A: In Pennsylvania, Petitions for Adoption are typically filed in the Court of Common Pleas in the County where the child resides.
If the parent who is being replaced agrees to the adoption, he or she signs a consent form. Their rights are then terminated “voluntarily”. If the parent who is being replaced does not agree to the adoption, a Petition for Involuntary Termination must be filed.
A parent’s rights are most often terminated “involuntarily” when for at least six (6) months that parent has by his or her conduct, “evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused to perform parental duties” [23 Pa.C.S.A section 2511 (a)(1)].
When deciding whether to terminate parental rights, the Court’s primary consideration is the needs and welfare of the child.The courts can not terminate someone’s parental rights solely on the basis of environmental factors, such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical care, if those conditions are found to be beyond the control of the parent.
To file a Petition for Adoption, you need to provide or a copy of your marriage certificate, copies of any prior divorce decrees, and a birth certificate for the adoptee. You also need to obtain a criminal record check, a child abuse history clearance and any consent forms, including the written consent of any adoptee twelve (12) years old or older.
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