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Pennsylvania's laws on adoption

Although many states' family laws can make adoption difficult, Pennsylvania laws are some of the least restrictive. In Pennsylvania, not only are almost all adults free to adopt, but almost all people are capable of being adopted. An adult, for instance, may be adopted with provided consent.

In Pennsylvania, no adults are restricted from adopting. If one spouse chooses not to adopt, their significant other may still follow through with the process after their consent. The law even allows minors to adopt in certain cases, especially when an older sibling chooses to accept responsibility for a younger brother or sister. In most cases, unmarried adults in a cohabitation situation are not permitted to adopt; however, certain situations may warrant an exception under Pennsylvania law.

If birth parents agree to be contacted by the adopted children, the method of how that contact will happen and when it will occur varies from child to child. If the birth parents refuse to be contacted, this closed adoption will possibly require medical records for the child's future information.

Consent by the adopted person is required if the child is over 12 years of age. In many cases, the birth parents must also consent, although if the child is removed from the home, this requirement could be waived. Although Pennsylvania does not require adoptive parents to reside in the state, a temporary placement period may be required. Prospective parents looking to adopt may wish to speak with a family law attorney to ensure that they meet the qualifications when moving through the application process.

Source: Findlaw, "Pennsylvania Adoption Laws", December 04, 2014

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