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

Pennsylvania Family Law Topic of the Week: Adoption

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Unlike most other family law cases we handle in adoptions we are able to help build new families, and for us this is an amazing experience. Most think of adoptions as involving small children, but that is not always the case. Adoption can occur in many different circumstances. One of the most important aspects of adoption in Pennsylvania involves getting the proper consent from the proper parties. To learn more about Pennsylvania adoption continue reading our blog of the day.

Anyone may be adopted in the state of Pennsylvania, regardless of their age or who the person is currently living with. If the adoptee is over 12 years old, then the adoptee must consent to his or her adoption. In order to effectuate an adoption, notice and a hearing at a time fixed by the court must be given to all persons whose consent is required for the adoption. In the event that a person cannot be located or notice cannot be given, often a Motion for Publication must be included, allowing the attorney to publish notice in the newspaper or equivalent publication in order to effectuate notice.

In general, consent is required from:

  • The spouse of the adopting parent (unless she joins in the petition)
  • The parents or surviving parent of an adoptee under 18 years of age
  • The guardian of an incompetent adoptee
  • The guardian of the person or custodian of an adoptee under 18 years of age (if there are no parents)
  • The husband of the natural mother of the adoptee, if he was her husband at any time within one year prior to the birth of the adoptee, unless it is proved to the satisfaction of the court, after notice to the husband, that he is not the child's natural father
  • The child welfare services agency with legal custody of the child, when adoption is sought by Foster Parents

After a person is adopted, the adoptive parents replace the child's natural or biological parents. All of the legal ramifications of the parent-child relationship exist between the adoptee and his/her adopted parents and no legal parent-child relationship exists between the adoptee and his/her biological or natural parents.

If a person is adopted by his/her stepparent, the parent-child relationship is not altered as to the real parent in the marriage by the change in status of the spouse from stepparent to parent. With stepparent adoptions, there also must be a Termination of Parental Rights of the Natural Parent before a stepparent can properly adopt in the State of Pennsylvania.

If you are interested in an adoption or learning more about the process, contact our Pennsylvania adoption lawyers at Lisa Marie Vari & Associates. 

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