For those considering adoption in Philadelphia, either as an expecting mother or a hopeful family, it can be difficult to find all of the education, resources, and professional guidance you need. The following collection of information will help you learn about adoption, find a professional, and complete the process from beginning to end.
Philadelphia Adoption Agencies and Adoption Professionals
If you choose to pursue adoption, you can do so with or without the help of an adoption agency. Adoption agencies are beneficial for both birth parents and adoptive families, as they provide all of the services you need in one place. Other types of adoption professionals include facilitators, lawyers, and law centers.
To learn more about some of the adoption professionals in or near Philadelphia, follow the links below:
- Adoption ARC
- Transitions Adoption
- National Adoption Center
- Open Arms Adoption Network
- Haven Adoptions
Foster Care Professionals in Philadelphia
The state of Pennsylvania has specific requirements for families who wish to become foster parents. If you are interested in pursuing foster parenting in Philadelphia, you must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Undergo a background check
- Attend training
- Pass a home inspection
- Obtain references from non-family members
- Have a current physical
- Create a family profile with a social worker
For more information about foster care and available children, contact one of the following Philadelphia foster care professionals or another agency near you:
- Children’s Service Inc.
- Lutheran Children and Family Service
- New Foundations, Inc.
- Children’s Choice
- First Home Care
Philadelphia Home Study Professionals
Adoptive families must complete a home study before they can be cleared to adopt. Issued by a state-licensed social worker, the home study ensures that your home environment is safe for a child. The process can take up to three months and includes a background check, a home inspection, and a series of interviews.
To begin your home study or find more information, see the following list of Pennsylvania home study providers:
As her due date approaches, a pregnant woman considering adoption must begin thinking about her hospital plan. By working with your adoption specialist and your healthcare provider, you can determine where and how you want to have your baby, who you want to be there with you, and how much time you’d like with your baby after delivery. To begin planning your hospital trip, talk with your adoption specialist, and learn more about some of the hospitals in your area:
- Einstein Medical Center Montgomery
559 West Germantown Pike
East Norriton, PA 19403
- Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
3400 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
- Jefferson University Hospital
833 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
- Methodist Hospital
2301 South Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19148
Pennsylvania Laws and Requirements to Adopt
All adoptions taking place in Philadelphia must comply with Pennsylvania adoption law. Each state has specific laws regarding adoption eligibility, how parental rights must be terminated, and when an adoption is legally valid. Your adoption professional can help you carry out your adoption in accordance with state laws.
To learn more about Pennsylvania adoption, visit our page on How to Adopt in Pennsylvania. For an overview on the legal processes that pertain to birth parents and adoptive families, read the sections below.
After you have your baby, you will need to give written consent to the adoption in order for it to be legally valid. To protect you from making a decision while in a compromised state, the state of Pennsylvania requires that you wait 72 hours after giving birth before terminating your parental rights.
The father of the child may consent to the adoption at any time. If he cannot be contacted or will not consent to the adoption for another reason, speak with your adoption professional about your options. In many cases, you can continue with your adoption plan without the father’s written consent.
For more information on parental consent, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
As you begin considering adoption in the Philadelphia area, you should become familiar with Pennsylvania’s adoption requirements. While every state’s laws differ somewhat, the state of Pennsylvania allows all individuals to adopt, provided that they complete a home study.
In addition to state laws, you must meet the eligibility requirements of your adoption professional. Each adoption agency’s guidelines are unique to their needs and values; for example, a religiously affiliated professional may require you to actively practice that religion. Be sure to research your adoption professionals and their requirements before you choose to work with one.
County District Court Information
After you take your child home, you will need to wait about six months for your adoption to be finalized. During this time, a social worker will conduct a number of post-placement visits to ensure that you and your child are adjusting well. Afterwards, you will appear in court to finalize your adoption.
You can find more information about your local courts at The Philadelphia Courts website.
Things to Do in Philadelphia
If you are adopting in Philadelphia from out-of-state, you will need to remain in Pennsylvania for 7-10 business days while you wait for legal clearances to go through. While you wait, here are some things you can do in Philadelphia: