Administrative Code

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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 22. Social Services
Agency 40. Department of Social Services
Chapter 131. Standards for Licensed Child-Placing Agencies

22VAC40-131-490. Adoption counseling and services for birth parents.

A. Except in the case of intercountry adoption, the licensee who holds custody of a child shall offer counseling services to the birth mother, or if reasonably available, to both birth parents contemplating the placement of their child for adoption. The counseling services shall include a discussion about:

1. The parent's decision to place the child was not made under duress and to ensure the decision to place the child is a firm decision;

2. The impact of such a decision;

3. The reasons for contemplating the decision to place the child for adoption; and

4. Alternatives to adoption including:

a. Services available to assist the family in staying together, if staying together is in the best interests of both the child and family;

b. Foster care for the child; and

c. The child's placement with relatives.

B. Except in the case of intercountry adoption, the licensee shall offer additional counseling sessions as needed by the birth parents.

C. Except in the case of intercountry adoption and prior to accepting a child for adoption placement, the licensee shall provide the birth parents with an explanation of:

1. Adoption services provided;

2. Adoption policies and procedures, including the adoption process; and

3. The rights and responsibilities of all parties in the adoption process.

D. The licensee shall document in the record of the birth mother or child to whom the counseling services were provided if:

1. The licensee did not provide counseling services as required, the reason shall be documented.

2. Counseling was provided to the birth father, such counseling services shall be documented.

Statutory Authority

§§ 63.2-217, 63.2-1701, and 63.2-1734 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012; amended, Virginia Register Volume 36, Issue 2, eff. October 17, 2019.

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