Legal Guidance For The Adoption Process
Growing your family through adoption is joyous and rewarding. But the process can be complex and nerve-wracking. This is especially true for same-sex couples, single parents and other prospective parents who face obstacles to adopting.
The family law attorneys of Bristle Law help you navigate the legal system and overcome any barriers or complications. We aim to make the adoption process as smooth as possible so that you can focus on welcoming your new child into your life.
Let Our Lawyers Guide The Way
Anna Bristle provides focused knowledge and attentive counsel in family law matters, including adoption. She will educate you about the legal process, anticipate the potential problems, and go to bat for you if any court proceedings or administrative hurdles arise.
We have experience with all types of adoption, including:
- Private adoption – Assisting with the paperwork and due diligence for an agency adoption, international adoption or direct adoption
- Stepparent adoption – Formally adopting a stepchild to establish parental authority and inheritance rights
- Inter-family adoptions – Adopting a grandchild, niece/nephew, sibling or another child who has been in your care because of abuse or abandonment
- Foster care adoptions – Making a foster child a permanent member of your family
- Same-sex adoption – Overcoming obstacles and making sure LGBT partners are recognized as parents
Adoptions commonly involve the termination of the parental rights of the biological parent(s). We are prepared to advocate forcefully for our clients and for the best interests of the child in the event of contested proceedings.
Adoption And Surrogacy For Same-Sex Parents
Not so long ago, Virginia law allowed gay or lesbian individuals to adopt but did not recognize their partners as parents. Since the legalization of same-sex marriage in 2014, Virginia has allowed same-sex couples to pursue joint adoptions. However, under 2012 legislation that has not been repealed, faith-based adoption agencies may refuse to work with LGBT couples or LGBT single parents on religious “conscience clause” grounds.
Bristle Law welcomes LGBT families and has experience in these legal issues. We will advocate for you if you believe you are being unlawfully discriminated against, or help you find an adoption agency that is not hostile to LGBT parents. We can also facilitate the stepparent adoption of a partner’s children from a previous relationship.
Our lawyers can also advise LGBT couples (or any couples) seeking to grow their families through surrogacy. As of 2019, Virginia statute expressly recognizes surrogacy contracts for same-sex couples. Our role is to make sure the surrogacy arrangements are clear and compliant with state law so that the pregnancy, birth and transfer go as smoothly as possible. Additional steps such as stepparent adoption may be necessary to establish parental rights if one of the intended parents is not biologically related to the child.
We Stand Ready To Support Your Adoption
You can count on Bristle Law for caring, compassionate and knowledgeable legal counsel for adoption and all related facets of family law. Call our Manassas law office at 703-278-2027 to arrange a low-cost consultation or contact us online. We have helped parents across Northern Virginia, including Alexandria, Fairfax, Fauquier County, Loudoun County, Stafford County and Prince William County.