Building Forever Families
One Child at a Time
Schedule a Consultation Today
Karen M. Holman May 27, 2022

Adopting Through an Agency or A Non-Agency Placement

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 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, 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.


Open vs Closed Adoption  -

Adoption is a beautiful way to grow your family and provide a loving home for a child, but the journey comes with many decisions. One of the most significant choices prospective parents face is whether to pursue an open or closed adoption.

Read More
Assisted Reproduction in the Post-Dobbs Era  -

In my years of practicing law, I've seen many legal changes and their impacts on the lives of my clients. One such change is the Dobbs ruling which has the potential to affect assisted reproductive technologies (ART), particularly in vitro fertilization (IVF).

Read More