If you live in Allentown and are considering adopting a child or placing a baby for adoption, your first question may be where to start. Fortunately, you can begin your adoption journey right in your hometown. The following page will give you information on Allentown adoption agencies, home study providers, hospitals, and more.
Adoption Agencies and Professionals in Allentown
There are a number of different kinds of adoption professionals you can work with during your adoption. Adoption agencies tend to be the most advantageous for many people because, unlike adoption facilitators or attorneys, they provide all of the services you will need.
Some of the adoption professionals you can contact in Allentown are listed below:
Become a Foster Parent in Allentown
If you would like to become a foster parent or adopt through foster care in Allentown, you must meet Pennsylvania’s requirements, which include:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Complete a home study
- Have a background check and a physical
- Provide references
- Complete required training
To learn more about foster care in Allentown, contact one of your nearby foster care agencies:
- Lehigh Valley Families Together
- Salvation Army – Eastern Pennsylvania & Delaware
- Pennsylvania Statewide Adoption & Permanency Network
Home Study Providers
For adoptive families, the home study is one of the most anticipated aspects of the adoption process. In order to complete the home study, you must find a social worker licensed in your state to conduct a background check, a home inspection, and interviews of your family. Once all of this is complete, you will be officially ready to adopt a child.
To get started on your home study, contact one of the following Pennsylvania-licensed home study professionals:
- Pinebrook Family Answers
For more than twenty years, Pinebrook Family Answers has helped families complete domestic, international, and special-needs adoptions.
- Caring Adoption Associates
This home study provider is run by a social worker and adoptive parent with extensive professional and personal experience in the world of adoption.
- Haven Adoptions
A licensed home study and adoption service provider, Haven Adoptions can conduct home studies as well as provide education and other pre- and post-placement services.
- Families United Network, Inc.
This Pennsylvania foster care and adoption agency is equipped to provide home studies for families residing in the state.
- La Vida International
A non-profit, Hague-accredited agency licensed in Pennsylvania, La Vida completes home studies for domestic adoptions and for international adoptions in various countries.
Hospitals near Allentown
At some point during a pregnancy, all women considering adoption must begin considering their hospital plan, as well. If you are preparing for your hospital stay, you will want to consider where you would like to have your baby, who you want to be there with you, how much time you would like with your baby before placement, and more. Your adoption specialist will be able to help you prepare for the big day, and you can also contact one of your nearby hospitals for more information:
- Lehigh Valley Hospital
1200 South Cedar Crest Blvd.
Allentown, PA 18103
- Sacred Heart Healthcare System
421 Chew Street
Allentown, PA 18102
Pennsylvania Adoption Law and Eligibility
Everyone who pursues adoption must abide by the laws set forth by their state. In order to learn more about adopting if you live in Allentown, visit our How to Adopt in Pennsylvania page.
Below, you can find a brief description of Pennsylvania consent laws for birth mothers and eligibility for adoptive families.
In order for an adoption to take place, both birth parents must give written consent after the baby is born. Pennsylvania consent laws require mothers to wait 72 hours after giving birth before signing relinquishment papers. This gives them ample time to recover from childbirth and make a final, legally binding decision.
The father of the child may consent to the adoption any time after being notified of the birth of the child. If he cannot be contacted, or his consent cannot be obtained for another reason, speak to your adoption professional.
In order to adopt, you must meet the basic eligibility requirements of the state in which you live. While some states have slightly more specific criteria, Pennsylvania law says that “any individual” can adopt a child. It’s important to remember that your adoption professional may have its own set of requirements for families, so keep this in mind when choosing a professional.
County Court Information
The last step of the adoption process is finalization, a legal process that will take place about six months after you take your baby home. After a series of post-placement visits from a social worker, you will be asked to appear in court to complete your adoption. To learn more about court proceedings in your area, you can visit the website for the Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas.
Things to Do in Allentown
Families adopting in Pennsylvania from out-of-state must remain in the state for 7-10 business days, which is the time necessary to complete legal clearances for interstate adoptions. If you are in Allentown during this time, here are some suggestions for things you can do: