There are few things more rewarding than becoming a new parent. If you and your spouse or partner are thinking about adopting a child through private adoption in Pennsylvania, here is some basic information you should know.
Types of Private Adoptions
There are a number of different types of private adoptions that may be applicable to you and your partner. Below are some types of private adoptions.
- Private agency adoption – An agency matches biological parents with families wishing to adopt a child.
- Identified private adoption – Adoptive parents identify a child to adopt through friends or others.
- Stepparent adoption – A spouse adopts the other spouse’s child. The other birth parent must give consent, in most cases.
- Kinship adoption – Another relative may adopt the child.
Each adoption is unique to the parent or parents who are planning to adopt. For example, parents who are interested in adopting may choose to contact a private agency and get help with legal issues through an attorney. Other situations call for an attorney to guide parents through the process of adopting a child to whom they are already related.
There are often a number of clearances and other pre-placement requirements to which you and others in your household may be subject. Usually, these include background checks, home studies, reports and filing different forms. The specifics of each depend on the type of private adoption in which you are interested. An attorney can guide you through your rights and requirements.
The following parties listed below must consent to the adoption.
- The parents of the child to be adopted
- Both spouses planning to adopt
- The child to be adopted, if older than age 12
- Any guardian of the child to be adopted
Open vs. Closed Adoptions in Pennsylvania
Another thing that you will have to consider when adopting a child is whether or not the adoption will be an open or a closed adoption. In an open adoption, the birth parents, adoptive parents and the child may contact each other.
In a closed adoption on the other hand, the birth parents, adoptive parents and the child will not have contact with one another. In some closed adoptions, the birth parents and adoptive parents may not contact each other before the adoption either.
Get an Attorney’s Help if Pursuing a Private Adoption
There are lots of forms to fill out and legalities to handle if pursuing a private adoption. Even if the adoptive parents already have custody of the child – but are not legally the child’s parents – the process requires quite a bit of paperwork. For example, the adoptive party must file a report of intention to adopt. This includes a summary of how the parents got custody, when the home study took place, information about the parents and child, and more.
An intermediary must file a written report with information about the parties involved, the date of placement, a decree of termination of parental rights, itemized list of compensation paid to the intermediary, and more. Adoptive petitions should include the child’s new name (if applicable) and indication that pre-placement reports, a report of intention to adopt and other reports are filed, and more.
Your attorney can help finalize the adoption, terminate parental rights and get a copy of the new birth certificate that contains the adoptive parents’ names. Pursuing a private adoption without the help of an attorney can be frustrating. At ARM Lawyers, LLC, our attorneys are ready to help as you pursue adoption. If you have more questions or wish to set up a consultation about your case, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for answers now at (570) 424-6899.