Families hoping to adopt or pregnant women considering adoption may be unsure of what resources are available to them in the Pittsburgh area. Here, you can find everything you need to know to complete your Pittsburgh adoption from start to finish.
Read on to find information about Pittsburgh adoption and foster care professionals, home study providers, hospitals, and more.
Pittsburgh Adoption Agencies and Professionals
Adoption agencies are full-service professionals who can help birth parents and adoptive families with matching, counseling, home studies, and any other adoption-related needs. Not everyone chooses to work with an adoption agency, and you have the option of completing an independent adoption; keep in mind, however, that you must have an attorney to complete your adoption.
Here are just a few of the adoption agencies and other adoption professionals in the Pittsburgh area:
- The Children’s Home of Pittsburgh & Lemieux Family Center
- Genesis of Pittsburgh
- Adoptions from the Heart
- Pittsburgh Divorce & Family Law
Foster Care Professionals in Pittsburgh
If you are hoping to adopt an older child, you may want to adopt through the foster care system. In order to become a foster parent in Pittsburgh, you must meet the following requirements:
- Attend up to 24 hours of training
- Complete all required background checks
- Provide a current physical and references
- Complete a home study and inspection
To learn more about foster care requirements and available children, you can contact one of your nearby foster care agencies:
Home Study Providers
The home study is one of the most important steps of the adoption process for hopeful parents, as it indicates that you are officially cleared to adopt a child. In order to complete your home study, you must contact a state-licensed social worker, who will conduct some form of background check, a home inspection, and an interview of you and your family.
If you would like to begin the home study process, or if you have any questions, you can reach out to one of the following Pennsylvania-licensed professionals:
- MAYA Organization
MAYA Organization promises to provide a quick accurate home study for Pennsylvania families hoping to adopt.
- Families United Network
Families United Network has locations throughout Pennsylvania and can help you complete a domestic or international home study.
- Caring Adoption Associates
With an office in Pittsburgh, Caring Adoption Associates is licensed to help Pittsburgh and all Pennsylvania families with domestic or international adoption home studies.
- La Vida International
La Vida offers its home study services to families living in Pennsylvania. If you are not from Pennsylvania, they will help you find a provider who is licensed in your state.
- Haven Adoptions
On their website, Haven Adoptions provides information on everything you need to complete a home study with their agency.
Visit 1800HomeStudy.com to learn more about Pennsylvania home study providers.
Hospitals in Pittsburgh
As a pregnant woman considering adoption, it’s never too early to begin planning for the day you have the baby. Before your due date arrives, you will work with your adoption specialist and healthcare provider to prepare for the big day and determine who you would like to be present with you, as well as how much time you would like with your baby.
For more information on nearby hospitals, contact one of the following Pittsburgh locations:
- St. Clair Hospital
1000 Bower Hill Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15243
- Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC
300 Halket Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
- West Penn Hospital
4800 Friendship Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15224
Pennsylvania Adoption Law and Eligibility
Adoption is an intricate legal process for everyone involved, and prospective birth parents and families must abide by the laws of their state to make sure their adoption is legally recognized. For detailed information, visit our page on How to Adopt in Pennsylvania, and read below for an overview of adoption requirements.
If you are pregnant and creating an adoption plan, you will need to legally terminate your parental rights after the child is born; this involves signing relinquishment papers, which the state of Pennsylvania allows you to do 72 hours after giving birth. This gives you time after the delivery to make your final decision.
The father of the child must also consent to the adoption, which he can do at any time after being notified of the child’s birth. If you are unable to contact the father or gain his consent, speak to your adoption professional about how to move forward with your adoption plan.
To learn more about consent laws and your parental rights, visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.
Most states have very few limitations on who can and cannot adopt; generally speaking, as long as you pass a home study, you will be able to adopt a child. However, every state’s adoption laws are slightly different, and you should be familiar with adoption eligibility requirements in Pennsylvania if you want to adopt in Pittsburgh.
Additionally, you must meet the requirements put in place by your adoption professional. Some agencies have their own specific criteria for eligibility, which you will want to take into account when you are looking for an adoption professional.
County Court Information
Following a series of post-placement visits from a social worker, adoptive families must appear in court to finalize their adoption. This hearing usually takes place about six months after placement. If you are about to finalize your adoption, your adoption professional can provide you with more information. For information on your local court system, visit the Allegheny County Website.
Things to Do in Pittsburgh
If you’re adopting in Pittsburgh and you live in another state, you will have to stay in the state of Pennsylvania for 7-10 business days. While you wait, here are some places to visit in the Pittsburgh area: