Expanding your family through adoption is an exciting and rewarding milestone, but can also be difficult to navigate alone. Adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you navigate the process.
There are many important considerations as you seek to legally adopt a child into your home. Our adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania offer confident, strong representation for families in northeastern Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley who wish to adopt a child. We can help you understand all available options and your rights and responsibilities as an adoptive parent.
This is true whether you are engaged in a private adoption or are seeking to legally adopt a stepchild or grandchild. We respect the uncertainty that can surround such a significant decision. We have provided information below to help you better understand state adoption laws and practices.
The Qualifications for Adoption in Pennsylvania
The qualifications and procedures for adoption vary with the type of adoption taking place and the circumstances of the child and his or her birth parents. Note that in some adoption situations, you may be required to secure the services of adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania.
Generally speaking, adoption falls under one or more of the following categories:
- Private adoption – This may include a formal “independent” arrangement between you and the birth parents. Family adoptions, such as a stepparent or grandparent adoption, also fall under this category.
- Agency adoption – This may include placement through an adoption agency.
- Interstate adoption – You must comply with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children if you wish to adopt a child residing outside of Pennsylvania. A child cannot be relocated to another state without first gaining approval from the birth parent’s state.
- International adoption – This includes any adoption in which the adoptive child was born in and/or lives in a country other than the United States. In these cases, you must meet agency and federal requirements, as well as securing U.S. citizenship for your child.
Our adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you to understand the special concerns and considerations with each type of adoption, as well as what is required from you as you move forward in the process. This includes helping you stay in compliance with all federal and state laws, such Pennsylvania’s adoption statute.
Determining What is Best for You, Your Family and Your Child
There are a number of important considerations throughout the course of an adoption these include, but are not limited to:
- termination of parental rights (including steps to ensure protection of your family’s long-term interests);
- preparing for required home studies;
- securing familial and health history of the adoptive child;
- age of the birth mother (notice must be given to a birth parent’s parent when the birth parent is 17 years or younger); and
- much more.
Our adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania can provide informed, legal guidance from the pre-placement period to the finalization of the adoption.
Pennsylvania Adoption Resources
Every child deserves a loving, nurturing permanent home, where they feel cared for, safe and supported. Pennsylvania’s Department of Human Services works to provide this permanency through partnerships with the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) and the Pennsylvania Adoption Exchange.
Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN)
SWAN is a partnership among public and private agencies, judges and the legal community, foster and adoptive parents to build a better collaborative adoption process in Pennsylvania. SWAN serves children in the custody of county Children and Youth agencies who have a goal of adoption. These are children with special needs and finding an adoptive family may be a bigger challenge due to one or more of the following factors:
- The child is five years old or older;
- The child is a member of a sibling group in the same adoptive home;
- The child is a member of a minority group;
- The child has an emotional, physical, or mental condition or disability; and
- The child has a genetic condition that may lead to a disease or handicap.
Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN)
PO Box 2675
Harrisburg, Pa. 17105-2675
You don’t have to navigate these resources alone. Adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania can help you throughout the process.
Pennsylvania Counties Served
With three offices in Pennsylvania, we are close to you no matter where you are. Typically, our adoption lawyers in Pennsylvania service the following counties:
- Monroe County Adoption Attorney
- Carbon County Adoption Attorney
- Pike County Adoption Attorney
- Northampton County Adoption Attorney
- Lehigh County Adoption Attorney
If your county is not listed, call us. While these are the counties we typically serve, we’ve handled cases in other counties upon request.