Philadelphia Adoption Lawyer
Are you considering adopting? Adoption is a rewarding process that can allow an adult to become the legal parent of someone who is not his or her biological child. However, it can also be a fairly complicated endeavor as the adopting parent must be approved and the biological parent is certainly a significant factor. If you are considering adopting or have already begun the process, you should seriously consider hiring an experienced Family Law Attorney to assist you.
How Does a Child Become Available for Adoption?
If the biological parent of the child is living and maintains parental rights of a child, the parent may terminate their rights to the child either through voluntary termination of parental rights or involuntary termination of parental rights.
Voluntary termination of parental rights: The parent chooses to give up their parental rights to the child.
Involuntary termination of parental rights: Upon filing of a petition by an appropriate party, the court may terminate a parent's rights based upon: the neglect of the child, the abuse of the child, the father not being the biological father, the abandonment of the child, the parent having raped the other parent during conception, the parent committing a crime against a child, and other reasons as explained in Title 23.
In order for the child to be given up for adoption, both parents must consent. A parent may not surrender another parent's rights in regards to keeping the child. In order for the consent to be valid, it must be made in writing and must be effectuated in the presence of either a judge or a notary.
However, it is not always the case that both the biological parents of the child are available for the termination of parental rights or consent to termination. If it is the case that the biological parents have already had their parental rights terminated or they are deceased, then consent to a cessation of parental rights and an adoption may be given by: an agency or person with legal custody of the child, a guardian, a court with jurisdiction over the child, or a close relative of the child.
What is the Adoption Process?
In Pennsylvania, all adoptions are governed by Title 23. In accordance with the statute, any adult individual may become an adopting parent so long as they qualify upon a check of their Criminal History Record and a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance. Furthermore, any individual may be adopted, regardless of age.
In order to begin the adoption process, a petition for adoption and a petition for the termination of parental rights must be filed. Next, a hearing must be scheduled before a Judge. It is required that notice of this hearing be provided to the parent whose rights are being terminated. Lastly, a hearing is held and the court will render a decision based upon the results of the hearing.
Why Do I Need a Lawyer?
All parties to such an action should retain an attorney. The well-being of a child and the rights of the parents are too important to treat lightly. Whether you are seeking to adopt a child, or someone has asked the court to terminate your parental rights, you should retain an experienced family law attorney to ensure the process is handled correctly. Our family law attorneys at Greg Prosmushkin, P.C. have successfully handled hundreds of adoption cases and have the experience and the knowledge required to guide you through this delicate and complex process.
This content was written on behalf of Greg Prosmushkin.