Individuals hoping to become parents may wish to consider the differences between the two adoption methods allowed under Chapter 12 of the Virginia Code. As noted on the Virginia.gov website, adults may adopt children through an agency or a non-agency placement.
Some individuals prefer to adopt a child through an agency such as the local department of social services. The second method allowed, a non-agency placement, involves adopting a child directly from the birth mother or a legal guardian.
The two adoption methods involve differing procedures
Licensed agencies include foster homes and institutions offering child-care services or independent living arrangements. Local facilities have children in their care and adults may adopt them. Because birth parents relinquish their parental rights to the agencies, officials need to consent to adoptions. The agency may review the suitability of potential parents versus sending children back to their original homes.
Adoptions through non-agency placements do not require interfacing with local officials. Potential parents may instead communicate privately with birth parents or legal guardians. When providing their consent to individuals interested in adopting their children, birth parents and legal guardians willingly give up their parental rights.
An agency adoption may involve foster care
Children placed in Virginia’s licensed agencies may require potential parents to adopt them through foster care. As noted by Adoption.org, foster care situations occur when children no longer live in their biological parents’ homes. They may then live with foster parents until they could return to their homes. Through a series of court proceedings, however, the biological parents may terminate their parental rights. The foster parent may then adopt the child and become a permanent parent.
A forever home makes a meaningful difference in a child’s life. Both agency and non-agency placements provide opportunities for individuals to offer children stable and loving homes.