In Pennsylvania any individual may be adopted regardless of their age or residence. Additionally, any individual may become an adopting parent. Consent of the adoptee is required in all instances where the adoptee is twelve years of age or older. The prospective parent(s) must obtain certain clearances whenever the adoptee is a minor. The adoptee does appear in court for the final adoption hearing. The Judge may have questions for the adoptee as to their relationship with prospective parent(s).
In a contested hearing where the adoptee is a minor, an attorney is appointed to represent their interests. If a name change is sought where the adoptee is an adult, the adoptee must submit a copy of their fingerprints with the adoption petition. Fingerprints can be obtained from your local police department. The adoptee will also need to obtain background checks from the Prothonotary, Clerk of Court, and Recorder of Deeds for each county of residence for five (5) years prior to your filing. Finally, notice of the adoption hearing must be published in a newspaper of general circulation as well as the Law Reporter regarding the proposed name change. Proof of the record checks and publication should be offered as evidence at the adoption hearing. Name changes are not permitted in the event of certain criminal convictions.