Adoption in Virginia [The Complete Guide]

We know that, as you begin your research into the Virginia adoption process, it can all seem like a lot. Whether you’re hoping to adopt a child, or you’re pregnant and need to place a baby for adoption in Virginia, we hope to make this experience a little easier.

Looking for information specific to your city? Explore our guides to adoption in:

Virginia Beach | Fairfax | Richmond

Below, we’ll walk prospective birth and adoptive parents in Virginia through the different paths their adoption journey can take. Remember: You can schedule a consultation with us any time if you need to speak with Catelyn or Jennifer, or if you have questions.

Let’s get started with this overview of adoption in Virginia:

The Virginia Adoption Process in 6 Steps

Everyone’s Virginia adoption experience will be unique, and, as you’re probably starting to learn, the process of adoption in Virginia can be complex, involving a lot of moving parts. But ultimately, it can be summarized in 6 steps:

Step 1: Choose adoption.

Adoption is an easy choice for many pregnant couples and hopeful parents. But for others, the choice isn’t as clear. After all, adoption isn’t going to be right for everyone.

Step 2: Choose the type of adoption and your professional.

Additionally, adoptive parents will have to choose the type of adoption in Virginia they’re interested in pursuing, whether that’s:

We’re able to assist with each of these types of adoption in Virginia. Not sure which route is best for your family? Contact us to learn more about all your Virginia adoption options, or if you’re ready to learn more about adopting or placing a baby for adoption in V.A.

Based on the type of Virginia adoption they wish to pursue, adoptive parents will want to contact a corresponding professional who can help them complete that type of adoption. Pregnant women who need to place a baby for adoption in Virginia will also want to reach out to an adoption professional they feel meets their needs and supports them. If you need referrals to trusted Virginia adoption agencies, we are happy to help.

However, having a licensed and experienced Virginia adoption attorney on your side is something you must always have, regardless of the type of adoption, or whether you’re a prospective birth or adoptive parent. You’ll need the help of people like Catelyn and Jennifer to complete the necessary legal steps, and to ensure that your Virginia adoption is completed correctly.

Step 3: Create your adoption plan.

Now, it’s time to consider what you want in an ideal adoption situation. Prospective birth parents will be asked to think about the level of openness they want in their adoption, the type of adoptive parents they want for their child and more. Hopeful adoptive parents, meanwhile, will reflect on the types of adoption situations they’d be open to and more.

We’ll discuss all of your preferences and wishes, and help you to establish an adoption plan you feel comfortable with.

Step 4: Find an adoption opportunity.

When pursuing a private agency or independent adoption, this is the step when the prospective birth and adoptive parents would search for a match and connect. Adoptive parents pursuing international or public agency (foster care) adoption would receive a referral from their agency regarding a child who is already waiting for adoption. So, depending on the type of adoption in Virginia, as well as the professional you’re working with, this step can vary.

However, through it all, we’ll be there to help you make the most of your match.

Step 5: Complete placement.

The placement of the child into his or her permanent, adoptive family is one of the most anticipated moments in the Virginia adoption process. It’s an emotional experience for everyone involved. We’ll be there to guide you through this step, ensuring that the legalities are taken care of correctly, so you can focus on what’s important.

Step 6: Complete finalization and begin post-adoption life.

The last step of your adoption in Virginia is finalization. It marks the legal moment that a child becomes an official and permanent member of his or her (adoptive) family. We’ll also be very involved in this final legal step, and will be ready to walk you through everything you need to know.

However, in many adoptions in Virginia, finalization does not signal the end of the journey. Many birth and adoptive families choose to stay in touch through open adoption. We can help you to prepare for your open adoption in Virginia and support you as you foster meaningful connections between the two families.


3 of the Most Common Questions About Adopting a Child in Virginia

Growing your family through a Virginia adoption can feel like a huge undertaking. But we’ll be there to guide you through the legal steps, and ensure that your family is supported and protected throughout the process and beyond.

At this point, it’s natural to have some questions. Below, we’ll answer three of the questions we often hear from hopeful adoptive parents:

“What are the requirements to adopt a child in Virginia?”

The type of adoption you choose to pursue (as well as the adoption professionals you work with) will largely determine the requirements you must meet to adopt in Virginia. However, common requirements you'll likely need to meet include:

  • The completion of a home study
  • Clearing criminal and abuse background checks
  • Basic requirements regarding age, health and financial stability
  • And more

“Is it legal to advertise that you’re looking to adopt in Virginia?”

Yes. Adoptive parents may advertise that they’re looking to adopt a child, but only if the advertisements comply with the local rules. We can also refer you to adoption professionals who can help you connect with a pregnant woman considering adoption.

“How can we find an adoption opportunity in Virginia?”

Many prospective parents hope to find their future child’s birth family quickly and easily, but that’s not always the case. You’ll likely need the help of adoption professionals who can help you match with a prospective birth mother. While we can’t directly match you into an adoption opportunity (we’d refer you to another professional for that) we can offer our expert advice for families trying to find a match on their own.


3 of the Most Common Questions About Placing a Baby for Adoption in Virginia

If you’re pregnant and thinking about placing your baby for adoption in Virginia, all of the options and information in front of you can feel pretty overwhelming. We know you probably have a lot of questions about the Virginia adoption process and what your role in it will be like.

We’re here to answer your questions, and to make sure that the important legal steps of your Virginia adoption are as smooth and low-stress as possible. Here, let’s address three of the most common questions that pregnant women ask us:

“What are the requirements to place a baby for adoption in Virginia?”

The only requirement for placing a baby for adoption in Virginia is to work with a licensed adoption professional and/or attorney, like us. Book a consultation now if you need to learn how to place your baby for adoption in Virginia.

“When and how can a birth parent consent to an adoption in Virginia?”

The prospective birth mother must wait at least 3 days after the birth of the child before she can issue her legal consent to a private domestic infant adoption in Virginia. Birth fathers must give their consent at any point in time, including before the birth of the baby. We’ll guide you through this important step, to ensure that everything is completed legally, correctly and ethically.

“If I place my baby for adoption, will I have a say in anything?”

Always. We’re here to ensure that you always feel heard and respected throughout the process. When you choose to place a baby for adoption in Virginia, you have the right to decide:

  • Who adopts your child
  • How much openness you want to have with the adoptive family and your child in the future
  • And much more


If you’d like to get more information, or if you’re ready to begin your adoption in Virginia, request a consultation now.

“I believe in working with each of my clients—in support of their family dynamic—to make the dreams of parenthood a reality. Whether you are single or married; or gay; a step-parent, a surrogate or intended parent or a child of adoption, it is my mission to serve as your advocate. With a dedication to the ethical and sensitive nature of each situation, I will help you understand the laws within Maryland or Washington, DC for adoption or surrogacy, and pledge to be your partner throughout the journey.” - Jennifer Fairfax