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Types of Adoption

Domestic Adoption

Learn more about the domestic adoption process.

The Domestic Adoption Process

Below are the steps for the Domestic Adoption Process:

1 - Informational Session

Join us to learn more about various types of adoptions and the adoption process! Please see the calendar for upcoming dates.

Please also review the eligibility requirements and agency policies for our domestic program.

2 - Application

Please complete the application and send by mail or drop off at our office. The non-refundable application fee is $200. Once your application is received, you are automatically placed on our waitlist to enter our pool.

3 - Social Worker Assigned

Your social worker will contact you shortly after receiving your application. An initial meeting will be scheduled. 

​Please see Staff to learn more about us!

4 - Initial Meeting

The initial meeting occurs at our office. Your application and the home study process will be discussed. You will need to bring your birth certificate(s), marriage license(s), divorce decree/annual paper(s), and most recent two 1040’s. You will also need to bring a check for the home study fee. Please see our fee schedule for more details.

5 - Pre-Adopt Training

The Pre-Adopt training may be completed at various points in the home study process, but it needs to be completed prior to home study finalization. Please see the calendar for upcoming dates and speak with your social worker about signing up.

6 - Paperwork

Your social worker will work with you to ensure all paperwork is completed in a timely manner throughout the home study process. Your social worker will provide you with a paperwork checklist that will need to be completed prior to the home study approval.

Individual Session

(Client #1)

  • Each applicant will complete one individual session with the social worker. The individual session typically lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours and occurs at the office during business hours. During the individual session, your social worker will ask you various questions regarding your personal history, family, career, values, and so on.

Individual Session

(Client#2; if applicable)

  • Each applicant will complete one individual session with the social worker. The individual session typically lasts about 1 to 1.5 hours and occurs at the office during business hours. During the individual session, your social worker will ask you various questions regarding your personal history, family, career, values, and so on.

7 - Home Visit

The home visit is typically the final step in the home study process. During this visit, your social worker will tour your home and complete a safety checklist.

8 - Home Study Approved

In Virginia, your home study is valid for three years. However, please note, if you are pursuing interstate, international, or Waiting Child adoption, you may need to have updates for your home study in compliance with the regulations of other states/countries.

To ensure all of our families are meeting ongoing licensure requirements, your social worker will continue to check-in and monitor your home after you are home study approved. You will notify your social worker if there are any significant changes in your home, family, and/or daily life. You will also attend at least one annual training at our office. Please see the calendar for upcoming dates.

9 - Waitlist

Although your home study is approved, you may still be on our waitlist to enter the pool. Your social worker will notify you when you are eligible to enter the pool if other families exit the pool.

10 - Entering the Pool

Prior to entering the pool, families are required to submit the following to their social worker:

11 - Pool

Birth parents will review profile books based on their circumstances and preferences. Your social worker will notify you if a birth parent selects your family.

12 - Placement

The placement process can vary depending on the case. Typically infants are placed with one of our Cradle Care families during the legal risk period. Once the legal risk period is over, the child will be placed in your home and the supervision period will begin.

Your social worker will provide you with details and guidance through this process.

At the time of placement, you will pay your second portion of the adoption fee.

13 - Post-Placement Supervision

Once your child is placed in your home, your social worker will conduct three post-placement visits over a six month period. The purpose of these visits is to talk about family dynamics, learn about the child's health and development, and to continue to support you through your adoption journey.

At the final supervisory visit, you will pay the third and final portion of the adoption fee.

14 - Hire an Adoption Attorney

At the end of your supervision period, you will need to hire an adoption attorney to help you navigate the laws to finalize your adoption.

​Click here for information on adoption attorneys, but not limited to.

15 - Adoption Finalization

The baby will remain in the legal custody of our agency until the court issues the Final Order of Adoption.

16 - Request for New Birth Certificate

Once the Final Order of Adoption is received, our agency applies for the amended birth certificate including your names as parents and the name you have given to the child. It will take several months for the birth certificate to be received from Vital Records. Upon receipt of amended birth certificate, the adoptive parents apply for a Social Security Card.