Stepparent Rights in Virginia: What You Need to Know!

Posted on Apr 22, 2011 by Hofheimer Family Law

If you’re thinking of building a family through stepparent adoption in Virginia, you should know as much as you can about the process.

Stepparent adoption helps give children a sense of stability and security by creating a family bond that is legally and socially recognized.
Virginia family law tries to make stepparent adoption as quick and simple a process as possible. Even so, your stepparent rights in Virginia are a bit limited until the process is finalized.

In some situations, stepparent adoption can be complicated. This happens primarily in cases where the absent biological parent is still legally part of the child’s life. Because Virginia family law holds a biological parent’s rights in high regard, an individual can only adopt his or her spouse’s child if the child’s other biological parent is no longer eligible or able to parent.

If the child’s other biological parent is alive and can be located, he or she would have to agree to the adoption.
There are exceptions to this, for example, in cases where the parent has given up parental rights or has had those right terminated by a Virginia family law court.

To begin the stepparent adoption process, an individual files a petition for adoption in circuit court. Normally, Virginia family law doesn’t require any investigation or home study before granting a stepparent adoption but may authorize courts to do so, if necessary.

Stepparent adoption is a big step. If you and your spouse are considering stepparent adoption, you should consult an attorney experienced in Virginia family law to help the process go as smoothly as possible.

Contacting a Virginia Family Law Attorney

There are very specific rules governing divorce in Virginia. At Hofheimer Family Law Firm we are committed to providing you with the experience and compassion you deserve and the successful results you need to move on with your life. Request a FREE copy of our divorce guide for women in Virginia, or reserve your seat at our monthly divorce seminar – 757-425-5200.