Pennsylvania Family Law and Divorce
Lisa Marie Vari & Associates, P.C.

Questions About Adoption

There are many considerations to undergo when thinking about adoption. Below are a few important answers to a few common questions. 

How much does Adoption cost?

It is illegal to buy a baby. The most common permissible expenses include legal fees and the cost of the overall adoption proceeding.

Adopting a child through a private agency or an attorney can range from a few thousands dollars to tens of thousands of dollars with an upward range for forty thousand. Conversely, adopting a child through a state run program will not cost prospective parents much if anything at all. Most times, these parents will be provided assistance once they have the child. International adoptions are by and large the most expensive due to specific documentation needed and travel costs. 

What are stepparent rights?

First, if the natural parent has not been involved with the child for over six months, then the stepparent and other natural parent may petition for the termination of the absent natural parent's rights. After this, the stepparent will need the consent of the child, if over the age of twelve, the stepparent's spouse, the surviving parent or parents of the adoptee, or the guardian of the adoptee who is either under the age of eighteen or incapacitated.

Can foster parents automatically adopt a foster child in their care?

The answer to this question is no. Foster parents do not have automatic standing to file for adoption of children in their care. To gain the right to file, the foster parent can seek the approval of the agency that placed the child. The foster parent can also establish their standing as in loco parentis to the child, which means they have been acting as a primary custodian for a long enough duration that they are virtually mom and/or dad. 

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