“A baby is born with a need to be loved—and never outgrows it.”
-Frank A. Clark
There is something magical about babies. Their wide eyes and ever-growing minds take in every new experience. Their laughter can bring a smile to even the most hardened heart. A feeling of peace overcomes parents when they hold their child close to their heart, knowing that they would go above and beyond to keep this precious child healthy, happy, and safe. Chances are, if you’ve stumbled upon this page, you love babies, too. Perhaps you are ready to grow a family of your own or to add to your existing family.
Living in Pennsylvania, you have likely experienced much that the state has to offer. From it’s beautiful forests to its world-famous chocolate factories, there is much to explore. Even with so much to experience, many couples and individuals find themselves longing for something more—a chance to make their families complete. With a population of over 12 million people, there has got to be a child out there waiting for their forever family as well. Are there babies for adoption in PA? Of course there are! Here you will find resources to help you in your journey to build a family.
The state of Pennsylvania requires you to be at least 18 years of age to adopt a child. Adoptive parents may be single, married, or divorced. While you don’t have to be rich by any means, you do have to prove that you are financially stable enough to provide for your own family. You must own or rent a home that has enough room for a child and will provide a safe place for her to live. You can work inside or outside of the home. You can even adopt if you’ve already retired. No parenting experience is required to adopt, but you must have a desire to love and care for a child unconditionally. You must not have any previous child abuse or neglect charges. Your background check must also be free from any other crimes against children, spousal abuse, homicide, or any other serious crime.
There are many adoption agencies in Pennsylvania, both private and nonprofit. Before settling on a specific agency, make sure you have done your research. Check to see how long the agency has been offering services. Read reviews and ask around for referrals. Decide if the location of the agency is convenient as you will likely be attending counseling and classes nearby. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Most agencies will offer consultations at no cost so that you can obtain any information you may need.
The following is a short list of agencies in the state of Pennsylvania. This is not an all-inclusive list by any means, so feel free to research other agencies as well! There are a plethora to choose from.
1. Catholic Charities of Harrisburg – This diocese offers domestic infant adoption and special needs adoption. There is currently a 4-5 year wait from the time the application is received until a child is placed into the home. This wait time may be shorter if a family meets certain criteria and can provide a home to a child with specific needs (such as an infant with medical needs or a child who is African American). They offer reasonable adoption fees with no hidden costs.
2. A Baby Step Adoption Agency – Located in Philadelphia (with other locations around the state), this agency has been providing services for thirty years. They have a diverse range of clientele and serve clients regardless of marital status, sexual orientation, etc. They provide relative adoptions as well.
3. Haven Adoptions – This agency boasts a 5-star rating and a quick match time. Located in Ambler, PA, they have helped hundreds of families with adoption placement.
4. Living Hope Adoption Agency – Living Hope offers international adoptions from China, Honduras, Uganda, and Bulgaria. They offer a full range of supportive services designed to make the entire process flow more smoothly.
5. Open Arms Adoption Network- This agency serves Philadelphia, New Jersey, New York, and Delaware. In order to meet the needs of those currently trying to adopt, this agency is currently only accepting applications from those who are of Hispanic or African American descent, or who are interested in adopting Hispanic or African American children and who live in an ethnically diverse community where the children can see themselves reflected from day one.
How Much Does It Cost to Adopt?
Now that you know where to find babies for adoption in PA, you may wonder how much the adoption process will cost. While the price can range widely depending on the avenue to adoption that you take, the average cost for an agency adoption is between $30,000-$45,000 according to Adoptions from the Heart. Using an independent adoption attorney may bring the price down slightly, but not as much as you might think. These numbers may seem incredibly high, and at first glance are enough to make prospective parents think twice about adopting. It may be helpful to look at a breakdown of these fees to see where the money is going.
Required training and educational courses
Criminal background checks and fingerprinting
Preplacement home meetings (typically at an hourly rate)
A fee to move a waiting child into the prospective adoptive parents home
Legally required post-placement reports
Agency fees that help to cover overhead costs
Birth parent expenses (medical care, living expenses, etc. as needed)
Because so much time and effort are spent in safely and lovingly joining families together, the costs can add up quickly. It is helpful to start saving in advance of beginning your adoption journey. There are adoption grants that can be helpful for those who qualify. However, because these grants are usually offered by private nonprofit organizations, funding is limited, and not everyone who applies is guaranteed to receive assistance. There are adoption tax credits that can also be helpful in offsetting the costs incurred during the adoption process. Some families choose to take out a low-interest loan to cover the initial cost, while others undertake fundraising efforts.
