The state of Virginia requires prospective adopters to undergo orientation, training, application and home assessment to be considered as adoptive parents. Once approved, prospective adopters select a child, undergo a placement and supervision period and follow through with legal procedures and finalization to complete the adoption process.
Once a prospective adopter contacts the Adoption Resource Exchange of Virginia, that individual attends an orientation to learn more about the process and to meet other adopting families. The individual also undergoes a 28- to 30-hour training curriculum that includes instruction from social workers, adoptive parents, therapists and clinicians. An application follows, as does a home assessment during which a qualified social worker determines the individual's eligibility to be a foster parent.
The next step is selection of a child. Both the prospective adopter and a social worker discuss individual children and determine which are best for the individual to care for. A subsequent placement period gradually introduces the child to the prospective parent(s). After the child has moved in, the social worker pays a few visits to the family to see how the process is unfolding. Once a pre-determined amount of time has passed with successful integration, the adoptive parent gets an attorney and finalizes the adoption.