Charlottesville Adoption Lawyers
Adoption is a wonderful way for families to be created and for children to be given a stable and nurturing home. It is a beautiful expression of love and support for a child. The adoption process, however, can be extremely complex, and it is essential that you are receiving counsel from an experienced adoption attorney. Mistakes made in an adoption proceeding can have heartbreaking results.
The term “adoption” can include a number of different situations and scenarios. Some of the most familiar are:
- Agency adoptions involving the placement of a child with adoptive parents by a public or private agency licensed and regulated by the state;
- Independent adoptions involving a direct arrangement between the birth parents and the adoptive parents;
- Open adoption, involving situations where the adoptive parents and birth parents maintain an agreed upon level of communication throughout the pregnancy phase and after the adoption is finalized;
- International adoption, involving parents who adopt a child who is a citizen of a foreign country;
- Step-parent adoption, involving a parent’s new spouse who chooses to adopt the child as his or her own;
- Relative or Kinship Adoptions, involving a member of the child’s family who steps forward to adopt the child;
Most states, including Virginia, require people wanting to adopt a child to be residents of the state where the adoption will be legally finalized. This may be challenging for military personnel, as they and their spouses may not be legal residents where they are stationed.
Under the federal Service members Civil Relief Act (“SCRA”), however, as amended in 2009 by the Military Spouses Residency Relief Act (“MSRRA”), military personnel and their spouses do not lose their legal residency in a state simply by being stationed elsewhere. Unless residency is established in the new state (for example, by purchasing real property, obtaining driver’s licenses, registering motor vehicles, etc.) military personnel and their spouses can maintain their prior residency status.
The adoption attorneys at MartinWren, P.C. have experience with these unique types of situations. For example, our adoption attorneys represented a young couple who wanted the husband, an enlisted U.S. Navy officer, to adopt the wife’s child. The couple lived on a naval base outside Virginia but had not established residency in that state. MartinWren, P.C. was able to represent the couple in a Virginia adoption action, and the stepfather adopted the child in Virginia, the place of their legal residency.
MartinWren, P.C.’s adoption attorneys Jonathan Wren and Ron Wiley Jr., have extensive experience representing families in domestic and international adoptions. Jonathan, who has repeatedly been recognized as a “Super Lawyer,” has handled dozens of adoption cases, an area of his practice that he cherishes, and would welcome the opportunity to advise you on your adoption journey. Likewise, as the brother of a beloved adopted sister, Ron has a deep emotional commitment to helping parents adopt children into loving and supportive families. For more information about Virginia adoption law and our services, please feel free to contact either Jonathan or Ron at (434) 817-3100.