Adoptions With Love Blog

How to Give Your Baby Up for Adoption in Virginia

[Adoption is Not Giving Up]

Facing an unplanned pregnancy can be scary and overwhelming. Making the decision to place a baby for adoption can also be difficult. While adoption is a very positive choice, it is also an emotional journey. If you live in Virginia and are thinking about adoption, you have come to the right place. You may be searching for answers and scouring the internet for advice on how to “give your baby up for adoption in Virginia.” At Adoptions With Love, we want you to know that you have choices. You can make a positive decision for yourself and for your future. Most of all, you do not have to face these decisions alone.

There are adoption professionals in Virginia who can walk you through your current options and help you make an informed choice. You can call 800-722-7731 at any time for free adoption advice and counseling.

If you are looking to give a baby up for adoption in Virginia, it’s important for you to know that adoption is not giving up your baby.

Placing Your Baby for Adoption in Virginia Does Not Mean “Giving Up”

Adoption is not the same as giving up, which is why we do not say “giving baby up for adoption.” Rather, we say “making an adoption plan.”

Adoption is a brave, selfless, and loving decision that offers the opportunity for a bright future – both for birth mother and child. If you are not yet ready to parent, you may be thinking about making an adoption plan in Virginia. This is a very loving choice. You are putting your child’s needs before your own, and you deserve to have support and assistance throughout the adoption journey. You are giving your child the opportunity to grow up in a secure home, with loving parents, financial stability, and comfort. Adoption offers many benefits to children, which you can learn about here.

There are many benefits for birth mothers, too. Birth parents who choose adoption often go on to pursue their own goals. As they continue working toward their dreams, birth parents often form deep and meaningful bonds with their child’s adoptive family. Expectant/birth parents have the power to choose the adoptive parents for their child and the form and frequency of communication with them for the many years following adoption. This ongoing communication gives birth parents the peace of mind they need, knowing their child is safe, loved, and happy – experiencing the joy of having two loving families instead of one.

How to Place Your Baby for Adoption in Virginia

This guide outlines the adoption process in Virginia, should you decide that adoption is the right choice for you and your baby.

1.    Find an Adoption Agency You Can Trust

When considering adoption in Virginia, the first step to take is to reach out to a reputable adoption professional. Research the best adoption agencies in Virginia and take some time to review your options.

Before making the decision to place your child for adoption, you should think carefully about the choices you have before you. In Virginia, expectant parents have three basic choices:

  • Adoption
  • Parenthood
  • Termination

Since the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade, many abortion laws around the country have changed. As of this writing, abortion is legal in Virginia through the second trimester. That law, however, may be changing. Gov. Glenn Youngkin has proposed restricting abortion at the 15-week gestation mark.

If you are considering adoption, you will want to find an adoption agency you can trust. Adoptions With Love has been working with Virginia birth mothers for more than 36 years. We offer support and guidance without any judgment, bias, or pressure. You are in charge of this pregnancy, and we believe you are the only one who can make the decisions regarding your pregnancy.

2.    Understand Your Rights

Adoption laws vary by state. It can be confusing to understand the ins and outs of the laws, which is why it is important to have a team of adoption attorneys available to you. Expectant parents who choose to work with a private adoption agency can enjoy free adoption services.

In Virginia, a birth mother cannot sign consent forms until the child’s third calendar day of life. The consent forms are taken to court before a judge, who serves as a witness to the consent.

An experienced adoption agency such as Adoptions With Love has a team of attorneys who specialize in Virginia adoptions. Since the laws are complex, it is helpful to have professionals who understand the intricacies of these policies. Adoptions With Love works with knowledgeable and compassionate adoption attorneys in Virginia who can explain your rights and answer your questions. They can also meet you wherever you are to make the process an easier one for you. Whether you live in Virginia Beach, Arlington, Richmond, Norfolk, Chesapeake, or anywhere in between, you can rest assured that an adoption attorney will come to you for the assistance you deserve.

3.    Learn about Assistance Offered

The legal services at Adoptions With Love are just one example of the many free services offered to expectant/birth mothers in Virginia. As you consider making the brave, selfless, and loving decision to place your baby for adoption, you can take comfort in the fact that you will be supported throughout the journey. At Adoptions With Love, expectant mothers are offered the following services and assistance:

  • Counseling services, before and after the adoption
  • Finding a family for your baby
  • Finding – and covering – medical care
  • Maternity clothes
  • Money for groceries
  • Open adoption arrangements
  • Several months of rent and utilities
  • Transportation

4.    Choose Your Child’s Adoptive Family

One of the benefits of choosing adoption is having the power to choose your child’s adoptive family. You are making a thoughtful, loving decision in the best interest of your child. You want to know that this baby will be going to a good home. Adoptions With Love shares this mission with you.

At Adoptions With Love, every prospective adoptive family is thoroughly screened as part of the Home Study. The Home Study is a several months-long process that involves background checks, at-home visits, multiple interviews, and the examination of many documents. From medical history to financial records, Adoptions With Love is dedicated to ensuring that every adoptive family is healthy – mentally, emotionally, physically and financially.

If you want to choose the adoptive family for your child, you will be given adoptive family profiles to browse through. You can see photos, read letters, and learn all about the family’s story, careers, and personal interests. If you find a family you like, but you have more questions before deciding, you can ask to speak with them ahead of time. You may choose to meet with the hopeful adoptive family in person, chat over the phone or via email – whatever makes you most comfortable.

If you choose to select your child’s adoptive family, you can also choose to maintain an ongoing relationship with them – before and after the adoption is finalized.

