Adoption | Parental Placements | Relative

The Adoption and Surrogacy Law Center

RELATIVE ADOPTIONS IN VIRGINIA

Under Virginia law, relative adoptions differentiate between whether the child has been in the home of the relative(s) for three years or more – or under three years. Also, uncontested and simple placements are less expensive than contested or more complicated placements.

CHILD IN HOME LESS THAN THREE YEARS

If the child has been in the home for less than three years – then a home study is going to be required and the initial petition needs to be filed in the juvenile and domestic relations general district court. The birth parent consents can be signed out of court – including the birth mother’s consent (unlike a parental placement adoption) and the home study needs to be turned into a report to court by the agency conducting the home study. The consents and report to court are filed with the court and no hearing is required. After the juvenile and domestic relations general district court accepts the consents and report to court, it will enter an order terminating the birth parents’ rights and enter an order transferring custody (or re-affirming custody) with the adoptive parents pending the circuit court proceedings. Then a petition for adoption is filed with the circuit court to complete the adoption.

CHILD IN HOME THREE OR MORE YEARS

If the child is in the home for three or more years, then no home study is required. The birth parent consents still can be signed out of court and the petition for adoption gets filed in the circuit court. The circuit court has the discretion to either go straight to entry of a Final Order or can enter an Order of Reference which orders a licensed child-placement agency or the local department of social services to do a report of investigation which needs to be filed within sixty (60) days. If the court chooses to enter an Order of Reference, then once that report of investigation is filed with the court, then the court will enter the Final Order.

FEES AND COSTS FOR UNCONTESTED AND SIMPLE RELATIVE ADOPTIONS

Uncontested relative adoptions generally are done on a flat fee basis. Uncontested placements are when: both birth parents sign consents or one parent signs a consent and the other is deceased or the birth mom consents and affirms that the birth father’s identity is unknown or the birth mom consents and the birth father signs a denial of paternity. We charge a $1000 flat fee to do a relative adoption under three years and $750 for a relative adoption three or more years. Costs are in addition to the fee (filing fee in Circuit Court normally is about $89 and new birth certificate fees for two birth certificates in Virginia are $34) and we usually get a retainer for costs in the amount of $150. In addition – if the local department of social services or local child-placement agency needs to do a home study report to court or report of investigation, then those amounts are separate and above the legal fees and are paid directly to the agency or local department of social services.

CONTESTED OR MORE COMPLICATED RELATIVE ADOPTIONS

If one birth parent will not sign a consent – or if the identity is known but the whereabouts are not known – then the relative adoption becomes more complicated and typically cannot be done on a flat fee basis – or will involve a surcharge because in such instances a hearing typically is required. This also is the case if the adoption is based on grounds of abandonment where the birth parent has failed to have any contact with the child for six months prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.

