What Are the State Laws for Adoption in Pennsylvania?


Quick Answer

Pennsylvania allows married couples and singles to adopt children, according to FindLaw. In the absence of a child-related crime record, any adult over 21 years of age with a good salary and a house is eligible to adopt a child in Pennsylvania, states Adoption.com.

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Full Answer

Pennsylvania has very few adoption restrictions, although unmarried couples are only allowed to adopt in exceptional cases, according to FindLaw. There is no residency requirement for adoption in Pennsylvania. Minors are eligible to adopt siblings. If a married couple wishes to adopt, both spouses should adopt together and provide mutual consent.

If the adopted child is over 12 years of age, the child’s consent is required prior to the adoption. In the case of a child with birth parents who are willing to let their child be adopted, their consent is also crucial, according to FindLaw. The Pennsylvania State-wide Adoption Network (SWAN) facilitates the adoption of children with special needs and older children. The adoptive parents must attend 24 hours of child handling and training before the adoption of a child with special needs, states Adoption.com.

If a pregnant woman cannot afford to keep her child or is unwilling to go through the adoption process, Pennsylvania's safe haven law allows the mother to leave the child at the hospital, states Adoption.com. After the child is adopted, if the birth parents, the adoptive parents and the adopted child wish for a legal reunion, they must first register the adopted child on the Pennsylvania Adoption Registry.

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