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Pennsylvania Adoption Lawyers

Types of Adoption

There are several types of adoption available to parents in Pennsylvania. Some of the most common types of adoption are as follows:

  • Domestic Adoption: Domestic adoption is when parents living in the United States adopt a child who is also living within the United States. There are two types of domestic adoption: open and closed. Closed adoption is when the child’s biological and adoptive parents do not know each other and do not have contact with each other. This is perhaps the most common type of adoption. Open adoption is when both sets of parents know each other and both sets of parents play a role in the child’s life.
  • International Adoption: International adoption is when parents living in the United States adopt a child who is living in another country. This process is often more complex than that of domestic adoption, frequently requiring trips to and from the child’s home country.
  • Step-Parent Adoption: Typically, this is the most straightforward type of adoption, as the step-parent and child presumably already share a history and bond with one another.

The Adoption Process in Pennsylvania

The adoption process is sometimes long and confusing, so it is best to retain a seasoned attorney. To start, you will select an adoption agency and apply to adopt a child with that agency. You will then likely have to work with an adoption official to complete a Family Profile, which is essentially several meetings wherein the official will teach you about the many joys (and potential challenges) of adopting a child, and how you can best respond to those challenges.

As long as you are approved by the adoption agency, they will share your Family Profile with other agencies responsible for the waiting children and will notify you once they have found a potential match, based on the child’s characteristics and your family characteristics. You will be notified once a potential match has been found and you can attend a pre-placement visit, wherein you will spend time with and get to know the child. If you are both ready to move forward, the child will move into your home, under supervision, typically for six months.

As long as the adoption has proven successful and the child seems well-adjusted and integrated into your family after the specified supervised time period, you can apply for the finalization of the adoption. You will attend a court hearing, wherein the judge will review information about you, your family, and the child, ensure all paperwork is in order, and, as long as everything checks out, finalize the adoption.

Adopting a child is one of the best ways for a person to expand their family and help a child become a part of something bigger. Although the process is incredibly rewarding, it is important to hire a knowledgeable and compassionate adoption lawyer who can help ensure a smooth transition, both for you and your new child. Speak with Berman Voss for help in this process.

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