Law Offices of Karen S. Law PLC

Law Offices of Karen S. Law PLC

Expert, efficient, compassionate legal services for adoptive and birth parents. Karen Stoutamyer Law is an adoption attorney practicing in Virginia. Mrs.

She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law in 1985 and became licensed in Virginia in that same year. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the Virginia State Bar, and the Loudoun Bar Association. She also co-chairs the Intercountry Adoption Committee for the American Academy of Adoption

Making Adoption Affordable 2024 01/11/2024

New blog post! Learn more about the federal tax credit for adoptions in 2024, as well as ways to obtain financial aid for adoptions. Read our information guide here:

Making Adoption Affordable 2024 breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

Adopting as a Foster Parent 01/11/2024

Check out our latest blog post about adopting as a foster parent! Learn more about the adoption process and gain valuable insight from one of our former clients:

Adopting as a Foster Parent breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

Virginia Adoption Law: Trends and Updated Procedures 11/21/2023

Check out our recent program on Lawline! Karen Law addresses how strategies and procedures for handling an adoption in Virginia have changed due to U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Virginia legislative changes, foster care regulatory changes, and the SIJS backlog.

get the course here:

Virginia Adoption Law: Trends and Updated Procedures U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Virginia legislative changes, foster care regulatory changes, and the SIJS backlog-all have changed the strategies and procedures for handling an adoption in Virginia. In this program, Karen Stoutamyer Law, an attorney who limits her practice to adoption and immigration-r...

If Your Adoption Service Provider Is No Longer Accredited or Approved | USCIS 11/08/2023

Recently, Dillon International, Inc. voluntarily relinquished its accreditation to provide intercountry adoption services. Also, the Intercountry Adoption Accreditation and Maintenance Entity (IAAME) cancelled the accreditation of Amazing Grace Adoptions.

What should you do if your adoption service provider is no longer accredited or approved? Agencies and persons are required to have plans to transfer cases and records if they cease to provide or are no longer permitted to provide adoption services. Check out the following link for more information:

If Your Adoption Service Provider Is No Longer Accredited or Approved | USCIS An adoption service provider (ASP) is not allowed to act as a primary provider if it loses its accreditation or approval or allows its accreditation or approval to lapse. This can occur if the ASP

A Single Parent's Journey of Intercountry Adoption 11/08/2023

Want to learn more about the process of International Adoption? We interviewed a former client about their experience adopting internationally as a single parent. Read our article here:

A Single Parent's Journey of Intercountry Adoption breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

Events | Commonwealth Catholic Charities 11/07/2023

Need a to complete a home study? Or want to learn more about home study services? – Catholic Charities is offering an adoption presentation at their Henrico office on Wednesday, 11/8/23 from 6-8pm. Speakers will be discussing the various types of adoption, and Catholic Charities' home study options and counseling services. You can RSVP on their website (see link below). If you cannot attend in person, there will be a Zoom information meeting on 11/6/23 at 6pm.

Events | Commonwealth Catholic Charities Commonwealth Catholic Charities hosts a variety of events throughout the year to engage with our communities and enhance our service capacity.

Virginia Adoption Law: Trends and Updated Procedures 10/25/2023

Register for our live webcast on October 31st! Update your knowledge on VA adoption proceedings

https://www.lawline.com/course/virginia-adoption-law-trends-and-updated-procedures?fbclid=IwAR0IzyTRNWo4cqJVdOZFzgW4_2T1mC5bNWAhCt43EAeHkmzHsZAv-8iuUAA

Virginia Adoption Law: Trends and Updated Procedures U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Virginia legislative changes, foster care regulatory changes, and the SIJS backlog-all have changed the strategies and procedures for handling an adoption in Virginia. In this program, Karen Stoutamyer Law, an attorney who limits her practice to adoption and immigration-r...

