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Building Families Through Adoption for Over 30 Years

Virginia Adoption Law Blog

The First Standard

The first of the eight standards of proof which a court is required to consider prior to determining whether the consents of birth parents to a proposed adoption are being withheld contrary to the best interests of the child is stated as follows:  "The birth...

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The Catch All Language

The Standards of Proof which a Court must consider in granting an Adoption without the Consent of a birth parent includes standard "catch all" language. That is to say, that a Court may consider all rlevant evidence on the issue of the best interests of the child, and...

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The Detriment Requirement

When Section 63.2-1205 was enacted in 1995, it included language requiring the trial court to consider whether failure to grant the Petition for Adoption would be detrimental to the child.  In 2006, the General Assembly removed this language from the statute, and...

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Doe v. Doe

In the important 2011 case of Copeland v. Todd, the Supreme Court of Virginia upheld the constitutionality of Section 63.2-1205 of the Code of Virginia, which sets out the standards which a court must consider in making the determination that the consents of birth...

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The Home Study Requirements

In Copeland v. Todd, the Supreme Court of Virginia pointed out that the standards of proof in contested adoption cases must be read along with eight other factors which the Department of Social Services, or private agency, must investigate and report upon...

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The Constitutional Rights of Birth Parents

The Constitutional Rights of Birth Parents are extremely important.  Parental Rights are recognized as fundamental rights under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United State Constitution.  Whenever a Court must consider whether the best...

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Attachment and Bonding, Part 4

Some people ask why adoption is necessary.  Why, they ask, cannot there be some continuing visitation with birthparents?  The answer is that there can be in some situations and not in others, and that the decision should be made by the adoptive parents, who...

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Attachment and Bonding, Part 3

If the child has not developed a healthy attachment during the critical first five years of life, then it has been conclusively shown that the child will suffer from irreversible developmental consequences, such as reduced intelligence and increased aggression. ...

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Attachment and Bonding, Part 2

Attachment is characterized by specific behaviors in children, such as seeking proximity to the attachment figure for comfort, safety and security and to have basic needs met.  These behaviors may be clinically observed and measured. It has been conclusively...

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Attachment and Bonding, Part 1

The terms "attachment" and "bonding" are often confused.  Attachment refers to a child's emotional connection to caregivers.  Bonding refers to the caregivers' feelings and connection to the child.  Both are relevant under 63.2-1205, but attachment is...

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