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ADOPTION IN
Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania

Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in Pennsylvania.

International Adoptions must be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here.

Foster Care Adoptions in Pennsylvania can be completed through the Department of Human Services.

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted.

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The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.


 

Can I Adopt in Pennsylvania?

Parents must be at least 21 years old to adopt or foster. You can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. You will have to attend 24 hours of parent preparation classes. All members of the household 18 and older will need to submit to background checks. Current physicals will need to be obtained from a doctor. The home will have to pass a safety check. Applicants will need to submit character references, as well a complete an adoption home study.

 

What Adoption Regulations Exist in Pennsylvania?

Advertising: A person or agency acting between parents and adoptive parents to place a child can only do so if a favorable home study has been completed by the adoptive parents. Intermediaries can only receive compensation for services in connection with reimbursement of hospital expenses, counseling, medical, legal, and agency related expenses. § 2102; 2530; 2533

 

Relinquishment: Birth parents must wait at least 72 hours after birth to consent to an adoption. Putative fathers may give consent at any time. Consent executed by a birth father becomes irrevocable 30 days after birth, or 30 days after consent, whichever occurs later. Consent executed by the birth mother becomes irrevocable more than 30 days after consent. Individuals who consent to an adoption may challenge the validity of the consent on the grounds that consent came under fraud or duress: 60 days after consent is given or after the birth of the child, whichever occurs later; 30 days after the final adoption decree. § 2711

 

Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may reimburse birth parents through a third party for the following expenses: birth related medical and hospital expenses; medical, hospital, and foster expenses prior to the decree of adoption. § 2533(d)

 

Post adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements become legally enforceable only when approved by the courts. § 2734(b); 2738; 2736

 

Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers may file with the Department of Public Welfare an acknowledgement of paternity with consent of the birth mother. If the birth mother refuses to consent, the Department of Public Welfare create a claim to paternity, and the birth father has no rights to the child other than receiving notice of adoption proceedings. § 5103  

Finalization: The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 9.2 months.

Review Pennsylvania adoption laws in detail.

 

Is Adoption Assistance Available in Pennsylvania?

Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Pennsylvania have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Pennsylvania, the maximum amount cannot exceed the foster care maintenance amount, which is determined by county and the needs of the child. For more information on adoption assistance please visit NACAC.org.

 

Can I adopt a Child from another country?

It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.

 

Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.

Readoption after a foreign adoption decree is an option in Pennsylvania, but not a requirement. Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their adopted child must submit either a readoption or recognition of foreign adoption decree.

 

State Contacts

 

Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=state&range=42

 

State subsidy contact person:

TaWonda Jones-Williams

Division of Fiscal Policy

Bureau of Budget & Fiscal Support

Office of Children, Youth & Families

Department of Public Welfare

Annex, Health & Welfare Bldg.

P. O. Box 2675

Harrisburg, PA 17105

Phone: 717-787-5199

Fax: 717-705-0364

Email: TJONESWILL@state.pa.us

http://www.dhs.pa.gov/

 

 

Summary

Adoptions in PA can be completed through the Department of Human Services.

 

Parents must be at least 21 years old to adopt. You can own or rent. You can be single, married, or divorced. Applicants will need to complete 24 hours of parenting classes.

A person or agency acting between parents and adoptive parents to place a child may only do so if a favorable home study has been completed. Birth parents must wait 72 hours to consent to an adoption. Individuals may challenge the validity of the consent on the grounds of fraud or duress up until 30 days after the final adoption decree.

 

Adoptive parents may reimburse birth mothers through a third party for birth related hospital, medical, and foster expenses up until the adoption decree.

A paternity registry does exist in PA for unmarried fathers, and contact agreements are legally enforceable when approved by the court.

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