Adoption Attorneys in Allison Park, Wexford, and Cranberry, Pennsylvania
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, over 2,000 children and youth were successfully adopted in 2020. Each and every child deserves a safe, loving, and nurturing home. The adoption process gives many children a new chance at life while strengthening family bonds.
When an individual or couple seeks to adopt, they must make many decisions. While the process may be relatively straightforward in some situations, in others, it can be more complex. An experienced adoption attorney can assist you during this life-changing journey.
Our team at Iwanyshyn & Associates brings decades of legal experience and a compassionate, nuanced approach to each of our client’s family law matters. We are proud to represent individuals and families in Allison Park, Pittsburgh, Wexford, Cranberry, and Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, as well as neighboring areas.
Types of Adoption
There are several different types of adoption available to Pennsylvania residents, including state adoption, private adoption, international adoption, step-parent adoption, adult adoption, and surrogacy.
To adopt a child or children through the state, it is useful to consult the Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network, which maintains a list of children who are waiting to be adopted. The children in this network are in the custody of either a county or a youth agency. An experienced family law attorney can help you navigate a state adoption.
Adopting a child through a private agency is another available option in Pennsylvania. It is possible to adopt a child from another state or to arrange an adoption with a couple who is expecting through private adoption.
In international adoption, a child is adopted from a country other than where the adoptive parent or parents live. That child is then brought to their country of residence to live with them permanently.
Step-parents also have the right to adopt their spouse’s child with the child’s consent if he or she is 12 years old or older. To learn more about a step-parent adoption, speak with an experienced family law attorney.
You can adopt a legal adult in Pennsylvania if the adult gives his or her consent. It is also possible to petition for a name change during an adult adoption.
Many couples are interested in enlisting a surrogate mother to carry and deliver their child. During this emotional and legally complex situation, it is important to have the guidance of an experienced family law attorney.
Pennsylvania Adoption Laws
Before beginning your adoption journey, you may want to explore the basics of Pennsylvania adoption law.
Who Can Adopt?
In Pennsylvania, there is no age limit or marriage requirement regarding individuals who want to adopt. Instead, an adoptive parent must successfully complete the home study process and meet the adoption requirements of their adoption professional.
Who Can Be Adopted?
Infants can be adopted. A mother can voluntarily terminate her parental rights 72 hours after the birth of the infant. At that point, she can also offer her consent to the adoption. Birth fathers are allowed to offer their consent at any time prior to the birth. There may be further steps required to establish that consent was given.
Minor children can also be adopted. When a minor child is adopted, their biological parents must terminate their parental rights. Otherwise, that child is not eligible for adoption in Pennsylvania.
Is Consent Required?
A child who is 12 years old or older, as well as an adult, cannot be adopted unless he or she gives consent.
Overview of the Adoption Process
Your adoption process will vary depending on the type of adoption you choose to pursue. Typically, there are eight steps to the state adoption process in Pennsylvania:
Choosing an agency
Completing a family profile
Matching with a child
Placement and placement supervision
These steps will be different outside of the state system; for instance, there will be further actions required if you are choosing to adopt a child from abroad or if you are enlisting the help of a surrogate.
How an Adoption Attorney Can Help
An adoption attorney is an essential part of this exciting and life-changing journey. To be confident that your rights are protected, you need an expert who knows the law. An adoption attorney can also help you with problems that may arise if someone changes their mind or asks for something outside the original agreement.
Adoption Attorneys Serving Allison Park, Pennsylvania
Adding a new member to your family is an incredible joy. An experienced adoption attorney can advocate for you every step of the way. At Iwanyshyn & Associates, we put our decades of legal experience to work optimizing the best outcome for your family. Our firm is proud to represent clients in Allison Park, Pittsburgh, Wexford, Cranberry, and Gibsonia, Pennsylvania. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.