Pennsylvania Adoption Laws and Regulations

Pennsylvania Adoption Laws and Regulations

When adopting a child, it’s important to become familiar with your state’s adoption laws and guidelines. Each state in the U.S. has its own variations of rules and regulations that must be followed throughout the adoption process. If you are adopting a child from a different state, it may be helpful to learn about both states’ laws.

With four offices in Pennsylvania, AFTH makes sure our families acknowledge and understand Pennsylvania laws and policies as well as the other states they may receive a placement from.

When can consents/surrenders be signed by the birth parents?

In Pennsylvania, a birth mother can sign a consent 72 hours after birth. A birth father can sign anytime, before or after birth.

How long is the revocation period?

A birth parent may withdraw his or her consent to an adoption up to 30 days after signing consent. After 30 days, it becomes irrevocable unless there is evidence consent was obtained through fraud.

Is there a putative father registry?

Yes. Unmarried males are able to document any female they had intercourse with through a notary public. Putative fathers will be notified if a motion to terminate their parental rights as a part of adoption proceedings are filed for a child they have fathered.

A putative father may execute a consent to adoption at any time after receiving notice of the expected or actual birth of the child. If a putative father fails to file acknowledgment of paternity, appear at the adoption hearing, or all efforts to find the birth father have been exhausted, the court may enter a decree terminating parental rights of the father.

What are the home study requirements?

Home studies must be updated annually and current at the time of placement and time of finalization. The original home study can be updated twice, once it is a 3 years old, a new original home study must be completed.


  • State and child abuse clearances are required for anyone in the household that is over the age of 14.
  • Anyone who is over the age of 18 is required to submit an FBI clearance annually.
  • If applicants have lived out of Pennsylvania within the last 5 years, they are required to submit an Adam Walsh clearance.

Post Placement Requirements

  • 3 visits required
  • At least 1 visit in the home with all family members present
  • First placement visit must occur within 14 days of placement

By |2017-01-25T09:52:27-05:00January 25th, 2017|Adoptions, News & Announcements|Comments Off on Pennsylvania Adoption Laws and Regulations

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