Adoption is the process whereby children who have been permanently and legally separated from their birth parents are placed with new parents. The adoptive parents are given the same rights and obligations as biological parents, while the rights and obligations of the biological parents are terminated.
Virginia law permits two types of placements for adoption, agency adoption and non-agency adoption. Agency adoption occurs when the child is in the custody of an agency, all parental rights have been terminated, and the agency has custody with the authority to place the child for adoption. A non-agency adoption occurs when the child is not in the custody of an agency. In a non-agency placement, the birth parents or legal guardian(s) consent to the adoption, and parental rights are terminated by entry of the final order of adoption.