Deciding to adopt is one of the most loving decisions you can make. It’s an opportunity to expand your family while providing a loving home for a child in need of one. On the surface, Pennsylvania has one of the least restrictive adoption systems in the country. Under Pennsylvania laws, anyone can adopt and any child can be adopted. Even some adults can be adopted. There are no residency requirements.
However, as many prospective parents find out, many factors can complicate the adoption process. For instance, unmarried couples may have a hard time adopting in Pennsylvania. In the past, some GLBT couples have also struggled to adopt.
Prospective parents and families have to undergo an extensive and sometimes invasive screening process. Any past criminal convictions can hamper the ability of a couple to adopt. In addition, parental rights usually have to be surrendered by the birth parents before an adoption can take place. Depending on the specifics of an adoption, this can become quite complicated.
Your Options When Adopting
When adopting in Pennsylvania, you have a few options, including:
- International adoptions: International adoptions allow you to adopt a child from overseas. This type of adoption requires working with an adoption attorney in Berks County or your community, since immigration issues, as well as international laws, may affect the process.
- Agency adoptions: In this adoption, an agency will oversee the adoption process. Some agencies are private while others are not-for-profit. Some specialize in domestic adoptions while others offer international adoptions.
- Private adoptions: Private adoptions can involve adopting directly from birth parents or a private agency. Working with an adoption attorney in Reading, PA or your area is important in these types of adoptions, since the paperwork and situations involved can be complex.
For example, if a spouse wants to adopt your child from a previous marriage, it’s important to get consent or the proper paperwork to dissolve parental rights from the biological parent. A stepparent adoption attorney in Berks County or your community can help with this process and ensure the adoption is legal. If there are problems with family dynamics, a stepparent adoption attorney in Reading can offer legal advice.
What an Adoption Attorney in Reading, PA Can Do for You
When you hire an adoption or stepparent adoption attorney in Reading, PA, your attorney will be a valuable resource. They can advise you on the adoption process, especially if you feel you are being discriminated against. They can represent you and help you complete the paperwork. They can also help you file for adoption support and address any challenges along the way.
Sometimes, the adoption process can take years. Miller Law Group would like to offer our guidance and legal representation. If you are considering adopting and would like support through the screening, selection and filing process, contact the attorneys at Miller Law Group for a consultation.