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
- Habitual liquor, narcotic, or other dangerous drug addictions and/or abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Rehabilitation failure
- Murder or voluntary manslaughter charges
- Felony attempt
- Failure to maintain contact with child for 6 months after they were placed
in foster care
If you are attempting to adopt a child from a minor, 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
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 birthmother 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 to ensure 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.