West Virginia Adoption Laws and Policies

You have many adoption options, and this is the perfect place to begin exploring them. Below, you’ll find West Virginia adoption laws and policies and find adoption agencies and attorneys who work with families in West Virginia.

West Virginia Adoption Laws

Each state maintains its own adoption policies, so the process can vary considerably for families in different states. As a West Virginia resident, you’ll want to work with an adoption agency or adoption attorney who is very familiar with West Virginia adoption laws and policies. Below, you’ll find adoption agencies and adoption lawyers offering services to West Virginia families. Scroll past the listings to learn all about the legal guidelines for families adopting in West Virginia whether you’re adopting a newborn through domestic adoption, an infant or older child from U.S. foster care adoption, or a child through international adoption.


Who Can Adopt in West Virginia?

Singles and married couples jointly or with consent from his/her spouse.

Can LGBT families adopt? Yes, same-sex couples can petition for joint adoption.

Domestic Adoption Laws in West Virginia

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? No.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but only the state or a licensed child-placing agency may accept fees for customary services.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling.

Is there a putative father registry? No.

When can consent to adoption be granted? After 72 hours.

 When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? Upon signing of an irrevocable consent, except in case of fraud or duress. Return automatic.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? Yes, as long as the agreement is approved by the court.

International Adoption Laws in West Virginia

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, a foreign adoption decree is recognized by West Virginia as long as the child has immigrated legally to the United States.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Yes, parents can readopt in West Virginia as long as the petition to the court includes a copy of the child’s visa, the homestudy report, and the foreign adoption decree (translated into English if necessary).

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar will issue a certificate of foreign birth upon receipt of the certificate of adoption from the West Virginia court ordering the adoption, proof of the date and place of birth of the child, and a request for the preparation of the certificate from the court, the adopting parents, or the adoptee if s/he is 18 years or older.

Adoption from Foster Care in West Virginia

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, adoption subsidies are available to a special needs child who is legally free for adoption and in the custody of the state or a licensed child-placing agency in West Virginia. A special needs child is defined by having at least one of the following: between 8 and eighteen years of age, member of a minority group if 3 years or older; member of a sibling group of 2 or more children being placed together, has an emotional, physical, mental, or medical condition. Adoption subsidies begin at finalization.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in West Virginia?  http://www.wvdhhr.org/bcf/children_adult/foster/default.asp

West Virginia Adoption Unit

Program Manager: Christie Fortney

350 Capitol Street
Room 691
Charleston, West Virginia 25301-3704
[email protected]


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but Adoptive Families cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.

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