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Step-Parent Adoption In Virginia


We make Step-Parent Adoptions easy!

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Step-Parent Adoption In Virginia


We make Step-Parent Adoptions easy!

Online Step-Parent Adoption in Virginia

We offer cheap step-parent adoptions in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, and Suffolk in the Commonwealth of Virginia.


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The information contained in this site and the following step-parent adoption frequently asked questions, in particular, are an advertisement providing general information only, and are no substitute for legal advice from a qualified Virginia attorney. Only a signed representation agreement and fully paid flat fee with Frugal Legal Services creates an attorney-client relationship. Please click below to expand each question and reveal our response.

Step-Parent Frequently Asked Questions Answered

Does it make any difference if the child was born out of wedlock?

Virginia presumes a child born during a marriage to be the child of the husband and wife. No such presumption is made, however, in cases where a child is born out of wedlock. If the non-custodial birth parent is not deceased and has not consented, the court may permit the adoption without his consent under the following circumstances: the custodial birth parent is the mother and she swears under oath and in writing that the identity of the birth father is not reasonably ascertainable, the putative father named by the mother denies paternity, the child is 14 years or older and has lived in the home of the petitioner for at least 5 years, the non custodial birth parent denies paternity in writing and under oath, or the non custodial birth parent is neither an acknowledged, adjudicated, nor presumed father nor, a putative father who has registered with the Putative Father Registry. A putative father whose identity is reasonably ascertainable must be notified and give the opportunity to consent or object.

What is a putative father?

You are considered a putative father if you are not married to the child's mother; if a court has not determined that you are the child's father; if you have not signed a written agreement acknowledging you are the child's father; or you have not adopted the child. A putative father who fails to register waives his right to be notified regarding termination of parental rights procedures; of adoption proceedings; or to consent to an adoption.

How do i register as a putative father in Virginia?

Contact your local Department of Human Services for information on how to register as a putative father in Virginia. Timely registration entitles you to notification of termination of parental rights or adoption proceedings for a child you may have fathered. Unlike a petition for custody or visitation with a Virginia Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court, putative fathers can register before the birth of a child, within 10 days of the birth of the child, within 10 days from the mailing of notice to register, or within 10 days of discovery of fraud by the birth mother. Do not sit on your rights as a father as they can be stripped from you for a lack of action on your part.

If I adopt my step-child, will i have to pay child support in the event we divorce?

That is a very distinct possibility. As an adoptive parent, you will be held to the same standard as a natural parent. That means, you may be obligated to pay child support in the event you are not the custodial parent during a separation or divorce.

What if the former non-custodial birth parent wants to visit the child after consenting to the adoption?

All of his or her rights are terminated at the time of adoption. That means he or she would have no more right to visit with your child than a stranger. In fact, the non-custodial birth parent who consented to the adoption is considered a legal stranger to the child. All legal rights and obligations are terminated, including the right to petition the court for custody or visitation with the child.

Other attorneys charge considerably more for a step-parent adoption. Why are your prices so low?

To be completely frank, if all parties are on the same page, step-parent adoption can be a really simple process. It really boils down to knowing what you're doing. We've streamlined the process internally in order to offer a low cost step-parent adoption solution to residents of cities located throughout Hampton Roads / Tidewater. We submit everything all at once for the court's consideration. If everything goes as planned, we don't even have to step foot in a courtroom. An attorney drafts your petition and order and submits them along with other related documents and the court simply enters the order. We receive our certified copies in the mail from the clerk's office within a few short weeks at most.

My spouse will not consent because (s)he thinks (s)he'll still be on the hook for child support. Is (s)he right?

To help persuade the non-custodial birth parent to consent to the adoption, the petitioner should make sure that he or she knows his or her child support obligations will end once the Order of Adoption is entered by the court.

what is a step-parent adoption?

