Adoption Lawyer Serving Leesburg, Loudoun, Fairfax, Ashburn, Manassas, Winchester and Northern Virginia --- The Law Firm of Karen S. Law.

Adoptive Parent FAQ

Are there many children who need adoptive homes?

In 2010, there were 52,981 children adopted from foster care and 11,058 from overseas. Domestic infant adoption statistics were not available.

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LawAdoption.comHow long does it take to adopt?

According to a 2012-2013 reader survey by Adoptive Families magazine, 66% of families who adopted in the U.S. received a referral less than one year after they completed their paperwork. For international adoptions, the figure was 66%.

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Can I adopt if I'm over 40?

Yes, there are no age limits in a private adoption. Check with your adoption attorney to see if private adoption is available in your state.

The age limits for an international adoption vary by country, but typically are 50 or greater. Some domestic agencies do impose age restrictions, usually at age 45.

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Isn't it really expensive to adopt?

LawAdoption.comIt's true that adoption should be free, however, protecting your family's interests means that you have to hire professionals to help you comply with your state's adoption laws. If you adopt overseas, you have the added expenses of traveling to the foreign country, meeting USCIS requirements to bring your child home, and legal fees in the foreign country.

There is help available. The federal Adoption Tax Credit provides up to $13,840 for qualifying expenses paid to adopt an eligible child in 2018. The credit is indexed for inflation and will increase annually. Eligible expenses include adoption fees, court costs, attorney fees, traveling expenses (including amounts spent for meals and lodging) and other expenses directly related to your adoption.

There is an income limit for this credit.

LawAdoption.comFurther, many large employers offer adoption assistance. Those payments may qualify for exclusion from your income for tax purposes in addition to the tax credit. You may exclude up to $13,840 from your income in 2018. So, for example, if your employer offers adoption assistance payments of $5,000 and your total adoption related expenses were $18,570, you could claim $13,840 as a tax credit AND exclude $5,000 from your income. However, if your total expenses were $13,840, you could not take the credit and the exclusion-the same expenses cannot be counted twice. The income limits for the tax credit also apply to the exclusion.

If you adopt a special needs child or a child from foster care, the cost is usually less and a monthly adoption subsidy is often available to help pay for things like remedial educational services, physical therapy and medical care. You may also take the entire amount of the tax credit even if you donít incur those costs.

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I've heard horror stories of birth parents "reclaiming" their children after several years-does that happen very often?

LawAdoption.comIt's very rare. Adoption is governed by state law and if you and the birth parents work with licensed adoption professionals, your risk is small.

In Virginia, there is a "fall-through" rate of 1 to 2% after the child is born, and that usually happens in the first three days after birth. The "revocation period" or time which the birth parent has to "change their mind" after consenting to the adoption, varies by state as well. For a private adoption in Virginia, the birth parent's consent is irrevocable seven days after signing. If a birth parent places through an agency, consent is revocable once all three of the following have occurred: seven days have passed since the signing of the entrustment agreement, the child is ten days old, and the child is placed in the physical custody of adoptive parents. An adoption cannot be challenged for any reason 6 months after a Final Order of Adoption is granted by a Circuit Court in the Commonwealth.


Serving clients in Loudoun County, Fairfax County, Prince William County, Arlington County, Alexandria, Frederick County, Albermarle County, Culpeper County, Dinwiddie County, Pittsylvania County, Rockingham County, Shenandoah County, Spotsylvania County, Stafford County, Warren County, Westmoreland County, Virginia Beach and throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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