LGBTQ+ Adoption

Love Knows No Bounds

JFS has a long history of working with LGBTQ+ couples and individuals pursuing adoption as a way to build their family.

We continue to partner with Diversity Richmond whose generous support has allowed us to strengthen and expand our services for LGBTQ+ families, inspiring confidence in the decision to pursue adoption.

For more information, please refer to our LGBTQ+ Adoption FAQs below.

LGBTQ+ Adoption FAQs

Does JFS work with LGBT families and individuals?

Yes. We work with all families and individuals regardless of age, race, religion, gender, disability, lifestyle or family status.

Does Virginia allow single LGBT individuals to adopt?


Does Virginia allow same-sex couples to jointly petition to adopt?

Yes, married couples can adopt jointly.

Does Virginia allow a same-sex partner to petition to adopt their partner’s child or child of the relationship?

Yes, a married couple can petition to adopt their partner’s child, or child of the relationship. We encourage you to consult with a knowledgeable adoption attorney regarding your options and contact us directly for more information.

Do LGBT adoption laws vary state by state?

Yes, each state has its own laws regarding LGBT adoption. Adoption is governed by state law rather than federal law. You will want to consult with a knowledgeable adoption attorney if you are interested in adopting a child born in another state.

Can LGBT families pursue international adoption?

Every country has specific guidelines and regulations. Many countries do have restrictions regarding LGBT adoption. We do complete international home studies. Families hoping to adopt internationally work with an international placing agency. You'll want to speak directly to an international adoption agency regarding your eligibility.

Are LGBT families eligible for an agency placement with JFS?

Yes, all JFS home study approved families are eligible for an agency adoption. However, we are a small agency and have very few direct agency placements each year. The majority of birthparents choose to place their child either directly with a family through a parental placement or work with a much larger national agency. We can provide you with some tips on pursuing a parental placement and agencies that are LGBT friendly. Working with an adoption attorney is helpful in pursuing a placement.

Do LGBT families wait longer to adopt than heterosexual families?

No. We have found that LGBT families and heterosexual families have about the same wait time. Birthparents choose families for a variety of reasons, and many birthparents are open to placing their child with a LGBT family. The most important thing to expedite your wait time is to increase the number of birth parents who know you are open to adopting.

Does JFS partner with any LGBT organizations in the community?

Yes, we partner with Diversity Richmond.

What resources are available to help me learn more about LGBT adoption and parenting?

There are many articles, books, movies, and support groups that can help you learn more about LGBT adoption and parenting. Here are some books that might help:

  •    “Adoption by Lesbians and Gay Men: A New Dimension in Family Diversity,” by David M. Brodzinsky and Adam Pertman
  •    “The Complete Lesbian & Gay Parenting Guide,” by Arlene Istar Lev
  •    “Fatherhood for Gay Men,” by Kevin McGarry
  •    “Gay and Lesbian Parenting Choices,” by Brette Sember
  •    “Gay Men Choosing Parenthood,” by Gerald P. Mallon
  •    “A Legal Guide for Lesbian & Gay Couples,” by Dennis Clifford
  •    “Lesbian & Gay Parents and Their Children,” by Abbie E. Goldberg
  •    “LGBT Adoption,” by Frederic Miller
  •    “LGBT Pathways to Parenthood,” by Heather Walker
JFS offers scholarships and financial assistance for LGBTQ+ adoption thanks to generous funding from Diversity Richmond.

Jump to:   After Placement   •   Adoption Workshops

Our Adoption Services

Teresa Birchett, JFS Adoption Supervisor Jewish Family Services Richmond Virginia

Contact: Teresa Birchett

To begin the process or learn more about JFS Adoption, contact Teresa Birchett, Adoption Supervisor at or call 804-282-5644, ext. 223. If you need immediate assistance, call or text the adoption on-call line 804-543-3434.

Alternatively, you may fill out the contact form below.

Click here for our JFS Adoption contact form.

After Placement

Continued Guidance and Support

Post-placement services are generally a required part of the adoption process for both domestic and international adoption.

This typically involves several visits with the family to make sure everyone is adjusting to this life transition, and to confirm the child's well-being. This is the ideal time to ask questions or discuss any challenges with your social worker. Depending on the type of adoption, this process can vary from family to family.

After the adoption is finalized, JFS will continue to offer support as needed. We also host biannual socials where families can meet other adoptive families in the community. Adoption is a lifelong journey and JFS will always be here to help support you.

Adoption Workshops

Thinking About Adoption?

If you're interested in adoption, or looking for more information, we invite you to join us at one of our free adoption workshops where you'll learn about home studies, post-placement services, international adoption and more from our team of qualified social workers.

Click here for our JFS Adoption contact form.