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LegalGems
LegalGems, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
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My wife and I are trying to adopt through the Catholic Social

Customer Question

My wife and I are trying to adopt through the Catholic Social Services in Virginia. CSS insists we must identify a guardian BEFORE they will do our home study and introduce us to a child. CSS insists it is Va. State law. Is this true?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
Good Day! I'll do my best to assist you. Please remember: I only provide general information and a local attorney should always be consulted.
Thank you for your patience as I researched this for you.
I have reviewed the adoption statutes and have found no such provision.
Here is the statute re: home studies:
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§ 63.2-1231. Home study; meeting required; exception.
A. Prior to the consent hearing in the juvenile and domestic relations district court, a home study of the adoptive parent(s) shall be completed by a licensed or duly authorized child-placing agency and the prospective adoptive parents shall be informed that information about shaken baby syndrome, its effects, and resources for help and support for caretakers is available on a website maintained by the Department in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board. The home study shall make inquiry as to (i) whether the prospective adoptive parents are financially able, morally suitable, and in satisfactory physical and mental health to enable them to care for the child; (ii) the physical and mental condition of the child, if known; (iii) the circumstances under which the child came to live, or will be living, in the home of the prospective adoptive family, as applicable; (iv) what fees have been paid by the prospective adoptive family or in their behalf in the placement and adoption of the child; (v) whether the requirements of subdivisions A 1, A 2, A 3, and A 5 of § 63.2-1232 have been met; and (vi) any other matters specified by the circuit court. In the course of the home study, the agency social worker, family-services specialist, or other qualified equivalent worker shall meet at least once with the birth parent(s) and at least once with the prospective adoptive parents. Upon agreement of both parties, such meetings may occur simultaneously or separately.
B. Any home study conducted pursuant to this section for the purpose of parental placement or agency placement shall be valid for a period of 36 months from the date of completion of the study. However, the Board may, by regulation, require an additional state criminal background check before finalizing an adoption if more than 18 months have passed from the completion of the home study. DANGEROUS URL REMOVED?000+cod+63.2-1231
And the other statutes are here: DANGEROUS URL REMOVED?000+cod+TOC63020000012000000000000 - and none require the appointment of a guardian.
This is because the needs of the child will likely determine who is an appropriate guardian,so naming a guardian before having a placement would not accommodate the particular child.
Perhaps that is there agency's internal policy but there is no statute requiring this as a prerequisite.
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Expert:  LegalGems replied 1 year ago.
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If you have further questions please be sure and respond before rating. If you have no further questions, Kindly rate positively so that the site is permitted to credit my account for assisting you- there is no additional charge for a positive rating and it is most appreciated.
Without a positive rating, I receive no compensation for assisting you this evening.
Thank you and take care!

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