What Type of Adoption Is Right for Your Family?
While there may be many babies for adoption in PA, you will want to consider the type of adoption that is right for you and your family. Most adoptions these days have a level of openness. This means that there is some form of contact with the biological family. While this may seem uncomfortable at first, there are many benefits. It is much easier to obtain medical records and history as needed. A child who knows his adoption story from the very beginning will experience less confusion and will be able to answer questions about his identity in a much more comfortable environment. Your adoption agency will help you find and facilitate the level of openness that works best between your family and the biological family.
While there may be many babies for adoption in PA that are of the same background as your family, there may be many who have a different culture, race, or ethnicity. Are you willing to adopt a child whose background differs from your own? This will require more training and education as well as a commitment to helping the child experience and appreciate her culture as she grows. There are babies with special needs available for adoption as well. These babies may have physical or developmental disabilities that require extra time and care. While this may present a challenge, these children are just as worthy of a loving home as those who do not have special needs.
Foster Care Adoption
While there are many babies for adoption in PA, there are also many children in the foster care system. If you are open to adopting an older child, there is ample opportunity to do so. While the average age of a child in foster care is 9 years old, there are children of all ages who are searching for a sense of love, understanding, and permanence. The children in state custody are there through no fault of their own and have dealt with the trauma of being separated from their biological families. They may have suffered abuse or neglect, and they may have moved around to many homes already. There are plenty of amazing children who would like nothing more than to find a family who will love and accept them unconditionally. If you have an open heart and a stable home, consider adopting a child from foster care. You can make a huge difference in the life of a child (and in your own life as well).
Your wait time may be significantly shorter when you adopt through foster care as well. Currently, there are between 13,000-15,000 children in Pennsylvania’s foster care system. Over half of these children are at least 13, and the danger of aging out of the foster care system increases with each year. There are sibling groups who need to be placed into homes together as well.
Another benefit to adopting through the state is that it is MUCH less expensive! While we have seen that the cost associated with babies for adoption in PA can be incredibly high, the cost to adopt through foster care can range from absolutely nothing to approximately $2,500. In fact, 69% of foster care adoptions report total costs less than $1,000. Older children, sibling groups, and most other children whose parents have had their rights terminated by the state are considered “special needs.” This is not because they have any type of intellectual or physical disability (though some might), but because they have special placement needs or may have a more difficult time finding an adoptive family. There are often grants and subsidies available to help cover the cost of adopting and providing for these children. Adopting through foster care can be a beneficial and worthwhile way to welcome a child into your home.
To “meet” some of the children available for adoption in Pennsylvania, check out Adoption.com’s photolisting. Here, you will find photos and fun facts about children who are seeking homes in your state. The newest member of your family may be waiting on these pages. It’s worth checking out.
Connect with Others
You are certainly not alone in your quest to find babies for adoption in PA. It is always helpful to build a support system of hopeful and current adoptive parents as well as adoption professionals. Speaking to birth parents and adult adoptees can be beneficial in gaining new perspective as well. You most likely know people in your own life who are touched by adoption in some way. Don’t be afraid to reach out for advice or to ask questions.
Adoption.com offers several forums where you can find relatable content and communicate with those who are in similar positions. You can find general adoptive parent support or find topics pertaining to both before and after the adoption. Whether you decide to make a post and introduce yourself to the community or just sit back and read what others are saying, these forums can be helpful in reminding you that there are many others with the same questions, concerns, and emotions that you have.
Best Wishes on Your Adoption Journey!
With adequate research about adoption laws, financial assistance, and the resources available to you through adoption agencies or private facilitators, you can be confident in your decision to adopt. Patience and a healthy support system are vital in this process, so try your best to have plenty of both. Navigating the adoption process can be an exciting time! There will likely be stressful and emotional moments, but there will be lots of fun and learning along the way as well. You may make lifelong connections with other families through your adoption classes, and you will definitely learn more about yourself as you undergo each step of the journey. In the meantime, prepare yourself for a lifetime of happiness as you wait for your newest family member. The first time you look into your baby’s eyes or see the grin on the face of your newly adopted child, you will realize that it was worth every minute.