I worked with Richard Locke over the past year and a half. During that time, he provided me with counsel that was intelligent, balanced and trustworthy. He was respectful of the difficulty of the situation, and provided an educated and thoughtful approach to the process. Rather than focus on the drama and minutiae of the case, Richard was driven to provide favorable legal results in the most positive way possible. In many ways, his demeanor helped to keep me focused and calm throughout the process. He combines a superior knowledge of the law with a wealth of experience inside and outside of the courtroom. This knowledge and experience was incredibly valuable as my case progressed to help steer its direction and my decisions. His office staff is very responsive, and a pleasure to work with as well.read more
Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
18:39 18 May 18
My wife and I adopted a babygirl in 2015. A friend of mine, whose daughter is lawyer, recommended Colleen Quinn. We went for our initial consultation and we could tell immediately that Colleen was very knowledgeable and professional. She went into detail and gave us the costs associated with the adoption as well as every single step in the process. Colleen is very welcoming and easy to talk to. We cannot leave this review without mentioning our primary contact, Colleen's paralegal, CharSalle Charles (Charli). Without Charli, I don't think we would have made it through the adoption. Charli was there anytime we called to answer our questions and to provide support for us. Charli even came to the hospital the day after our daughter was born, to handle all the paperwork between us and the birth mother. We truly thank Locke and Quinn and especially Charli for their hard work and support. Our adoption was even finalized a month in advance of the initial date set forth. We highly recommend Locke and Quinn to any looking to adopt!!!read more
Tierre Christmas
Tierre Christmas
17:23 09 Feb 16
After doing quite a bit of research on the adoption process, we decided to set up an initial consultation with Colleen, and we found that first session very beneficial and informative. There were many things that impressed us about Colleen from the very beginning: her level of expertise and reputation as an adoption attorney, the accolades she's received throughout her career, her friendly and personable nature, and her willingness to provide us with comprehensive information about the adoption process including projected fees. We also wanted to make sure that we were being well represented and advocated for, and quickly knew that Colleen would not only guide us through the adoption process, but advocate for us as well. Colleen is both passionate about what she does and compassionate toward all parties involved in the adoption process.Colleen’s paralegal, CharSalle (Charli) is an absolute treasure! Charli was readily available to answer questions by phone or by email. She would reach out to us if there was a birth mother interested in speaking or meeting with us after reviewing our profile. We were matched with a birth mother in November 2014, and our daughter was born in February 2015. Colleen and Charli guided us through the initial meetings with the birth parents, the open adoption agreements, and they stayed in touch with us by phone and email when our daughter was born. Our adoption was finalized in six months, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the level of communication we received, and continue to receive, from Colleen and Charli as well as the level of expertise and true passion they have for guiding families through the adoption process. We highly recommend Colleen, Charli, and the staff at Locke & Quinn to anyone considering adoption!!!!read more
Joe Ana
Joe Ana
16:35 15 Feb 16
kathleen cossaboon
kathleen cossaboon
01:35 31 May 18
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
19:20 23 Aug 17
My husband and I just recently finalized the adoption of our son thanks to Colleen! Our situation happened FAST, and Colleen never missed a beat. Colleen, Katie and Charli were all quick to answer any questions we had and made us feel confident in their ability to provide the services needed. We were blown away at the knowledge and organization Colleen had throughout this process as well! We intend to continue to grow our family through adoption again, and will be using Locke & Quinn!
Ashley Halsey
Ashley Halsey
2019-02-10T03:58:33+0000
My wife and I worked with Colleen Quinn and her paralegal Charli (CharSalle) on my daughter's international re-adoption. We are in Fairfax, VA and they were happy to work with us even though we weren’t local to them. Everything was done by email and mail. They answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about the process. We worked almost entirely with Charli after the initial emails and phone calls and she was great to work with. They filed all of our paperwork with our court, everything went smoothly, and we received our Final Order. Charli has always kept us in the loop about the process and sent us updates. We mailed original documents back and forth without any issue. Their legal fee was very competitive and better than most attorneys in our own area. We are very pleased with their work and assistance in getting our adoption finalized. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Thank you!
Ahmed Rashid
Ahmed Rashid
2018-12-20T14:52:57+0000
Great experience!! Everything I needed they took care of with a timely fashion! Highly recommend!
Morgan Williams Seay
Morgan Williams Seay
2018-08-21T00:14:11+0000
Bob Stiepock
Bob Stiepock
2017-10-23T19:39:04+0000
Personal Injury is a challenging event on many levels in ones life. Have you experienced a moment where you were injured and need to seek legal advice? You need to make a call to Colleen Quinn today. I began to research different law firms that handled Personal Injury. I interviewed several attorneys and spoke with large practices to small firms. I was impressed by Colleens resume and her work with women and the law. I will never regret hiring Colleen and her TEAM. The word TEAM is exactly what I received through out my case. My case was attacked with professionalism and the team was always in communication with me. When I would call to ask questions or to get a better explanation I was always made to feel as if I was the only client. As my case arrived closer to the trail date, my TEAM went into full 110%+ effort and preparation. Colleen was ALWAYS seeking to settle my case with the best outcome that she could. YOU WILL NOT FIND A MORE UPFRONT, HONEST, HARDWORKING-GET IT DONE ATTITUDE THAN THE TEAM OF COLLEEN M. QUINN!! MAKE THAT CALL TODAY-YOU WONT REGET IT!!
Lisa Moore Walker
Lisa Moore Walker
2017-09-17T03:54:10+0000
Cathy Tyree Herb
Cathy Tyree Herb
2013-07-30T17:33:44+0000
RICHMOND: 804-285-6253
CONTACT US

Relative


RELATIVE ADOPTIONS IN VIRGINIA

Under Virginia law, relative adoptions differentiate between whether the child has been in the home of the relative(s) for three years or more – or under three years. Also, uncontested and simple placements are less expensive than contested or more complicated placements.

