the parties. No home study or investigation is required. What is required is a petition for adoption signed under oath by the stepparent, a copy of the birth record of the adult to be adopted, a copy of the marriage license of the stepparent and birth parent, the written consent under oath of the adult child, a cover sheet for filing, a VS-12 form reporting the adoption to the Bureau of Vital Records, and a final adoption order. We usually have the birth parent who is married to the stepparent join in the petition to show their consent to the proceedings. (In addition to the attorney’s fee ($750-1,000), there is a filing fee to the court of $89.)
Once the paperwork is signed and notarized, we file it in the jurisdiction where the stepparent resides. Please note that if the stepparent does not reside in Virginia, you cannot file the adoption in Virginia. Assuming all parties reside here in Virginia and sign the necessary documents, it is a matter of the court reviewing the documents to determine if the statutes are satisfied and entering the final adoption order.
Perry Law Group
3660 Boulevard Suite E,
Colonial Heights, VA 23834
Monday - Thursday 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday 9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Saturday - Sunday Closed