Agency Placements (placements through local departments of social services or licenced child placing agencies)
Agency placements occur when the child is in the custody of a local department of social services or licensed child-placing agency. In this situation, all parental rights are terminated, custody with authority to place for adoption is granted to the agency, and the agency consents to the child's adoption.
Non-agency Adoptions (parental, stepparent, adult, close relative and intercountry placements)
A non-agency placement occurs when the child is not in the custody of an agency. In a non-agency placement, the birth parents or legal guardian(s)
consent to the adoption, and parental rights are terminated by entry of the final order of adoption.
Except for licensed or duly authorized child-placing agencies, only birth parents and legal guardians are allowed to place a child for adoption in Virginia. Although anyone may provide assistance to birth parents in locating a prospective adoptive family and to adoptive parents in locating a child, only birth parents and legal guardians may actually place the child for adoption.