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We value our professional relationships with colleagues who work in hospital and clinic settings. We have learned a lot from you, and we hope that we can provide you with valuable information as well. We hope you will use this page as a resource for information you need.

Frequently Asked Questions about
Pennsylvania Adoption Law

When can a birth mother be asked to sign a consent?
She must wait at least 72 hours after the birth of her baby.

When can a birth father be asked to sign a consent?
Anytime after he learns of the pregnancy of the birth mother. In other words, he does not have to wait until after the baby is born.

How long do birth parents have to change
their mind, or revoke their consents?

In the case of the birth mother, she has 30 days from the date she signed her consent. In the case of the birth father, he has 30 days from the signing of his consent, or 30 days after the birth of the baby, whichever occurs later.

Is a court hearing needed to terminate parental rights of birth parents?
Yes. This occurs usually 2-4 months after the birth of the baby. Most of the time, it is not necessary for the birth parents to be present at the hearing. The adoptive family and baby are not present at this hearing.

If a birth father does not sign a consent, can the adoption still occur?
Yes. So long as he does not actively oppose the adoption, it can still proceed. A birth father does not have to sign a consent, appear before a court, or do anything else for that matter, in order for an adoption to take place. However, if he opposes the adoption in certain legally prescribed ways, he can prevent the adoption from occurring.

If a birth parent is under the age of 18, does she/he need the consent of her parent(s) to place a baby for adoption?
No. The law no longer requires the consent of the parent of the birth parent. However, the parents of the birth parent(s) have the right to be notified of any proceedings that would terminate the parental rights of the birth parents. If the baby’s biological grandparent opposed the adoption, the Judge hearing the case would have the discretion to either prevent the adoption from occurring, or allow it to move forward.

Is it required that adoptive families be screened before a baby is placed with them?
Yes. The law requires that the prospective adoptive family have an approved homestudy before a child can be placed into their home. This homestudy requires child abuse and criminal history clearances, 3 letters of reference, medical clearances, financial information, and autobiographical information. The social worker meets with the family at least 3 separate times before the homestudy is written.

If you have further questions, please feel free to call us, or e-mail us, and we would be more than happy to answer them. By the same token, if you feel it would benefit your workplace for us to do an in-service on adoption, or an in-service on legal issues surrounding adoption, we would be more than happy to do so.

 

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