Adoptive placements are made for children whose parental rights are legally terminated. Adoptive home studies are completed according to state standards. Placements are made that are determined to be in the child's best interest. The cultural, ethnic, or racial background of the child and the capacity of the prospective adoptive parents to meet the needs of a child of this background are considered as one of a number of factors used to determine the best interest of the child. The bond between the child and the prospective adoptive parents is also a consideration as is the opportunity for placement of the child with siblings.
Services also include adoptive home study reports for the court related to parental placements, which are those adoptive placements arranged directly between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. Adoptions by stepparents are also completed on order from the court. Fees are assessed for these studies which are based on family size, income and type of report.
For adult adoptees adopted in Gloucester, Virginia, services are provided to obtain and share non-identifying background information from the finalized adoption records. If an adult adoptee adopted through this agency applies to the Virginia Department of Social Services to obtain identifying information about their birth family, this agency completes the search for the birth family to determine if the birth family members consent to the release of their identifying information. Fees based on family size, income and time spent are assessed for searches.
Home Study evaluation services (custody investigations) are rendered for the Courts or other Social Service Agencies, on the Order of their Court, involving child custody matters. The purpose of the home study evaluation is to evaluate the physical environment of the home, the ability of the family to financially support and nurture the child.
Home Studies are also for other states through the Interstate Compact for Placement of Children (ICPC) to approve resource family homes for placement of children in foster care in another state; requests must be court ordered or requested by another Social Service Agency.