CHILD IN HOME LESS THAN THREE YEARS

If the child has been in the home for less than three years – then a home study is going to be required and the initial petition needs to be filed in the juvenile and domestic relations general district court. The birth parent consents can be signed out of court – including the birth mother’s consent (unlike a parental placement adoption) and the home study needs to be turned into a report to court by the agency conducting the home study. The consents and report to court are filed with the court and no hearing is required. After the juvenile and domestic relations general district court accepts the consents and report to court, it will enter an order terminating the birth parents’ rights and enter an order transferring custody (or re-affirming custody) with the adoptive parents pending the circuit court proceedings. Then a petition for adoption is filed with the circuit court to complete the adoption.

CHILD IN HOME THREE OR MORE YEARS

If the child is in the home for three or more years, then no home study is required. The birth parent consents still can be signed out of court and the petition for adoption gets filed in the circuit court. The circuit court has the discretion to either go straight to entry of a Final Order or can enter an Order of Reference which orders a licensed child-placement agency or the local department of social services to do a report of investigation which needs to be filed within sixty (60) days. If the court chooses to enter an Order of Reference, then once that report of investigation is filed with the court, then the court will enter the Final Order.

FEES AND COSTS FOR UNCONTESTED AND SIMPLE RELATIVE ADOPTIONS

Uncontested relative adoptions generally are done on a flat fee basis. Uncontested placements are when: both birth parents sign consents or one parent signs a consent and the other is deceased or the birth mom consents and affirms that the birth father’s identity is unknown or the birth mom consents and the birth father signs a denial of paternity. We charge a $1000 flat fee to do a relative adoption under three years and $750 for a relative adoption three or more years. Costs are in addition to the fee (filing fee in Circuit Court normally is about $89 and new birth certificate fees for two birth certificates in Virginia are $34) and we usually get a retainer for costs in the amount of $150. In addition – if the local department of social services or local child-placement agency needs to do a home study report to court or report of investigation, then those amounts are separate and above the legal fees and are paid directly to the agency or local department of social services.

CONTESTED OR MORE COMPLICATED RELATIVE ADOPTIONS

If one birth parent will not sign a consent – or if the identity is known but the whereabouts are not known – then the relative adoption becomes more complicated and typically cannot be done on a flat fee basis – or will involve a surcharge because in such instances a hearing typically is required. This also is the case if the adoption is based on grounds of abandonment where the birth parent has failed to have any contact with the child for six months prior to the filing of the petition for adoption.

