Philadelphia Adoption Lawyer
Expanding your family through adoption is a rewarding experience that can change multiple lives for the better. However, it is important to remember that it involves a strict legal process. Compliance with the Pennsylvania laws and procedural rules is critical. Errors can lead to a failed adoption, increased costs, and legal hassles in the future. When it comes to something as important as your family, legal representation is essential.
At the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane, our team is ready to help with private adoptions, adoptions through agencies, international adoptions, and stepparent adoptions. We will handle the paperwork and court proceedings, so you can focus on welcoming your new member of the family. Please contact us today to schedule an initial consultation with a Philadelphia adoption lawyer. It is also useful to review some key points and an overview of the process.
Facts About Adoption in Pennsylvania
State laws on adoption cover who can adopt and be adopted, consents, parental rights, steps in the process, and many other legal requirements. To summarize:
- Any adult can adopt a child or adult. Plus, a minor can also adopt, often a younger sibling when both parents have passed away.
- If a married couple seeks adoption, both spouses must join in the adoption petition. If one spouse wants to adopt as an individual, he or she must get consent from the other.
- Both birth parents must consent to adoption of their child, unless a parent’s rights were already legally terminated.
- A birth father can consent at any time, even prior to the child’s birth. However, a mother cannot execute a consent until at least 72 hours after giving birth.
- Any adult and all children over 12 years old must consent to adoption.
- Pennsylvania laws allow for open adoption, in which the birth parents agree to be contacted by the child. They can also choose to not be contacted in a closed adoption.
Rights of Adoptive Parents
Once the process is finalized, adopting parents have the same rights as biological parents. There is no distinction when it comes to inheritances, public benefits, and the parents’ power to make responsible decisions on how to raise the child.
Note that these rights carry over into divorce proceedings if adoptive parents seek to end their marriage. This concept often comes as a shock in the situation of a divorce between the biological parent and a stepparent, but adoption laws are clear. Essentially, there is no stepparent, because he or she is already the legal, adoptive parent. Child custody, visitation, and support concepts do not change.
Legal Help with the Adoption Process
There are many variables that impact adoptions, especially considering the different types, multiple interested parties, and consents. Our Pennsylvania adoption attorney at the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane will handle all necessary tasks, including:
- Obtaining consents from biological parents, where applicable;
- Representing you in connection with termination of parental rights, both voluntary and involuntary;
- Coordinating the home study and supervisory visits;
- Preparing the petition for adoption, which requests the court approve the adoption and enter proper orders;
- Advocating for you at the adoption hearing and other court appearances required through adoption proceedings.
A Philadelphia Adoption Lawyer Can Advise You on the Process
As you can see from this summary about the legal concepts and requirements for adoption, legal help is crucial for ensuring a smooth process. You can count on the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane to tackle the important tasks, as our foundation has more than 35 years of experience representing families. Please contact us today to set up a consultation with a Philadelphia adoption lawyer who can explain details.