Stepparent Adoption Attorney In Virginia Beach
The tension between biological parents and stepparents often worsens when one parent threatens to terminate the rights of the other. Navigating this thorny situation sometimes requires creativity and compromise. The experienced stepparent adoption attorneys at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. serve Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA. and stay focused and pragmatic during stepparent adoption proceedings, seeking to spare clients the expense of litigation if possible. We keep sight of what’s important — keeping the family together.
Where possible, our knowledgeable stepparent adoption lawyers seek swift and cost-effective resolution to family conflicts through mediation or collaboration. Finding the appropriate compromise sometimes requires innovation, such as allowing a parent visitation although he or she relinquishes custody. While our primary goal is to advocate for you, we also aim to achieve the best possible resolution at minimal cost to you, our clients. Learn more about our family lawyers.
Notice and consent
Virginia law requires written consent from the birth parent to terminate parental rights. Our stepparent adoption attorneys in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads and Suffolk, VA. are skilled investigators who can help you locate and serve notice of the termination proceeding on the biological parent. We also represent the interests of biological parents seeking to retain custody or visitation rights to their biological children.
- If the birth parent is notified and consents, then the adoption proceeds without difficulty. The paperwork is filed and the adoption is completed.
- If the birth parent cannot be located, then a court proceeding may be held to assess the situation. The court may then issue notice by newspaper publication. If there are no objections, the adoption proceeds.
- If the birth parent objects, then the stepparent has to show that the birth parent is not acting in the best interests of the child and that a continued relationship with the birth parent would be detrimental to the child. The court orders a home-study to be conducted by the Department of Social Services. Once all the evidence is heard, the court weighs various factors to determine whether to terminate parental rights and the judge makes the final decision.
Providing parents in Virginia with comprehensive legal support
Whether you are the biological parent or the adoptive parent, Virginia Beach divorce lawyers serving Hampton Roads and Suffolk at The Stallings Law Group, P.C. can advise you of your rights and options. Please call 757-422-4700 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation.