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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
4/4/2020

22VAC40-131-590. Intercountry Placement Adoptions.

A. A licensee who provides assistance to families in arranging placements of children from foreign countries and who works directly with agencies or resources in other countries shall comply with the provisions of this section.

B. The licensee shall make available to its staff and to applicants written information about Virginia's pre-adoptive requirements for intercountry placements and assist the family in determining when these requirements are applicable.

C. The licensee shall make available to its staff and to applicants written information about the requirements of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

D. The licensee shall share directly with the adoptive applicants all available medical, developmental, and social history about the child, the birth family, and extended family, including the child's placement history.

E. The licensee shall request that the adoptive applicants share available information about the child with the licensee when the applicants directly receive medical, developmental, social history, and other information learned about the child, the birth family, and extended family, including the child's placement history. The licensee shall document in the child's file that this request was made.

F. Documentation required by this section shall be filed as follows:

1. In the child's file when the licensee has received custody; or

2. In a separate section of the adoptive applicant's file when the adoptive applicants have received guardianship; and

3. In the adoptive applicant's file when a final decree of adoption has been issued.

G. During the home study process, the licensee shall discuss the following items with the applicants:

1. The risks of adopting a child from another country, including coping with changes in laws in the other country, or changes in fees; issues regarding the legal availability of the child; risks involved with lack of medical, developmental, and other background information on the child; and the placement of another child if the child originally described is no longer available;

2. The time frame for referrals of children and fees specific to adopting a child from another country and the children or youth available from specific countries;

3. The applicant's ability to assume responsibility for and meet the care, guidance, and protection needs of a child from a different race or ethnic background;

4. The applicant's feelings and attitude toward sharing facts about the adoption with the child, including how the applicants plan to provide the child with information about his native country and teach the child about the customs of his native country;

5. The applicant's expectations for children whose living circumstances prior to placement included living in an orphanage or institution, to include the expected behaviors of the child, attachment and bonding issues, and the life-long impact of the child's history on his behaviors;

6. The applicant's ability to provide care for and cope with any issues that may occur related to the child's previous living circumstances;

7. The applicant's understanding of the requirements for post-placement supervision, the importance of supervision in the resolution of any adoption related issues and the applicant's availability to participate in supervision sessions; and

8. The applicant's responsibility for a child when receiving custody or guardianship of a child under the laws of the child's country.

H. If, after completion of the home study for an intercountry adoption, the family decides to pursue an intercountry placement without the assistance of the licensee, the licensee shall document in the applicant's record that the family withdrew from the intercountry program. The licensee shall have no further responsibility to provide services to the applicant and may close the applicant's record.

I. In completing a home study for an intercountry adoption, the licensee shall offer to provide or refer the family for supervision and adoptive family support and preservation services.

J. Prior to any post-placement supervisory visits, the licensee shall make every effort to obtain documentation of a child's legal adoption status, all available medical, developmental, and social history on the child's birth family including the child's placement history. The licensee shall document its efforts to obtain the information in the adoptive parents' file.

K. The licensee shall document in the adoptive parents file that the adoptive parents were:

1. Informed of any known information about the child's legal availability;

2. Encouraged to file an adoption petition;

3. Informed of the need for the adoptive parents to complete the process of the child's naturalization and citizen status through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service; and

4. Asked to contact the licensee to provide:

a. The date they returned home with the child; and

b. The date the adoption was final in the other country.

L. A licensee that provides adoption services in Hague Adoption Convention cases shall comply with all federal laws regarding convention adoptions, including, the Hague Adoption Convention, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (Pub. L. No. 106-279 (2000)), and the Department of State regulations on intercountry adoption at 22 CFR Part 96.

M. The licensee shall notify the department when the licensee:

1. Obtains accreditation, temporary accreditation or approval under 22 CFR Part 96;

2. Is denied accreditation, temporary accreditation, or approval under 22 CFR Part 96. The licensee shall make available to the department all documents and materials related to the denial; and

3. After being accredited or temporarily accredited or approved, has had the Department of State or any of its designated accrediting entities take an adverse action against the licensee. The licensee shall make available to the department all documents and materials related to the imposed adverse action.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from Volume 28, Issue 10, eff. May 1, 2012.

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