An adoptive placement is a conscious decision to give a child to new parents for the purpose of being adopted by them.
It's unfortunate that many people still use the words, "giving up a child." An adoptive placement is not an abandonment of a child. It should be a carefully thought through decision about what is best for that child.
In Virginia Adoption Law, a child may be placed for adoption by the birth parents of the child or by an agency that has received custody of that child. The agency may be a public agency, such as a local Board of Social Services, or it may be a private child placing agency.
A child may come into the custody of a local Board because the child has been removed from his or her parents as a result of abuse or neglect. A child may be in the custody of a private agency if the parents have entrusted the child to that agency for the purpose of being placed with an adoptive family approved by that agency.