Justin Raber Attorney at Law

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Adoption is a fresh start for children in West Virginia

When you decide it's time to grow your family, the next step is to begin looking into adoption. Adoption is one great way to help a less fortunate child grow up with a loving family.

In West Virginia, any person can be adopted, but children and those over 12 must give their consent. For example, if a 13-year-old child has the possibility of being adopted by a new family, he or she must agree to live with the family and to be adopted by the couple. There are also other rules you should know if you intend to adopt in the state.

What is the residency requirement?

You must live in West Virginia as a resident for at least six months before the finalization of an adoption. It's important for the family to be close to the child at that point, so being near to the adoption agency or facility makes it easier for the adoption to be completed.

Who can adopt in West Virginia?

Anyone can adopt in West Virginia whether or not he or she is married. Married couples may adopt with a spouse's consent or jointly, depending on the circumstances.

In the past, some states did not allow same-sex couples to adopt, but West Virginia always has. In the state, both same-sex marriage and same-sex adoption are allowed and even encouraged. Adoption courts are located in West Virginia, so they make decisions that can help protect the adoptee.

When it's time to expand your family, you can choose to adopt in many ways. If you choose to adopt through an agency or the state in West Virginia, you should complete the appropriate paperwork and prepare for a home study well before the adoption can be finalized. It is a long process, but it's worth the time.

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