What Is Adoption Law in Pennsylvania

§ 2732 Definitions. The following words and expressions, when used in this sub-chapter, have the meaning assigned to them in this section, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise: „Agency”. A public or private entity, including a district authority, that: (1) is licensed, supervised or regulated by the Department of Public Welfare; and (2) provides adoption services. „Agreement”. A voluntary written agreement between an adoptive parent and a biological parent, approved by a court, that provides for the continuation of contact or communication between the child and the biological parent or between the adoptive parent and the biological parent in accordance with this subchapter. „Birth parent.” A parent, grandparent, step-parent, sibling, uncle or aunt in the child`s biological family, whether the relationship is by blood, marriage or adoption. „Child.” A person under 18 years of age. „County Agency.” A county child and youth social service established under section 405 of the Act of June 24, 1937 (P.L.2017, No. 396), known as the District of County Institutions Act, or its successor, and overseen by the Department of Social Welfare under Section IX of the Act of June 13, 1967 (P.L.31, No. 21), known as the Public Social Welfare Code. „Department.” The Commonwealth Department of Public Welfare.

Expenses requested for prospective biological parents are reviewed by Pennsylvania courts, and any expenses deemed „excessive” or „unnecessary” cannot be paid by the adoptive family. Any form of payment, including money, gifts or favours in exchange for placing a child up for adoption, is strictly illegal. SUBCHAPTER B — CONSENTS § 2711. Consents required for adoption. § 2712 Consents in which the adoptive parents are not mentioned. § 2713 If further consents are not required. § 2714 If the consent of the parent is not required. § 2735 Submission and approval of an agreement. (a) As a general rule.–An agreement is submitted to the court, which completes the adoption of the child. (b) Conditions of Approval.–The court approves the agreement if it determines that: (1) The agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily by all parties. An affidavit made under oath must be attached to the agreement confirming that the agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily and that it is not the product of coercion, fraud or coercion. The affidavit may be submitted jointly or separately.

(2) The agreement is in the best interests of the child. In making this decision, factors that the court may consider may include: (i) the actual length of care, custody and control of a person other than a biological parent and the circumstances involved. (ii) The interaction of the child with biological parents and others who regularly interact with the biological parents and who may have a significant impact on the best interests of the child. (iii) Adaptation to the child`s home, school and community. (iv) The will and capacity of the birth in terms of respect for and appreciation of the relationship between the child and the prospective adoptive parent. (v) The willingness and ability of the prospective adoptive parent to respect and appreciate the relationship between the child and the biological parent. (vi) Evidence of child abuse or neglect. (c) Legal Effect.–An agreement is legally enforceable only if it has been approved by the court.

§ 2558 Retroactive application of the subchapter. This subchapter applies retroactively to all children for whom: (1) parental rights have expired and for whom no notice of intention to adopt has been filed with the Court of Common Pleas. (2) The restoration of the biological family is neither possible nor appropriate, an application for termination of parental authority has been made and adoption is planned until one or more adoptive parents are identified. „Adopted.” A person proposed for acceptance. „Agency.” Any registered or incapacitated or unfit public or voluntary organization, enterprise, institution or other public or voluntary entity that may receive or care for children, that is supervised by the Ministry of Public Welfare and provides adoption services in accordance with the standards established by the Ministry. „Registrar.” The Registrar of the General Causes of Claims Division of the Court who is responsible for voluntary waiver, involuntary dismissal and adoption proceedings. „Court.” The Court of Common Pleas. „Intermediaries”. Any person or person or body acting between the parent(s) and the proposed adoptive parent(s) to arrange the adoption placement.

„Medical history information.” Medical records and other information about an adopted person or their biological family that are relevant to the adopted person`s current or future health care or medical treatment. The term includes: (1) otherwise confidential or privileged information, provided that the identifying content has been removed in accordance with Article 2909 (relating to medical history information); and (2) information about birth parents that may be relevant to a potential hereditary or congenital medical condition. „Newborn.” A child who is six months of age or younger at the time of filing an application in accordance with Chapter 25 (with regard to pre-application procedures). „Parents.” Including the adoptive parent. § 2554 Tasks of PACE. PACE is responsible for: (1) the registration of adoptive parents approved by the agencies. (2) Accumulation and dissemination of statistical data on all children registered with PACE. (3) Establish and manage a public information programme to inform potential adoptive parents of the need for adoptive homes for children registered with PACE. (4) Creation and distribution of a photographic registration service for children registered with PACE.

(5) Preparation of annual reports on PACE`s functions with regard to children and expectant parents listed in PACE. . . .