Navigating the Path of Private Adoption: A Comprehensive Guide 10/25/2023

New blog article! Our complete guide on the process of private adoption

Navigating the Path of Private Adoption: A Comprehensive Guide breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

Maryland family faces international adoption nightmare: Their daughter is stuck in Nepal 10/12/2023

Due to federal ban, this Maryland family is going through a heartbreaking situation. Their 13-year-old adopted daughter is stuck 7,700 miles away in Nepal, unable to come home. Read more here:

Maryland family faces international adoption nightmare: Their daughter is stuck in Nepal The family's 13-year-old adopted daughter faces future as stateless citizen without protection of any law.

10/12/2023

Live Webcast on October 31st!

U.S. Supreme Court rulings, Virginia legislative changes, foster care regulatory changes, and the SIJS backlog-all have changed the strategies and procedures for handling an adoption in Virginia. I will assist you in updating your adoption pleadings, and you will learn to issue-spot and obtain tools to refine your adoption cases. Check out the link below to register:
https://www.lawline.com/course/virginia-adoption-law-trends-and-updated-procedures

05/17/2023

We found this guide helpful to understanding how the new immigration system works:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-the-new-immigration-system-works-after-title-42-ends-2fba7498

It's Time for Congress to Overhaul Intercountry Adoption 05/11/2023

An intercountry adoption overhaul is desperately needed. This is especially true for U.S. citizens who are trying to adopt their orphaned relatives and must undergo the exact same expensive and time-consuming process that is used for nonrelatives. Read more here:

It's Time for Congress to Overhaul Intercountry Adoption Congress must set intercountry adoption on a new path forward.

AdoptMatch - Find Adoptive Parents, Adoption Agencies and Attorneys 04/17/2023

We are committed to helping birth parents and prospective adoptive parents find each other without using a paid facilitator. We've recently joined a nonprofit organization that helps these people find each other without incurring a fee. Our part is to do an initial screening of birth parents and connect them with onsite social workers and assist in securing legal representation in Virginia. We also meet with prospective adoptive parents to inform them about private and agency adoption. Ethically, we could not represent both parties in an adoption. Click the link below to learn more:

AdoptMatch - Find Adoptive Parents, Adoption Agencies and Attorneys AdoptMatch helps pregnant women who are considering adoption find ethical, adoption agencies, attorneys, and loving adoptive parents for their child.

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Adoptions 101. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar. 04/12/2023

Adoptions 101 | Webinar on May 3rd!
This webinar is a must for any practitioner who has fielded questions about adoption. Register here:

Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Adoptions 101. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar. Welcome! You are invited to join a webinar: Adoptions 101. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email about joining the webinar.

04/03/2023

SIJS backlog worsens for children from most countries:

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Essay | Foster Kids Need Permanent Homes 03/27/2023

Studies show that the American Safe Families Act (ASFA) protects children. Repealing ASFA would make it harder to place foster children in adoptive families. Read more here:

Essay | Foster Kids Need Permanent Homes Activists are working for legal changes that would make it harder to find adoptive families for children in foster care.

USCIS Announces Additional Mail Delivery Process for Receiving ADIT Stamp | USCIS 03/23/2023

Announcement from USCIS: Lawful permanent residents may receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail rather than physically visiting a field office to receive an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp (also known as an I-551 stamp).

USCIS Announces Additional Mail Delivery Process for Receiving ADIT Stamp | USCIS Lawful permanent residents may receive temporary evidence of their lawful permanent resident status by mail rather than physically visiting a field office to receive an Alien Documentation, Identification and Telecommunication (ADIT) stamp (also known as an I-551 stamp).

Intercountry Adoptions from Botswana after March 1, 2023 03/02/2023

Botswana has acceded to the Hague Adoption Convention. As of March 1st, the Convention has entered into force. The Department of State has determined it will not be able to process intercountry adoptions from Botswana initiated on or after March 1, 2023. Read more about it here:

Intercountry Adoptions from Botswana after March 1, 2023 On March 1, 2023, the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-Operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Convention) entered into force for Botswana. Please be advised that the Department of State has determined it will not be able to process intercountry adoptions from Botswana initia...

Citizenship Proceedings for Adopted Children: Pitfalls and Practice Tips (Update) 01/12/2023

New online course! —
Citizenship Proceedings for Adopted Children: Pitfalls and Practice Tips

Here's what practitioners are saying about this course—

"Very substantive. Presenter knows her stuff."

