Adoptions From The Heart (AFTH) would like to take a minute to share the Adoption Laws and Regulation in Pennsylvania. AFTH currently has a network of social workers serving areas in and around Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and Harrisburg. The agency headquarters is located in Wynnewood, PA. Now let’s dive into the rules and regulations of PA!
- There is no minimum age requirement to adopt in PA. Although the state does not have a legal mandatory age range to adopt, private agencies are at liberty to create their own age range criteria. At AFTH a prospective adoptive parent must be between 23-50 years old.
Do PA Adoption Laws Require Couples to be Married?
- No, prospective adoptive parents do not have to marry to adopt in PA. On this note, single persons are eligible to adopt too.
- If a married person pursues adoption in PA they must adopt the child together with their spouse. The only way one spouse can fully adopt the child is if the other spouse gives them legal consent to do so.
Can Same-Sex Couples Adopt in Pennsylvania?
- Yes! There are no rules that prohibit the LGBTQ community from adopting a child in PA.
Home Study Requirements:
- Home studies must be updated annually and current at the time of placement and finalization.
- The original home study can be updated twice. After three years a new home study must be completed.
Adoptive Parent Clearances:
- PA law requires state and child abuse clearances for anyone in the house over 14.
- PA law requires anyone over the age of 18 years-old to submit an FBI clearance annually.
- If an applicant lived outside the state of Pennsylvania within the last five years, they are required to submit an Adam Walsh Clearance.
Additional Requirements to Adopt a Child in the State of Pennsylvania:
- All prospective adoptive parents must provide an agency with medical statements indicating they are physically and mentally capable to raise a child.
At What Time can Birth Parents sign Their Consents/Surrenders?
- In PA a birth mother can sign a consent form 72 hours after delivering her child.
- In PA a putative birth father can sign his consent at any time before or after the child is born.
* The court may enter a decree to terminate a putative birth father’s parental under the following circumstances: fails to acknowledge paternity, appear at adoption hearing and all other efforts to locate him have been exhausted.
Does Pennsylvania have a Birth Parent Revocation Period?
- Yes, a birth parent in PA has the right to legally reclaim their rights within a 30 day period after signing their consent. Once the 30 day revocation period ends the placement is irrevocable. After 30 days the only opportunity a birth parent has at reclaiming their rights is in the event that consent was obtained through fraud.