The Philadelphia Adoption Process

After you decide to become a part of the adoption process, whether that be as expectant parents or adoptive parents, it can be overwhelming.  Where do you start? Who do you contact? What do you do? In Philadelphia, the process has become fairly streamlined when adopting domestically from the area.  Here is your go-to reference sheet for guidance with the Philadelphia adoption process.

Choose an agency

The first step in beginning your adoption journey is to choose an adoption agency.  Whether you are adopting an infant domestically, from foster care, or internationally, choosing an agency that fits your future family is key.  Your agency choice will affect wait times, educational services available to you, and match possibilities. Researching which one works for your family may take a little while, but it will be worth the time investment in the end.  Once you’ve chosen, you will need to submit an application with the agency and become approved.

If your agency does not have legal representation available to you, or if you prefer a private adoption (not through an agency, i.e. kinship adoptions), you will need to hire a separate adoption attorney.  You can find a list of adoption attorneys located in the Philadelphia area from the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys database.

Complete a home study

Next, you will need to complete your home study.  In Philadelphia, every family wanting to adopt must have a completed home study to continue pursuing adoption.  If your agency does not offer home study services, then you can find a separate home study agency to do that for you.  Your home study will require you to gather paperwork, complete education, have medical (and possibly psychological) evaluations done, etc.  This can take, on average, between four and five months to complete. 

Contact the courts

Once you have been matched domestically, you will need to contact your local county court to finalize a Philadelphia adoption.  The Adoption branch of the Family Court of Philadelphia is located on Vine Street and is overseen by the Honorable Myrna Field. This court handles all adoption finalizations, parental right terminations, and requests from adoptees to locate biological parents.  Your agency or lawyer will guide you through the right steps and paperwork with the court to finalize your adoption and your forever family.

The adoption process within Philadelphia is fairly mainstream, and there are a variety of agencies and/or attorneys to help walk you through your own journey.  Whether you are an expecting parent looking for adoptive parents for your newborn or are adoptive parents looking for your child, Philadelphia has the means to help you.  You will be in good hands in Philly.