West Virginia Adoption Laws

The Mountain State is a wonderful place to raise a family, and adoption is one way to add to your family’s joy and love. But as with most things these days, growing and adding to your family comes with its share of legal hurdles. If you’re thinking about adopting, it helps to be familiar with the state statutes that regulate who can be adopted, how, and by whom. Here's a quick introduction to adoption laws in West Virginia.

State Laws on Adoption

Laws regulating adoption are intended to protect the best interests of the person being adopted by restricting who is allowed to adopt and creating certain requirements for adoptive parents. The adoption process can be legally complex, involving multiple court hearings and quite a bit of paperwork, and an attorney might be able to help you to understand the law and what your legal requirements as adoptive parents.

Adoption Laws in West Virginia

State adoption laws can vary depending on where you live. As an example, while single adults and married couples are allowed to adopt in West Virginia, a married person cannot adopt without his or her spouse’s consent. There's also a 6-month home residency requirement before an adoption can be finalized. The details of West Virginia’s adoption laws are listed below.

Code Section

West Virginia Code 48-22-101, et seq.: Adoption

Who May Be Adopted

Any person

Age that Child's Consent Needed

12 years and older

Who May Adopt

Any person not married or any person with his or her spouse's consent or husband and wife jointly.

Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?

6 months

State Agency/Court

Department of Human Services/Circuit

Statute of Limitations to Challenge

6 months

West Virginia law allows any person to be adopted, but after the age of 12, the prospective adoptee must give his or her consent. And unlike some states, West Virginia allows gay marriage and same-sex couples are permitted to adopt. West Virginia has specified adoption courts that hear adoption proceedings and make decisions in order to protect the best interests of the adoptee.

More Resources for Adoption Laws in West Virginia

Adoption is a serious decision, emotionally and legally. FindLaw’s section on Adoption can provide you with additional articles and information on this topic. You can also consult with a West Virginia adoption attorney in your area if you would like legal help regarding an adoption matter.

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.