What are the Important Adoption Laws in PA?

February 19, 2018
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Adoption is a beautiful way to build a family in Pennsylvania and beyond — but it can also be a complicated one. Because adoption involves so many people, it must be completed in a way that protects the rights of prospective birth parents, adoptive parents and the adopted child.

The experienced adoption attorneys at Bierly & Rabuck can help you understand all the Pennsylvania adoption laws that will apply to your adoption process. This way, we will not only make sure that your adoption is completed legally and efficiently but that it is also as stress-free as possible for you. Building a family or finding a family for your baby is perhaps one of the most important times of your life, and we will help you ensure it’s done right.

Our lawyers can always discuss the adoption laws in Pennsylvania if you call our offices at 814-237-7900. We are here to help you understand which laws might affect your adoption and to help you move forward with the best adoption process for you.

Until then, keep reading for basic information about what the adoption laws in Pennsylvania are.

Remember, adoption laws are complicated, and this article should not be taken as strict legal advice. Please contact our adoption attorneys for the most accurate information for your situation.

Adoption Laws for Prospective Adoptive Families

As a prospective adoptive family looking to adopt a baby in Pennsylvania, you’ll need to abide by local adoption laws. These laws will help you make sure you’re truly ready for the adoption process and that any child you bring into your home is done so legally to protect your future parental rights.

All adoptive families need to work with an adoption lawyer like those at Bierly & Rabuck to complete their adoption in Pennsylvania. Contact us today to learn which adoption laws in Pennsylvania you’ll need to abide by.

Who Can Adopt a Child in Pennsylvania?

One of the first questions you may ask is, “What are the requirements to adopt in Pennsylvania?”

Pennsylvania adoption laws allow any individual to adopt, with no legal requirements for age, gender, sexuality, marital status, etc. However, each adoption professional may have specific requirements to go active with their adoption programs. It’s generally a good idea for prospective adoptive parents to be financially, emotionally and physically ready for adoption before starting the process.

Depending on the kind of adoption you’re pursuing, you will also need to complete some additional steps before you can be safely approved to adopt, such as an adoption home study or foster parenting classes.

What Kind of Background Checks do Prospective Adoptive Parents Need?

Most prospective adoptive parents will need to undergo some kind of background check before their adoption placement can be finalized. This can include a formal home study and criminal background checks and fingerprinting. The requirements of the Pennsylvania laws of adoption vary based on the kind of adoption a family is pursuing.

For example, anyone pursuing a private domestic infant adoption will need to complete a full home study investigation. If a stepparent or relative is adopting a child, though, they usually will not need to complete the entire home study process.

You can talk to your adoption lawyers and adoption professionals to learn more about what kind of background checks are needed in your situation.

What are Adoption Laws for Birth Parent Expenses?

One important thing to know about Pennsylvania adoption laws is that it is illegal to pay a birth parent any living expenses. However, adoptive parents can still pay for a prospective birth mother’s medical and counseling expenses, keeping the adoption process free for any prospective birth mother. If you are matched with a prospective birth mother in another state, you may be able to pay her living expenses depending on that state’s laws.

But before you pay any birth mother for adoption expenses, please contact an experienced adoption attorney. The adoption lawyers at Bierly & Rabuck can evaluate a prospective birth mother’s situation and assist with payment of adoption expenses in a legal manner. Otherwise, your adoption opportunity could be jeopardized. It’s much safer to work with an adoption attorney familiar with Pennsylvania’s adoption laws for this part of the journey.

Adoption Laws for Prospective Birth Parents

Similarly, there are certain laws on adoption in Pennsylvania that exist to protect the rights of a prospective birth parent throughout the adoption process. As a prospective birth mother, you always have the right to choose whether adoption is right for you, and you are never obligated to place your child for adoption unless you’re sure it’s the right decision.

Our adoption attorneys can help you determine whether adoption is the best choice for you and your baby and, if it is, help you understand any adoption laws that may apply in your situation. With our legal assistance, you can feel confident and comfortable with whatever sort of adoption plan you create.

To learn more about placing a baby for adoption in Pennsylvania, please contact us for free at 814-237-7900.

Who Can Place a Baby for Adoption in Pennsylvania?

As your child’s parent, you can always place them for adoption with a child-placing agency like an adoption agency or directly to the adoptive parents with our legal assistance. No matter how early or late you are in your pregnancy, adoption is always an option, even if you’ve already given birth.

Each birth mother’s situation is different, and so is each adoption. Our adoption attorneys will always assist you in starting the adoption process and understanding which Pennsylvania adoption laws may be relevant in your situation.

Who Has to Consent to a Child Adoption in Pennsylvania?

If you’re considering placing your child for adoption, you should know that you will eventually need to give your consent to the adoption and the termination of your parental rights. This consent can only be issued 72 hours or more after your child is born, and your adoption attorneys will be there to walk you through this adoption consent process so you’re aware of your rights. You also have the right to revoke your consent within 30 days.

Birth father adoption laws in Pennsylvania can be complicated, so whether your baby’s father has to consent to the adoption will depend upon your own situation. It’s crucial you work with an experienced adoption attorney to learn more about your birth father’s legal involvement in your adoption plan — to protect you and your baby.

Are Open Adoptions Enforceable in Pennsylvania?

Pennsylvania adoption law is very advantageous to open adoptions. Any post-adoption contact agreements can be made enforceable by a court order. This means that when you agree to certain contact with your baby’s adoptive family, there can be a legal requirement that they keep up the contact you have requested.

Our adoption lawyers will work with you to help you create a post-adoption contact agreement that meets your expectations for future contact with your baby and their adoptive family. These agreements are completely voluntary but, because they must be completed before the adoption is finalized, you should let us know as early as possible if you would like this legal protection in your open adoption. We can always help you develop a plan you’re happy with and, if semi-open adoption better meets your goals, we can help mediate your post-placement contact with the adoptive family.

Whether you are a prospective birth parent or adoptive parent, it is crucial to understand the adoption process before starting — and that includes any relevant adoption laws. Our lawyers at Bierly & Rabuck can explain Pennsylvania’s laws on adoption in detail when you choose to work with us to complete your adoption.

To learn more today, please contact us at 814-237-7900 or online here.