"This helped me to spot issues that I would need to get an expert to help with."

"For the attorney whose practice does not include adoption, this session is well-organized, easy to follow, and provides the framework to follow in handling an adoption case."

Citizenship Proceedings for Adopted Children: Pitfalls and Practice Tips (Update) Adopting children from abroad can be a multi-year process that involves navigating both international legal procedures and the U.S. immigration process. High-profile deportations of adoptees whose parents failed to secure them U.S. citizenship highlight the fact that immigration filings are a critic...

12/25/2022

Happy holidays from our office to your family! 🎄

11/24/2022

Happy Thanksgiving! We are so grateful to serve your family!

11/21/2022

Celebrating Loudoun Adoption Day! Five adoptions were finalized this weekend! 🥳

'I Do Not Regret Placing My Child' For Adoption — 'But I Do Regret Having A Closed' One 11/21/2022

Keeping in touch with the birth mother, after the adoption has been finalized, is becoming much more common in adoptive families. Check out this article about open adoptions:

'I Do Not Regret Placing My Child' For Adoption — 'But I Do Regret Having A Closed' One Today’s open adoptions differ from the primarily closed adoptions of previous generations, and they entail unique challenges and opportunities for birth and adoptive parents.

Updated Federal Adoption Tax Credit for 2023 10/27/2022

For more information on the federal adoption tax credit, check out our latest blog post:

Updated Federal Adoption Tax Credit for 2023 breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

10/26/2022

Updated adoption tax credit information for 2023:
For adoptions finalized in 2023 the maximum credit will be $15,950 and the maximum credit will begin to be phased out when the adoptive parents’ Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) for 2023 is greater than $239,230, and they will not be entitled to any credit if their MAGI is equal to or greater than $279,230 for 2023.

Virginia Adoption Law: Start to Finish | Live Online Seminar | 95407ER | NBI 10/06/2022

I'm looking forward to presenting at National Business Institute’s upcoming course, “Virginia Adoption Law: Start to Finish” on Tuesday, October 11, 2022. Register today at https://www.nbi-sems.com/ProductDetails/95407ER!

Use Promo Code FSPN50 at checkout to get $50 off! Hope to see you there!

Virginia Adoption Law: Start to Finish | Live Online Seminar | 95407ER | NBI Attend a live online seminar to hear faculty present content specific to your state and earn continuing legal education credit to satisfy your continuing legal education requirments for only $389.00

COVID-19 Pandemic and Shutdown Increases Stresses in Foster Care for Children, Birth Parents, Social Workers and Licensed Foster Care Providers (Updated August 2022) 08/17/2022

What long-term effects could children in foster care be facing due to the pandemic? Check out our latest blog post:

COVID-19 Pandemic and Shutdown Increases Stresses in Foster Care for Children, Birth Parents, Social Workers and Licensed Foster Care Providers (Updated August 2022) breaking news about adoption, intercountry adoption, immigration, children in crisis, adoptive parents profiles, articles, foster care

Photos from Law Offices of Karen S. Law PLC's post 06/27/2022

Do you have a H1B or a L1 visa, and want to adopt a relative? Please read this frequently asked question, and corresponding law:

Department of State Designates Center for Excellence in Adoption Services as an Accrediting Entity 06/21/2022

The Department of State has designated Center for Excellence in Adoption Services (CEAS) as an accrediting entity under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000.

Department of State Designates Center for Excellence in Adoption Services as an Accrediting Entity On June 2, 2022, the Department of State designated Center for Excellence in Adoption Services (CEAS) as an accrediting entity (AE) under the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA) in accordance with 22 CFR Part 96. The designation is for a period of five years.

Resumption of Hosting Programs in Ukraine 06/21/2022

The Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine has announced they will permit children to participate in hosting programs abroad.

Resumption of Hosting Programs in Ukraine On June 11, 2022, the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine announced they would permit children to participate in hosting programs abroad for health and recreation. The National Social Service of Ukraine will administer the programs and will require a host organization and a country's local or cen...

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