Termination of Parental Rights
Virginia Adoption Lawyer at ShounBach
Are you interested in adopting a child but have limited information regarding the termination of the birth parents' rights? In a majority of states, the child's mother has to give her consent for the child to be adopted, and if the child's father is identified, he must also give his consent. This is not the case, however, when birth parents have their parental rights terminated by the state.
Birth parents can have their parental rights terminated for a number of reasons, including:
- Child abandonment
- Emotional illness
- Mental illness
- Mental deficiency
- Sexual abuse
- Rehabilitation failure
- Felony attempt
- Murder or voluntary manslaughter charges
- Habitual liquor, narcotic, or other dangerous drug addictions and/or abuse
- Failure to maintain contact with child for 6 months after they were placed in foster care
Most states allow minors to give their baby up for adoption without their parents' consent. ShounBach has helped Virginia individuals and families adopt children for more than 40 years, so if you need assistance during any point of the adoption process, please contact our Virginia adoption attorney as soon as possible!
Terminating Parental Rights in Virginia
If a birth mother wishes to go through an agency adoption, she can sign the legal adoption paperwork any time after the baby is born. A birth mother is not expected to appear in court unless the birth father cannot be found or is contesting the adoption. Birth mothers who are giving their child up for adoption via private adoption can consent adoption after the baby is ten days old.
The consent must be signed in the presence of the court, a notary public, a person authorized to take acknowledgments, an agent of the division of family and children, a county office of family and children, or a licensed child planning agency. Prior to signing the paperwork, however, a birth mother can change her mind and decide to keep the child.
A birth mother can also change her mind after signing the legal consents to the adoption 25 days from the baby's birth to revoke her entrustment. If the child is over 25 days old, the birth-mother has 15 days to revoke her entrustment. If the child is being adopted through a private adoption, voluntary termination of parental rights cannot occur prior to the child being ten days old. If a child is more than 10 days old, birth parents have 15 days to revoke the entrustment, which must be done in writing.
Birth parents can also revoke the entrustment at any time prior to the child being placed with an adoptive family. Once 15 days has passed after the entrustment was signed and executed, birth parents can only have their rights restored by proving the agreement was attained by fraud or duress. This can only be done in the circuit court before a final adoption order has been entered.
A Father's Rights in the Termination of Parental Rights
Unless a child was conceived in violation of state law and the father was convicted of said crime, the birth father must be notified of the child's birth and the mother's adoption plan. The birth father should receive a notice of entrustment via mail to his last known address, and if he fails to object within 21 days of the mailing period, the adoption can continue. If the birth father wishes to object, he must put his objection in writing and file it with the agency that mailed the notice of adoption within the specified time period. If a mother does not know who the biological father of the baby is, an affidavit must be filed.
Adoption Assistance in Virginia
If you wish to adopt a child but would like to hire a professional, experienced Virginia adoption attorney, please contact ShounBach. We have assisted hundreds of families and individuals throughout the entire adoption process and can help those wishing to adopt a child that the birth parents' rights are properly terminated. That way, you can rest assured knowing that the child with which you have formed a bond cannot be taken away from you or your family at any point of the adoption.
If you are a birth parent and want to ensure that you are choosing the best option for your child, a Virginia adoption lawyer from our firm can help. We can inform you about your options as a birth parent as well as represent you during your child's adoption.
Please contact our firm at (703) 988-7627 to schedule an appointment with one of our lawyers.