5.    Create Your Ideal Adoption Plan

Adoption is an emotional journey, but it is not the end of chapter. It is, in fact, only the beginning. It can be the start of something wonderful – particularly for those who opt for an open adoption. Open adoption looks different for every family, but to explain it simply: Open adoption means ongoing communication between birth and adoptive families.

As an open adoption agency in Virginia, Adoptions With Love’s prospective adoptive families all agree to having at least a semi-open adoption.

Whether you decide you would like to keep in touch with your child’s adoptive family by , set up phone calls a few times a year, a shared photo file, or have in-person reunions once a year – you can determine the form and frequency of communication. Your adoption professional can help you design a plan that works for you, and help you come to an agreement with the adoptive family, as well. For many, the post-adoption plan happens quite naturally, with birth mother and adoptive parents coming together to form a close-knit bond over the love of their child.

If you would like to keep your adoption closed, that is okay, too. Adoption looks different for everyone, and there is no right or wrong way to make an adoption plan. If you would like to keep it closed, that is fine, but Adoptions With Love keeps photos and letters on file, should a birth mother who has chosen closed adoption changes her mind later.

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6.    Prepare for Birth

As mentioned, your adoption specialist can help you find the medical care you need. From prenatal appointments to the birth itself and even postpartum checkups – you can rest assured that you will be able to find a medical professional and facility with which you feel comfortable. At Adoptions With Love, the medical expenses related to pregnancy and birth, not covered by insurance, are paid by the agency, as well.

Before giving birth, you will want to make some decisions for your stay at the hospital or birthing center. You may want to plan these decisions ahead of time, with the help of your social worker. Some factors to consider include:

  • Would you like the adoptive family in the delivery room?
  • Who will hold baby first?
  • Would you like special time alone with baby after giving birth?

Remember that Virginia State law states that a birth mother must wait after giving birth before signing consent to adoption. This gives you some time to make sure you are sure about your decision.

7.    Keep in Touch

Adoption does not end once the court has finalized the decision. It is not a sprint; it is a lifelong marathon. Depending on your post-adoption agreement, you will maintain a relationship with your child’s adoptive family – and child – for years to come. If you do not wish to keep a close relationship with your child’s adoptive family, you may receive photos and letters through Adoptions With Love until your child reaches adulthood.

You can also keep in touch with your adoption agency. At Adoptions With Love, our birth mothers are part of our family. We offer counseling services for a full year after birth, and we maintain relationships with our adoptive and birth families.

Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption in Virginia

Will the process of adoption for my baby cost me anything?

No. There is never any cost to expectant/birth parents for adoption in Virginia. In fact, financial assistance is available during and shortly after pregnancy for those who choose adoption. Adoptions With Love can cover a security deposit and several months of rent, utilities, medical costs, the costs of maternity clothes, and more.

How do I know I am making the right decision?

Adoption is a life-changing decision that only you can make for yourself. You are in charge of this pregnancy, and you know what is right for you and your child. Adoptions With Love supports expectant/birth mothers considering making an adoption plan, and will never pressure anyone into making an adoption plan, but we can help guide you and discuss your options as you consider this path.

What if I am in labor, or have already given birth? Is it too late to choose adoption?

It is never too late to make an adoption plan in Virginia. Whether you are in your first trimester, your third trimester, or you have already given birth, Adoptions With Love can help you make an adoption plan that meets your needs at any time.

What are the type of adoption plans I can choose from when giving my baby up for adoption?

There are three types of adoption plans to choose from: open, semi-open, and closed. With an open adoption, there is ongoing communication between birth and adoptive families. This is typically direct contact, although your adoption agency can serve as a liaison if you wish.

With a semi-open adoption, you may want to decide on the adoptive parent(s) but then keep communication strictly between the adoption agency, if at all.

With a closed adoption, there is little to no background information shared, and no communication present, between birth and adoptive families. The adoption is, as it sounds, closed once it is finalized. There are no wrong choices when it comes to the adoption plan that meets your needs. If you feel that a closed adoption is best for you, you can rest assured that Adoptions With Love will continue to keep photos and letters on file, should you decide to open the adoption later.

What are the birth father’s rights in Virginia?

Virginia has a Putative Father Registry, which is a system for men to voluntarily acknowledge paternity of a child born outside of marriage. If a man wishes to be in the loop on any adoption proceedings, he should register with the Putative Father Registry before the child is born or within 10 days of birth. For the latest information regarding the birth father’s rights in Virginia, contact your adoption specialist. At Adoptions With Love, we work with adoption attorneys who are well-versed in the adoption laws in Virginia, including the rights of birth parents.

What’s the next step in giving my baby up for adoption?

Adoption is a life-long journey. It is not a sprint and it does not end once the adoption is finalized in family court. Once you have recovered – physically – from the pregnancy and birth, you will want to continue to work on your emotional recovery. Adoptions With Love continues to offer counseling services to birth parents after baby is born. You can also begin to work on yourself and think about your future.

Making an Adoption Plan in Virginia

Placing your baby for adoption in Virginia is not an easy path, and it is not for everyone. It can be, however, a rewarding experience and a wonderful journey.

Since 1986, Adoptions With Love has been helping Virginia birth mothers find the best possible home for their babies. We have longstanding partnerships with the best adoption professionals in Virginia. If you are thinking about placing your baby for adoption in Virginia, you can trust that you will be supported every step of the way. Our reliable Virginia adoption team can help you explore your options, keep you informed of your rights and help you custom design an adoption plan that meets your needs.

If you would like more information about how to “give baby up for adoption in Virginia,” contact Adoptions With Love. Reach out any time of day, any day of the week at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online. We can help you lovingly make an adoption plan for your child.

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