How Fast Can You Finalize an Adoption?
Each year, roughly 135,000 children are adopted. Of course, the hundreds of thousands of parents involved want to know when the process will finally be over. Finalizing an adoption is an exciting time, so it is no wonder that so many people want to speed through the adoption and get to the end.
The Fastest Possible Adoption Finalization Time
Legally speaking, an adoption in Pennsylvania can be finalized in as little as one to two months after the child first comes to live with their family. This is assuming that everything goes as smoothly as possible. For the most part, a voluntary or a stepchild adoption will go the fastest. The process starts with the adoptive parents filing a report of intention to adopt. Then, after meeting a few requirements, they need to file a petition for adoption and then have an adoption period.
Most of the wait in these situations is just due to the amount of time it takes to schedule a court date. Typically, an adoption only happens this quickly in situations where all parties agree to the terms, such as a stepparent adopting a child with no legal father and when the adoption does not involve interstate or international factors. The amount of time you should expect it to take can vary quite a bit depending on the circumstances of the adoption.
The Timeline for Adopting a Baby
The timeline for adopting a baby is fairly straightforward once you find a birth mother who wants to let you adopt her child. Unlike other types of adoption, you usually do not have to wait to be approved to foster or complete multiple supervisory visits after the child comes home. Since you can file a lot of the paperwork like home study reports before the baby is even born, the process is fairly fast once the infant comes to live with you.
When figuring out how long it takes to adopt a baby in Pennsylvania, the main factors are the revocation period and the time it takes to schedule court dates. Legally, birth parents have three days to change their minds. If you work with an adoption agency, however, it may have different guidelines in place. Some have so many requirements that it can take up to a year to finalize.
The Time It Takes to Adopt a Foster Child
Adopting a foster child may take a shorter or a longer amount of time than it takes to adopt an infant. The length of time it takes to go from fostering to adoption varies so much because circumstances tend to vary. After you get approved and begin fostering a child with the intent to adopt, things can go quite quickly if the parents’ rights are already terminated. In these cases, you may be finalizing your foster child’s adoption within about six months.
However, most adoptive parents of foster children are not this lucky. In many cases, they have to announce their intent to adopt formally and then go about terminating the biological parents’ rights. When the parent does not want to voluntarily give up their rights, it can turn into a lengthy process that involves a PA adoption attorney submitting evidence to the court that the biological parent is unfit.
How to Speed up the Process
Because unexpected legal delays can lengthen the adoption process, you need to have a good PA adoption attorney available to guide you through the process. Having an experienced adoption lawyer on your side can help your adoption go as smoothly as possible. With an office conveniently located in Philadelphia, the law firm of Cofsky & Zeidman is happy to help the residents of Pennsylvania with adoptions. Call us at (215) 563-2150 or fill out our online contact form to schedule your free consultation today.