Adoption is a process that can have many twists and turns. The steps and procedures may be overwhelming for anyone going through it for the first time, especially in the case of a private adoption.
A private adoption does not require adopting parents to go through an agency to adopt a child they already know or one through a birth mother. It follows a different path than one for an agency adoption, potentially involving more complicated legal requirements. Fortunately, an experienced Pennsylvania family law attorney can make the private adoption process much easier.
The role of an adoption attorney involves more than filing vital paperwork; it includes advocating for you through the adoption proceedings and making sure things stay on course. This advocacy is done with a thorough an understanding of your interests as well as knowing Pennsylvania adoption laws, rules, and regulations.
If you’re wondering how a Pennsylvania family law attorney can make an adoption easier, review some key areas where his or her services make a difference:
Adopting parents must have an investigation done with a review of records related to their criminal background history, Pennsylvania clearances, and FBI clearances. Be prepared for things like being fingerprinted and a Pennsylvania State Police criminal background check. An experienced attorney helps to address concerns about the clearance process, including resolving issues that may delay or prevent adoption.
Keeping Things on Track
A private adoption is a multi-step process where things need to happen in succession for it to move forward, including parental right termination proceedings and adoption proceedings. A savvy attorney can see what lies ahead and avoid extra work and headaches.
Presence in Court
Private adoptions may require multiple appearances in court, which can intimidate people. An attorney helps to navigate that process and builds confidence when bringing a case before a judge. If the process gets complicated, such as birth parents challenging the termination of parental rights and adoption, you need a strong advocate for your interests and rights. An adoption attorney can help you avoid potentially putting your adoption plans on hold.
Managing Parental Rights
Under Pennsylvania law, adoption may not occur until the rights of the biological parents have been terminated. Terminating birth parents’ parental rights and assigning new parental rights to the adoptive parents involve legal proceedings surrounded by strong emotions. An attorney can help ease tensions between adoptive parents and birth parents. Court action will be required to seek a termination of parental rights.
The stakes in an adoption case are very high, so you want an experienced, licensed attorney who knows family and adoption law. For more information on private adoptions and other types of adoptions, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 412-261-4040.