1. Apply/arrange for home study if non-kinship adoption.
2. Order the Criminal and Child Abuse Checks through (1) Child Abuse History Clearance; (2) PA State Police Criminal Record Check; and (3) FBI Criminal Background Check through the Department of Welfare.
3. Obtain Consent from natural parent(s) no sooner than 72 hours after birth of child. The consent form is specific and must be witnessed and notarized. Can be filed 30 days after execution.
4. Thirty Days after Placement: Adopting Parents file Report of Notice of Intent to Adopt.
5. Relinquishment Petition: Natural parent(s) may file a petition to relinquish rights thirty days after custody transferred. Consent(s) of the natural parent(s) should be attached.
6. Relinquishment Hearing: Informal, but natural parent(s) testify.
OR: Adoptive Parents may file a Petition to Confirm Consent if no Relinquishment Petition was filed within 40 days after Consent(s) signed. In this case, natural parent(s) not required at hearing, but need witnesses regarding execution of consent.
7. If no cooperation from natural parent(s), file Petition for Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights. Must be able to prove termination is warranted based on one of the grounds listed in the statute. Termination hearing will be scheduled and natural parent(s) must be served.
8. Intermediary (Agency or Attorney) must file a report within 6 months after filing Intent to Adopt
9. Petition for Adoption: This is filed after all termination decrees are entered, Intermediary Report is filed, the home study is completed and the home study report is filed. Filing Fees applicable.
10. Adoption Hearing: Attended by Attorney and Adopting Parents, and Adoptee.