West Chester Adoptions Attorney Helps Families of All Kinds
Providing more than 25 years of experience with the adoption process
The process of adopting a child is joyous, yet often emotionally and financially taxing. The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas goes to great lengths to help you complete your family and resolve any issues that may arise. Whether you’re just getting started on your journey of adopting a child or are trying to preserve your parental rights, the attorneys at this West Chester firm are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal system efficiently.
Understanding the different types of adoptions that are available and how they affect your family
There are several different types of adoption available in Pennsylvania, including:
- Agency adoptions — Adoption agencies match families and children and provide assistance with complying with Pennsylvania legal requirements such as home studies.
- Independent adoptions — Families choosing to adopt without the assistance of an agency can work directly with the birth parents; however, independent adoptions carry an increased risk of conflicts and legal hurdles.
- International adoptions — International adoptions are the most complicated form, and adoptive families must comply with Pennsylvania law and the laws of the child’s home country.
- Open adoptions — An open adoption allows birth parents to enter into enforceable contracts with adoptive families and preserve contact with the child.
- Closed adoptions — Closed adoptions seal all adoption records. A child or adoptive family that wishes to open legal records must go through appropriate legal channels.
- Stepparent adoptions — The main hurdle associated with stepparent adoptions is obtaining consent from the other biological parent. The law imposes specific notice requirements and the process can be time-consuming and complicated. A biological parent can refuse to provide consent, and the court only terminates parental rights in extreme cases.
- Same-sex adoptions — Under Pennsylvania law, any type of couple may become adopting parents.
Each type of adoption presents unique child custody challenges and legal questions. Advice from a West Chester family law attorney can make the process easier.
Who must consent to an adoption?
The general rule in Pennsylvania is that consent is required from:
- The adoptee, if over 12 years old
- The spouse of the adopting parent, unless the person joins in the adoption petition
- The surviving parent or parents of an adoptee less than 18 years old unless parental rights have been terminated
- The guardian of an incapacitated adoptee
- The guardian or custodian of an adoptee under 18 years of age
Consent is not valid if it is given with 72 hours before or after the child’s birth. A birth mother’s consent is irrevocable more than 30 days after execution of the consent. A birth or putative father’s consent is irrevocable more than 30 days after the birth of the child or execution of the consent, whichever event occurs later.
Get compassionate, family-centered West Chester adoption law help
The Law Office of Marta S. Laynas works tirelessly to help clients complete and protect their families. Call 610-692-3460 or contact the firm online to get solid legal answers to all your adoption questions. The office is conveniently located in the township of West Chester.