Should you be concerned your ex’s new spouse may try to adopt your child?
Going too long without contacting your child could have legal ramifications.
In some situations, your biological child’s step-parent may be able to adopt your child without obtaining your consent. VA Code Section 63.2-1202 (H) states: “No consent shall be required of a birth parent who, without just cause, has neither visited nor contacted the child for a period of six months immediately prior to the filing of the petition for adoption…” Va Code Section 63.2-1202(H)
If you go a year without calling, writing or visiting with your child and you have no legitimate reason for not contacting the child, then court can grant the adoption to your child’s step-parent without your consent. The court can grant the adoption even if you are paying child support.
In Virginia adoption, results is a complete severance of parental rights. Even though you may be the biological parent, post-adoption you are a “legal stranger” to the child. In the eyes of the law, you are no longer the parent of that child. This means that you cannot petition for court ordered visitation rights with the child. However, there may be some avenues for voluntary communication agreements with the adoptive parents.
If you need help with an adoption or family law matter in Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Dinwiddie, Fort Lee, Hopewell, Petersburg, Prince George, or Sussex. Give us a call at (804) 668-5327 and schedule a consultation to discuss potential solutions in more detail.