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Frequently Asked Questions About Adoption

Is there a difference between adoption and legal guardianship?

The difference between the two is nuanced but important. In an adoption, the legal rights of the biological parents are severed entirely. Adoption is meant to be a permanent arrangement. Guardianship is temporary. Under guardianship, the biological parents maintain their legal rights. They may also be responsible for supplying child support.

How long does the adoption process take?

Since every child and every family situation is unique, each adoption process is unique and has a different timeline. The family profile or home study process in Pennsylvania can take up to 120 days, but this is just one aspect of the process. Speak with an adoption advocate about the specifics of your adoption to learn more about the factors that could affect your timeline.

Can I receive financial assistance for an adoption?

There are certainly ways to find assistance for the costs involved with adoption. You could be eligible for a loan through a national adoption advocacy group. The federal government also offers tax credits and exclusions for adopting parents as of 2001. You may also be able to receive adoption assistance through your employer or if you are currently serving in the military. Pennsylvania may provide financial support to certain families adopting a child with special needs.

Who has to provide consent for the adoption?

The biological parents of the child must provide consent, unless there is a valid reason for a court to cut off their parental rights. Pennsylvania requires that adults and children 12 years old or older must consent to their adoption. In cases of a married couple adopting a child, both married parties must consent to the adoption.

Does Pennsylvania restrict who can adopt a child?

In short, no. Adopting parties must complete a family profile, which often includes home visits and extensive interviews, before adoption.  As long as the adopting party goes through the correct channels and meets all the criteria for adoption, the state generally will not prevent an adult from adopting. However, adoptions may be restricted by the agency or professionals administering the adoption.

Contact Us To Learn More

If you have further questions or want to learn more about beginning the adoption process, contact Adoption Advocates, The Law Offices of Jay H. Ginsburg, P.C. to schedule a free consultation. Our team is committed to helping you understand adoption in Pennsylvania. Call us at 610-277-1999 or contact us online.