Child Adoption Lawyer in Lebanon, PA
Experienced Child Adoption Attorneys in Lebanon, Pennsylvania
Need an adoption lawyer in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, who understands the adoption process? We are here to make an otherwise difficult and time-consuming process much easier for you. So, let us pair you with an attorney who has the necessary experience to handle your case.
Our Adoption Lawyers Help Individuals & Families Navigate the Complex Adoption Process in Lebanon, PA
One of the most rewarding things you can do is adopt a child. For various reasons, you provide a better home for a child than the birth parents could, and you enjoy the joy of raising a child and watching them grow up.
While most adoptions are uncontested, they are not always easy. In fact, the adoption process can be quite complicated in some cases. That is why our child adoption attorneys are here: to make your path to parenthood easier, smoother, and faster. We understand federal and Pennsylvania law and can assist you in navigating it.
So, do you want a stress-free procedure? Contact our Lebanon, PA adoption attorneys today!
We Help with All Types of Adoptions in Lebanon, PA
Do you adopt locally? Is the child you want to adopt from another state? There are many ways to adopt in Lebanon, PA, and we are here to help you understand the law and meet the requirements, no matter which way you choose.
Having said that, here are some common types of adoptions:
- Local adoption
- Independent adoption
- Agency adoption
- Interstate adoption
- International adoption
- Open adoption
- Grandparent or relative adoption
- Stepparent adoption
- Co-parent adoption
- Foster parent adoption
Our adoption attorneys can assist you in understanding the requirements of each type of adoption as well as what you need to proceed with the process.
We offer a free half-hour initial consultation to explore your case and our abilities.
What is the Adoption Process Like in Lebanon, PA?
Adoption is a complicated process that frequently involves multiple steps. Everything is much easier with an adoption lawyer, especially the paperwork. Among the matters handled by our attorneys at Bentley, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., are the following:
- Obtaining consent from the biological parents or legal guardians: As the adoptive parent, you must obtain consent from the child’s biological parents or legal guardians. In some cases, the parents may have already given their general consent to the adoption.
- Obtaining consent from the adoptee: If the adoptee is of a certain age, you may also need to obtain their consent.
- Filing a court petition for adoption approval: With both parties’ consent, our experienced lawyer will file a court petition for adoption approval.
- Notifications: Our adoption lawyers will then prepare and send notices of the petition to all parties involved, such as the adoption agency/biological parents, legal representatives, adoptees, and so on.
- Adoption hearing: Finally, the judge schedules an adoption hearing and issues a decision based on the child’s welfare, typically approving the adoption.
While these steps appear to be simple on the surface, a lot happens behind the scenes, including the drafting of the adoption agreement. All of this is handled by our family law attorneys.
Why Hire Bentley, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., as Your Adoption Attorney in Lebanon, PA?
Can I find good child adoption lawyers in my area? You’ve come to the right place if you’re looking for child adoption attorneys you can trust for a smooth and successful adoption process.
Here are some of the reasons why you should hire our PA attorneys:
- Experience and Specialization in Family Law
Bentley, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., specializes in family law. Our adoption lawyers have the training, skills, and experience to help you with your adoption case and other cases that are related to adoption.
So, whether it is domestic adoptions, international adoptions, or even private adoptions, our lawyers have got you.
- Good Track Record
We are results-oriented and strive to make the process as quick and simple as possible. Furthermore, we have assisted hundreds of individuals and families in becoming parents without complications.
- Reliable & Responsive
We take care of the whole legal process and keep you updated as often as we can. You can also contact us at any time for an update on the status of your family law matter.
There are two different ways to terminate parental rights under Pennsylvania adoption laws. The first way is for the parent to consent to the termination of his or her parental rights. This is considered to be a voluntary termination of parental rights. In this case, that parent must sign a document whereby they consent to the termination of rights. That parent has 30 days to change his or her mind and withdraw the consent to terminate rights. The court will schedule a hearing to confirm the consent executed by the parent whose rights are being terminated. The petitioning parent must serve notice of this hearing on the parent who consented to the termination of parental rights. In addition, a minimum of 10 days’ notice of the hearing must be given to the parent whose rights are being terminated. The parent whose rights are being terminated is not required to attend the hearing, but they may certainly appear if they so choose.
The second way is to proceed with an involuntary termination of parental rights. There are several reasons why a parent can petition the court to involuntarily terminate the parental rights of the other parent. These include:
- The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition either has evidenced a settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim to a child or has refused or failed to perform parental duties.
- The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal of the parent has caused the child to be without essential parental care, control or subsistence necessary for his physical or mental well-being and the conditions and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent.
- In the case of a newborn child, the parent knows or has reason to know of the child’s birth, does not reside with the child, has not married the child’s other parent, has failed for a period of four months immediately preceding the filing of the petition to make reasonable efforts to maintain substantial and continuing contact with the child and has failed during the same four-month period to provide substantial financial support for the child.
- The parent is the father of a child conceived as a result of a rape or incest.
The Court will schedule a hearing to determine if it is appropriate to terminate the rights of a parent. The burden to prove whether it is in the best interest of the child to terminate a parent’s rights always lies with the parent who files the petition. Adoption law is a very specialized area requiring an attorney knowledgeable and skilled in the types of evidence required to meet this burden. The skilled attorneys at Bentley, Kopecki, Smith can expertly guide you step by step through this process.
Can one parent’s rights be terminated without someone to adopt?
Generally, the answer is no. We often have people call who want to terminate his or her rights or who ask to have the other parent’s rights terminated. Typically, one parent’s rights cannot be terminated unless there is someone else to step into the place of the parent whose parental rights are being terminated. This means that generally a parent’s rights can only be terminated through an adoption.
What happens after a parent’s rights have been terminated?
After parental rights have been terminated, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, a second hearing will need to be held in order to finalize the adoption. This process varies by county, so it is important to hire an attorney who is well versed in the procedures specific to the county in which the hearing is being held. This is always a happy and emotional hearing. Courts encourage friends and family to attend this joyful day. Most courts permit photographs to be taken after the conclusion of the hearing. Some judges even love to be included in those photos.
Thinking of Adopting a Child but Don’t Know Where to Start? Get an Experienced Attorney to File a Formal Adoption
Bringing your child home for the first time is one of those moments that both you and the child will remember forever. However, the law does not always make it simple for those seeking to become parents through adoption.
That is why, at our Lebanon, Pennsylvania, office, we handle these cases for couples (including same-sex couples), individuals, and relatives.
So, if you are thinking about adopting and need to understand or find assistance with legal issues, we are here to help. Call Bentley, Kopecki, Smith, P.C., today to speak with a family law attorney!