I worked with Richard Locke over the past year and a half. During that time, he provided me with counsel that was intelligent, balanced and trustworthy. He was respectful of the difficulty of the situation, and provided an educated and thoughtful approach to the process. Rather than focus on the drama and minutiae of the case, Richard was driven to provide favorable legal results in the most positive way possible. In many ways, his demeanor helped to keep me focused and calm throughout the process. He combines a superior knowledge of the law with a wealth of experience inside and outside of the courtroom. This knowledge and experience was incredibly valuable as my case progressed to help steer its direction and my decisions. His office staff is very responsive, and a pleasure to work with as well.read more
Amy Johnson
Amy Johnson
18:39 18 May 18
My wife and I adopted a babygirl in 2015. A friend of mine, whose daughter is lawyer, recommended Colleen Quinn. We went for our initial consultation and we could tell immediately that Colleen was very knowledgeable and professional. She went into detail and gave us the costs associated with the adoption as well as every single step in the process. Colleen is very welcoming and easy to talk to. We cannot leave this review without mentioning our primary contact, Colleen's paralegal, CharSalle Charles (Charli). Without Charli, I don't think we would have made it through the adoption. Charli was there anytime we called to answer our questions and to provide support for us. Charli even came to the hospital the day after our daughter was born, to handle all the paperwork between us and the birth mother. We truly thank Locke and Quinn and especially Charli for their hard work and support. Our adoption was even finalized a month in advance of the initial date set forth. We highly recommend Locke and Quinn to any looking to adopt!!!read more
Tierre Christmas
Tierre Christmas
17:23 09 Feb 16
After doing quite a bit of research on the adoption process, we decided to set up an initial consultation with Colleen, and we found that first session very beneficial and informative. There were many things that impressed us about Colleen from the very beginning: her level of expertise and reputation as an adoption attorney, the accolades she's received throughout her career, her friendly and personable nature, and her willingness to provide us with comprehensive information about the adoption process including projected fees. We also wanted to make sure that we were being well represented and advocated for, and quickly knew that Colleen would not only guide us through the adoption process, but advocate for us as well. Colleen is both passionate about what she does and compassionate toward all parties involved in the adoption process.Colleen’s paralegal, CharSalle (Charli) is an absolute treasure! Charli was readily available to answer questions by phone or by email. She would reach out to us if there was a birth mother interested in speaking or meeting with us after reviewing our profile. We were matched with a birth mother in November 2014, and our daughter was born in February 2015. Colleen and Charli guided us through the initial meetings with the birth parents, the open adoption agreements, and they stayed in touch with us by phone and email when our daughter was born. Our adoption was finalized in six months, and we couldn’t be more pleased with the level of communication we received, and continue to receive, from Colleen and Charli as well as the level of expertise and true passion they have for guiding families through the adoption process. We highly recommend Colleen, Charli, and the staff at Locke & Quinn to anyone considering adoption!!!!read more
Joe Ana
Joe Ana
16:35 15 Feb 16
kathleen cossaboon
kathleen cossaboon
01:35 31 May 18
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
Sharon Robertson Dewitt
19:20 23 Aug 17
My husband and I just recently finalized the adoption of our son thanks to Colleen! Our situation happened FAST, and Colleen never missed a beat. Colleen, Katie and Charli were all quick to answer any questions we had and made us feel confident in their ability to provide the services needed. We were blown away at the knowledge and organization Colleen had throughout this process as well! We intend to continue to grow our family through adoption again, and will be using Locke & Quinn!
Ashley Halsey
Ashley Halsey
2019-02-10T03:58:33+0000
My wife and I worked with Colleen Quinn and her paralegal Charli (CharSalle) on my daughter's international re-adoption. We are in Fairfax, VA and they were happy to work with us even though we weren’t local to them. Everything was done by email and mail. They answered all of our questions in a timely manner and were very knowledgeable about the process. We worked almost entirely with Charli after the initial emails and phone calls and she was great to work with. They filed all of our paperwork with our court, everything went smoothly, and we received our Final Order. Charli has always kept us in the loop about the process and sent us updates. We mailed original documents back and forth without any issue. Their legal fee was very competitive and better than most attorneys in our own area. We are very pleased with their work and assistance in getting our adoption finalized. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anyone. Thank you!
Ahmed Rashid
Ahmed Rashid
2018-12-20T14:52:57+0000
Great experience!! Everything I needed they took care of with a timely fashion! Highly recommend!
Morgan Williams Seay
Morgan Williams Seay
2018-08-21T00:14:11+0000
Bob Stiepock
Bob Stiepock
2017-10-23T19:39:04+0000
Personal Injury is a challenging event on many levels in ones life. Have you experienced a moment where you were injured and need to seek legal advice? You need to make a call to Colleen Quinn today. I began to research different law firms that handled Personal Injury. I interviewed several attorneys and spoke with large practices to small firms. I was impressed by Colleens resume and her work with women and the law. I will never regret hiring Colleen and her TEAM. The word TEAM is exactly what I received through out my case. My case was attacked with professionalism and the team was always in communication with me. When I would call to ask questions or to get a better explanation I was always made to feel as if I was the only client. As my case arrived closer to the trail date, my TEAM went into full 110%+ effort and preparation. Colleen was ALWAYS seeking to settle my case with the best outcome that she could. YOU WILL NOT FIND A MORE UPFRONT, HONEST, HARDWORKING-GET IT DONE ATTITUDE THAN THE TEAM OF COLLEEN M. QUINN!! MAKE THAT CALL TODAY-YOU WONT REGET IT!!
Lisa Moore Walker
Lisa Moore Walker
2017-09-17T03:54:10+0000
Cathy Tyree Herb
Cathy Tyree Herb
2013-07-30T17:33:44+0000
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