Foster care adoptions come through a public agency, such as the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Virginia Department of Social Services or the D.C. Child and Family Services. Once a child has been removed from his or her home due to allegations of abuse or neglect the child will be placed into a foster care home. If the situation is not resolved and the child is not reunited with his or her family, the public agency will initiate court proceedings to terminate the parents' rights. Sometimes the public agency will request that the adoptive parents address the parental rights when they pursue the adoption. If the public agency obtains guardianship, the child will frequently be placed for adoption with the foster parents who have cared for him or her during the placement. However, the child may also be adopted by a relative such as a grandmother or aunt or another approved foster family. The adoption proceeds by filing the Petition for Adoption and navigating the court system until the adoption is finalized similar to the private agency adoption
Our law offices handle agency finalization in public agency adoptions in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. While we have handle cases involving the termination of parental rights in public agency placements, we strongly encourage that the adoptive parents require the public agency to terminate the biological parents rights prior to filing a Petition for Adoption otherwise, as the adoptive parents, you may be responsible for the legal fees associated with the termination of the biological parents rights which can be costly.