If you have decided to adopt, you are likely experiencing a great deal of anticipation. For all of the joy a new addition to your family brings, the practical steps of the adoption process are time-consuming and demanding. Between completing the requisite background checks, home studies, paperwork, and more, adoption can be stressful, but we provide the counsel and representation you need to facilitate the process.
Step-parent adoption is the adoption of a child by the married spouse of the child’s legal parent. Second-parent adoption is the adoption of a child by the unmarried partner of the child’s legal parent. Once a step-parent adoption or second-parent adoption is completed, the adoptive parent has exactly the same rights and responsibilities with respect to the child as the first legal parent including the rights of inheritance, custody, child support and medical decision-making.
Pennsylvania law allows an adult to adopt another adult. Adult adoptions do not require the termination of birth parents’ rights or the consent of birth parents. Therefore, adult adoption can be a good option for step-parents or foster parents who seek to adopt but who may have been unable to secure the consent of an adoptee’s birth parents when the adoptee was a minor. Adult adoption confers the many benefits that come with a legal parent-child relationship, including preferential inheritance tax rates.
Kinship adoptions are a type of private adoption where at least one of the adopting parent(s) is a family member to the child. Our attorneys handle all aspects of these adoptions, including engaging in initial discussions with birth parents, terminating the birth parents’ parental rights, obtaining a final adoption decree for the adoption parent(s) and obtaining an amended birth certificate naming the adoptive parent(s).
Adoption laws historically have varied from state to state, but are becoming more uniform. Pennsylvania adoption laws allow any child and only certain adults to be adopted, while any unmarried adult, unmarried minor parent of adoptee, or married couple may adopt. Additionally, the adoption of Pennsylvania children age 12 and older requires the child’s consent to the adoption. Pennsylvania is one of the least restrictive states on who may adopt. Pennsylvania adoption is generally open, and does not prohibit any adult from adopting.
If a married couple wants to adopt, both spouses will have to adopt, unless one spouse gives the other consent to adopt alone. Generally, unmarried couples cannot adopt in Pennsylvania, but there may be exceptions. Pennsylvania’s adoption laws do not restrict who may or may not be adopted. This means that adults can be adopted as well as children.
Generally, the birth parents must consent to an adoption. However, there are many circumstances that may remove a child from a home, and make that child available for adoption without the birth parents’ consent. As well, consent is required from any adult who is adopted, and any child age 12 or older. Many states require a period of residency before adopting in that state. However, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that does not have a residency requirement. However, Pennsylvania courts and adoption agencies still have the right to require a temporary placement before the adoption is finalized.
The adoption attorneys at the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP are proficient and can assist with many types of adoptions. We offer a safe and supportive setting to make the experience as comfortable as possible for all parties. Learn more about how you can get an adoption in Pennsylvania today. Robert B. George, Esquire was voted by the Delaware County Daily Times as one of the best Adoption Attorneys…
Contact the Law Firm of DiOrio & Sereni, LLP
For a private consultation, call us at 610-565-5700 or send us an e-mail. Evening and weekend consultations can be arranged upon request, and we will travel to meet with you, if necessary. We accept Discover, Visa and MasterCard.