A stepparent adoption occurs when the natural parents of the child are divorced and the new husband or wife seeks to adopt his or her step-child. Essentially, the petitioner has married someone who already has a child or children and seeks to adopt his or her step-child(ren) as his or her own. Step-parent adoptions are amend the most common adoptions performed in the United States today. The step-parent adoption is a simple process if the non-custodial birth parent consents to the adoption in writing. This is required for a Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption; however, our office can also handle step-parent adoptions where the non-custodial parent is deceased or the child(ren)'s birth is a result of surrogacy. Please call (757) 745-3454 for details.

What is the procedure for a step-parent adoption in Virginia?

Stepparent adoptions in Virginia are reasonable simple where the non-custodial parent consents in writing. With our process, there are essentially two phases. The first phase is to determine whether a Frugal Legal Stepparent Adoption is an option in your case. We provide a simple survey on our Stepparent Adoption Frequently Asked Questions page to help you through this phase. If you qualify, the second phase involves you completing the Frugal Legal Step-Parent Adoption Questionnaire and Fee Agreement located above and paying for your low cost step-parent adoption. We handle everything from there.

Once we receive your fee, the responses to our Questionnaire and Fee Agreement, and a copy of your marriage certificate and the child's birth certificate, we draft a Consent to Adoption by the Birth Parent and your Petition and Order. You will then have the non-custodial birth parent execute the Consent to Adoption form and return it to us along with your signed Petition. Again, we draft everything for you. All you need to do is check it for accuracy and sign.

From there, we submit the rest of your VA adoption papers to the Clerk of Court in your city and request that it be circulated and entered. If everything goes well, we should receive a certified copy of your Order of Adoption within a few short days or weeks, depending on the court's workload. If anything comes back to us, we handle it for you. As long as everyone continues to cooperate, you will not pay another dime to finish your step-parent adoption.

What are the legal effects of a step-parent adoption?

Entry of an Order of Adoption terminates all legal rights and obligations of the non-custodial birth parent with respect to the child or children. This includes the right to petition any court for custody or visitation with the child or children or obligations to pay future child support; however, it should be understood that back child support is not forgiven by the act of adoption. The new adoptive mom or dad will be considered the child's parent, as if he were a natural parent, having all legal and financial rights and obligations normally associated therewith

§ 63.2-1215. Legal effects of adoption.

The birth parents, and the parents by previous adoption, if any, other than any such parent who is the husband or wife of one of the petitioners, shall, by final order of adoption, be divested of all legal rights and obligations in respect to the child including the right to petition any court for visitation with the child. Except where a final order of adoption is entered pursuant to § 63.2-1241, any person whose interest in the child derives from or through the birth parent or previous adoptive parent, including but not limited to grandparents, stepparents, former stepparents, blood relatives and family members shall, by final order of adoption, be divested of all legal rights and obligations in respect to the child including the right to petition any court for visitation with the child. In all cases the child shall be free from all legal obligations of obedience and maintenance in respect to such persons divested of legal rights. Any child adopted under the provisions of this chapter shall, from and after the entry of the interlocutory order or from and after the entry of the final order where no such interlocutory order is entered, be, to all intents and purposes, the child of the person or persons so adopting him, and, unless and until such interlocutory order or final order is subsequently revoked, shall be entitled to all the rights and privileges, and subject to all the obligations, of a child of such person or persons born in lawful wedlock. An adopted person is the child of an adopting parent, and as such, the adopting parent shall be entitled to testify in all cases civil and criminal, as if the adopted child was born of the adopting parent in lawful wedlock.

What if the non-custodial birth parent lives in another state?

As long as the non-custodial birth parent consents to the adoption, you should have no problem. After we draft your step-parent adoption paperwork, we will e-mail a Consent to Adoption to you. You can forward that to the non-custodial birth parent and all he or she will need to do is sign it in the presence of a notary public. He or she can send it back to you or directly to us if you prefer. So, as long as we get his or her consent, it doesn't make a difference to our process whether he lives in Virginia or any other state.