Being involved in the Adoption process for our clients is one of the most rewarding areas of law that we practice. Witnessing the reaction of a child knowing that he or she has been adopted is a truly priceless experience.
IS THE ADOPTION PROCESS COMPLICATED?
Yes. Pennsylvania Law sets forth a number of steps that need to be completed before you are able to attend the final court hearing for an adoption. Our experienced attorneys can guide you through that process to make it as quick and easy as possible.
I AM ALREADY THE CHILD’S GUARDIAN, DO I NEED TO FILE FOR ADOPTION?
It will depend on what your goals are regarding your relationship to the child. An Adoption provides the permanent transfer of all legal rights and responsibilities from the natural parents to the adoptive parents. While a Guardianship does provide the transfer of these rights, it is not permanent and can be modified by the court.
I ALREADY HAVE CUSTODY OF THE CHILD, DO I NEED TO FILE FOR ADOPTION?
Again, it will depend on what your goals are for you and the child. Having custody over a child is not a permanent situation and can be modified by the court at any time. It also may allow for the natural parents to continue having visitation rights with the child.
WHAT IS THE ADOPTION PROCESS IN PENNSYLVANIA?
- A court petition is filed by the adoptive parent(s)
- The natural parents will either need to consent to the adoption or a hearing to terminate their rights will be scheduled before the court.
- If over 12 years old, the child will need to consent to the adoption.
- A final adoption hearing will be held before the court.
While the above is a general outline of the adoption process, there are many steps in between regarding certain filings with the court and other steps required before the final court hearing. Also, the natural parents and adoptive parents have the right to enter into an Act 101 agreement which may allow the natural parents continued updates or contact with the child. Our attorneys can assist you with the adoption process and all steps required.