Affordable Step-Parent Adoption Legal Services for Northern Virginia Families
Northern Virginia Step-Parent Adoption

Step-parent adoption in Virginia involves filing a joint Petition for Adoption on behalf of a parent and the parent’s spouse, in the Circuit Court of the city or county of residence. Step-parent adoptions are one of the most common forms of adoption in Virginia, and can be a relatively streamlined process in certain circumstances.

Northern Virginia Stepparent Adoption Lawyer
If the non-custodial birth parent consents in writing to the adoption, or if that parent is deceased, often the Court will waive any home study or other investigation otherwise required by statute, and move straight to entry of a Final Order of Adoption. Once the adoption is finalized, the parental rights and obligations of the non-custodial birth parent are severed, and the newly adoptive parent is considered the full legal parent of the child under the laws of Virginia.

If the non-custodial birth parent refuses to give consent, the custodial birth parent and potential adoptive step-parent can ask the Court to find that such consent is being withheld contrary to the best interests of the child. See
Virginia Code Section 63.2-1205 for an explanation of “best interests of the child” under Virginia adoption statutes.

Note that consent may be waived by the court if a non-custodial birth parent has neither visited nor contacted the child for over six months prior to the filing of the Petition, without just cause. See
Virginia Code Section 63.2-1202. The payment of child support is not considered contact for purposes of the consent statute.

Northern Virginia Stepparent Adoption Attorney
A Virginia step-parent adoption lawyer familiar with state step-parent adoption procedures can help ensure that the process moves as smoothly as possible, by assisting families with the preparation of required documentation, petitions and affidavits, and by helping identify possible issues that may arise when dealing with a non-custodial birth parent.

Arbor can assist families with the step-parent adoption process in Virginia, by providing a legal assessment of your family's scenario, to determine if your set of facts allows for a request to the Court for a waiver of certain procedural investigations that might otherwise be required.

Additionally, Arbor’s mobile services and affordable rates help step-parents and birth parents complete the process in a timely and convenient manner, without requiring time away from work or school to meet with a Virginia adoption lawyer.