Private vs Agency Adoption

In a private adoption, you know someone and have direct communication regarding the adoption. This can include a kinship adoption or a non-kinship adoption. The prospective parents should work with an attorney to make sure all the requisite steps are taken and the correct paperwork is submitted to the court for a successful adoption. The […]

Adoption Network

SWAN is the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network for Pennsylvania. It is a central resource for all individuals and agencies seeking to place children in permanent homes. SWAN supports local social services agencies and adoption agencies by promoting children available for adoption with the goal of expediting placement. There is information available on the SWAN […]

Military Obligations Impact Some Pennsylvania Parents’ Child Custody

The extended military presence the U.S. has had in Iraq and Afghanistan has tested society in a number of ways. Many people feel the strain of having loved ones overseas for lengthy military tours. Those who serve their country also face a number of struggles. Marriages often crumble when one or both spouses are in […]

Can custodial parents in Pennsylvania move across state lines?

A parent who has joint or sole custody of a child may be able to move after attaining permission from the other parent or a judge. Learn more about parental relocation approval

Foreign Adoption

If you have adopted a child from abroad, there are several steps to take to finalize the adoption domestically. A re-adoption being filed in the United States can serve a few purposes. It can allow for an adoption decree that is in English. It can be required for immigration purposes. It may also be helpful […]

Post-Adoption Contact

Pennsylvania does recognize agreements that permit post-adoption contact with the natural parents so long as all parties consent to the contact. Act 101 was signed into law in 2010 to allow certain post-adoption contact by agreement of the parties. Specifically, a birth relative by blood, marriage or adoption can contract with the new adoptive parents […]

How Family Adoption Works

Victims of domestic abuse may need help from others to get a divorce. It can also help to create an escape plan and seek a protective order. For countless people in Pennsylvania and elsewhere, marriage is a nightmare that they may feel they can never escape. Tragically, domestic violence affects millions of men, women and […]

Divorced and Taking Your Children Out of the Country – PA Law

If you have joint custody of any children under 16, both parents must consent before taking them out of the country. If your child does not already own a passport, Pennsylvania law requires that both parents must appear in person and provide proof of parentage to apply for the passport. In the case of divorce, […]

How to Explain Divorce to Your Children

Divorce impacts children of different ages very differently, and the impact can be ongoing. You’ll need to be prepared for challenges, but by starting right, you can minimize the impact and speed healthy adjustment. Both parents should tell the children together, if at all possible, and present a unified front. Plan together how you will […]

Obtaining Sole Custody in PA

When determining custody arrangements in Pennsylvania, judges must hold to the standard of “best interests of the child.” Recognizing that children develop best when they have positive relationships with both father and mother, judges do not award sole custody without very strong evidence that this is best for the child. Sole physical custody means the […]