Providing Adoptive Parents With Information About Adoptees and Their Birth Families - Virginia

Date:

Agency or Person Preparing the Report

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1208

Upon receipt of the petition, the circuit court shall immediately enter an order referring the case to a child-placing agency to conduct an investigation and prepare a report, unless no investigation is required pursuant to this chapter.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1208

The investigation requested by the circuit court shall include:

  • The physical and mental condition of the child
  • The circumstances under which the child came to live, and is living, in the physical custody of the petitioner
  • Whether the child is suitable for adoption by the petitioner

The report shall include a statement by the child-placing agency that all reasonably ascertainable background, medical, and psychological records of the child have been provided to the prospective adoptive parent(s). The report also shall include a list of such records provided.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1208

The investigation requested by the circuit court shall include:

  • Why the parents, if living, desire to be relieved of the responsibility for the custody, care, and maintenance of the child and what their attitude is toward the proposed adoption
  • Whether the parents have abandoned the child or are morally unfit to have custody

The report shall include the relevant physical and mental histories of the birth parents, if known to the person making the report. The child-placing agency shall document in the report all efforts it made to encourage birth parents to share information related to their physical and mental histories. However, nothing in this subsection shall require that an investigation of the physical and mental histories of the birth parents be made.

When the Report Is Made

Citation: Ann. Code § 63.2-1208

Upon receiving the order from the circuit court, the applicable agency shall make a thorough investigation and report thereon in writing to the circuit court within 60 days.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

Citation: Ann. Code §§ 63.2.-1242; 1242.1; 1242.2; 1242.3

For adoption by a stepparent, an investigation and report shall be undertaken only if the circuit court, in its discretion, determines that there should be an investigation before a final order of adoption is entered.

For adoption by a close relative, the following conditions apply:

  • If the child has resided with the relative for less than 3 years, an investigation and a report shall not be made if the home study report is filed with the circuit court, unless the circuit court in its discretion requires an investigation and report to be made.
  • If the child has resided with the relative for 3 or more years, an investigation and a report shall not be made, unless the circuit court in its discretion shall require an investigation and report to be made.

For the purposes of this chapter, a close relative placement shall be an adoption by the child's grandparent, great-grandparent, adult nephew or niece, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or adult great-uncle or great-aunt.