If you are thinking about adopting a baby to live with your family in Pennsylvania, that is wonderful news, and you are to be commended for your commitment to being willing to provide love and care for a child as he or she grows up. Adoption, however, is by definition a legal matter, and there are a number of legal issues that you may need to address before the adoption can be finalized, and such issues may even arise after the adoption is finalized.
It should go without saying that adoption is also a heavily emotional process for all involved, and so making sure that the legal issues are addressed skillfully and comprehensively with the assistance of an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney can be critical to the ongoing success of the adoption process.
Here are a few legal issues that may arise with your Pennsylvania adoption.
Working With the Birth Parents to Gain Consent
Most infant adoptions will involve the consent of the birth mother, and in many cases the birth father as well. In Pennsylvania, the mother can only provide consent to the adoption 72 hours after the birth of the child, and this consent can be revoked for 30 days after the signing of the consent, although this can be extended if there was fraud or duress in obtaining the consent. Separate time windows apply to the father’s ability to give and revoke consent to the adoption.
Working With an Adoption Facilitator
Many couples find that working with an adoption facilitator, such as an agency, is the best way to conduct an adoption, but even here it can be important to work with your own attorney to ensure that your adoption meets all state legal requirements, which can include limits on the types of payments that can be made to the facilitator and required findings on the suitability of the adoptive home.
Living Expenses During the Pregnancy
State law limits the types of payments that can be made to a birth mother as part of an adoption, as the state wants to avoid situations in which a person is “selling” their baby to another family in exchange for payment. Pennsylvania law limits payments to the birth mother for certain types of medical and legal costs, and you may need to work with court overseers in demonstrating the propriety of your payments.
A post-adoption contract usually refers to an agreement between the birth parents and the adoptive parents regarding ongoing contact with the child after the adoption. Such contracts can be tricky to enforce, and so it will be important to work with a family law attorney to fully understand the ramifications of what you are agreeing and your options should the situation change.
Foreign Adoption Issues
If you completed an adoption in another country, it may also be necessary to work with a Pennsylvania adoption attorney to ensure that the adoption is recognized and enforceable in Pennsylvania.
Get Help With Your PA Family Law Matter Today
At The Martin Law Firm, P.C., our family law team works with men and women across Southeastern Pennsylvania in family law matters, including adoption, and we are committed to serving your needs in a compassionate and efficient manner. Call us today for a no-hassle consultation regarding any questions you have about adoption in Pennsylvania.