How to protect your rights when you adopt a child
About 135,000 children are adopted in the United States every year. Of those, 59 percent are foster children, 26 percent are foreign and 15 percent are babies whose parents have given them up for adoption. The remaining are usually stepparent adoptions.
If you are adopting a child and you aren’t the stepmom or stepdad, you need to make sure you have your bases covered legally. The first thing you should do is hire an attorney experienced with domestic and international adoptions, who can guide you through Virginia law and, if needed the laws of the country you plan to adopt from.
The Commonwealth of Virginia outlines its goals for adopting children in the state. Anyone who adopts a child should understand the following definitions as defined by the courts here.
“Adoption is the method provided by law to establish the legal relationship of parent and child between persons who are not so related by birth, with the same mutual rights and obligations that exist between children and their birth parents. The primary purpose of adoption is to help children, whose parents are incapable of assuming or continuing parental responsibilities, to legally become part of a permanent family.
“Permanence is both a value and a goal of best practice to ensure that no child grows to adulthood without a lifelong connection to a caring adult. In the state of Virginia, adoption is considered one of five permanency goals although it is only one of three that provide a permanent family relationship for a child.”
Permanence, just like it sounds, aims to create a permanent living situation for an adopted child. The state wants to ensure that the relationship is safe and meant to last a lifetime, that it provides the legal rights and social status of biological children, that it promotes physical, emotional, social, cognitive, and spiritual well-being and ensures connections to relatives siblings, and other significant adults and family history, traditions, race and ethnic heritage, culture, religion, and language.
It’s important that you understand state laws and the expectation of the courts before you move forward with an adoption. An adoption attorney can guide you through the entire process so you can focus on creating a wonderful home for that special addition to your family.
The experienced family law attorneys at the DiPietro Family Law Group have decades of experience handling all types of family law matters and are here to help you.
Contact one of the DiPietro family law attorneys today to schedule a consultation with a caring professional at (888) 530-4374.