There are two options to place a child for adoption. The first option is to surrender the child to the appropriate agency. This can include the county social services agency or private adoption agency. Under 23 Pa C.S. 2501, written notice of intent to give custody of the child to the agency should be presented to the agency. The natural parents should also cooperate in petitioning the court for permission to voluntarily relinquish their parental rights to the child. The agency must consent to accept custody of the child. To the extent the natural parents are under 18, the consent of their parent(s) is not required.
Natural parents may also elect to surrender the child to an individual. The individual(s) accepting custody of the child will need to file a report of intent to adopt as well as sign a consent accepting custody of the child. They will also need to follow the other procedures for adoption which include getting necessary clearances as well as getting a home study, where applicable. Again, the natural parents should cooperate in petitioning the court for voluntary relinquishment of their parental rights. Alternatively, if the natural parents are consenting to the adoption, a petition for confirmation of consent can be filed instead. The court will schedule a hearing following receipt of petition for voluntary relinquishment or confirmation of consent. Notice of the hearing date must be served on natural parents as well as their parent(s) if they are still minors at the time. The natural parents should appear at the hearing. The court may enter a final decree of termination of parental rights after the hearing. By April M. Townsend