Adoption Requirements in West Virginia
What Do I Need to Adopt a Child in West Virginia?
The requirements to adopt a child in West Virginia will vary depending on which type of adoption you choose. Domestic adoption will have different requirements than international adoption, and foster care adoption will have even different requirements to adopt. However, there are a few general WV adoption requirements that all adoptive parents must meet.
Below are some commonly-asked questions that hopeful adoptive families have about the requirements for adopting a child in West Virginia:
Do you have to be married to adopt in West Virginia?
No. Currently, there are no laws prohibiting unmarried individuals from adopting in West Virginia. However, many agencies have their own marriage requirements about married couples and individuals adopting. For example, American Adoptions requires couples to be married at least two years before adopting, although exceptions have been made.
Can same-sex couples adopt in West Virginia?
Yes. Same-sex couples, as well as LGBT individuals, are permitted to adopt a child in WV. Please contact American Adoptions for more information.
How old do you have to be to adopt in West Virginia? Is there an adoption age limit?
In order to adopt a baby in West Virginia, you must be at least 21 years of age. There are no laws imposing an adoption age limit. However, American Adoptions does prefer adoptive parents be between the ages of 22 and 50 years old, but exceptions have been made.
Can a felon adopt a child in West Virginia?
Potential adoptive parents who have been convicted of a felony will be approved on a case-by-case basis. During the home study process, your social worker will examine the nature of the felony and any other offenses on your criminal record. Additionally, all adults living in the household will undergo a criminal background and abuse check. If the felony was non-violent and did not involve a child or domestic abuse/neglect, the court may approve you to adopt a child.
What do I need to adopt a child in West Virginia? And how hard is it to adopt a baby?
In addition to the various legal requirements for adoptions in West Virginia, there are other requirements that should be considered by potential adoptive parents. These include:
Health Requirements for Adoption
While you don’t need to be in perfect health to adopt a child in West Virginia, your family’s physical and mental health will be taken into consideration. Your home study professionals will need to know that you are physically and mentally prepared to care for a child. You will also be required to provide recent medical statements.
Financial Requirements for Adoption
Wealth is absolutely not a requirement for adoption in WV. However, your home study professional will need to review your financial statements to ensure that you are financially stable enough to care for a child.
Emotional Requirements for Adoption
Throughout the adoption process, your home study and adoption professionals will assess your emotional readiness for adoption. This is perhaps one of the most important factors that will contribute to the success of your West Virginia adoption. A potential adoptive family who is emotionally prepared to adopt will have:
Addressed any grief concerning infertility or miscarriage. They will have mourned the dream of having a biological child and moved forward toward the dream of adoption.
Learned everything they can about the adoption process in West Virginia — the emotional process, the legal process, the agency process, and the birth family process.
Communicated with each other regarding their thoughts and feelings on adoption. Couples must be on the same page with their adoption goals before moving forward.
Emotionally prepared themselves to raise a child they are not biologically related to and maintain a relationship with their child’s birth family.
Committed to adoption and become excited about the prospect of adopting a child and becoming adoptive parents.
To see if you have met the qualifications for adopting a child in West Virginia, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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