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Publication of Adoption

It is always necessary to give all interested parties proper notice of pending adoption proceedings. A copy of the adoption petition should be served on all interested parties, e.g. persons with parental rights to the minor child(ren) involved. Acceptable methods of service include personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery. Proof of service should be filed with the court and/or submitted at the time of the hearing. If you do not have a good address for an interested party you can petition the court to permit service by an alternate method, such as publication in the newspaper where the party was last known to reside.

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Paternity Fraud

Establishing paternity can be as simple as the father executing a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form. The acknowledgment indicates the father is waiving his rights to any genetic testing or trial on the issue of paternity. An acknowledgment acts as conclusive evidence that the person who signed the acknowledgment is in fact the father of any subject child(ren). Once an acknowledgment of paternity is signed, it is very difficult for a father to then try to allege the child is not his. 23 Pa. C.S. Section 5103(g) discusses grounds for rescission of an acknowledgment. It can be revoked within the first sixty (60) days of signature. After 60 days, it can only be rescinded by court order following a hearing. A hearing can be requested by filing a Petition with the court.

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Is Your Ex Sabotaging Your Summer Plans?

Depending on your custody arrangement, summer can be a time for your children to spend more time with each of their parents. It can be difficult to juggle vacation plans and visitation for two different households; occasional confusion may arise and compromise is necessary. But when your ex is consistently failing to follow through or seems to be intentionally sabotaging your summer plans, you need to take action, for your sake and your children's.

Divorce and the Stay-at-Home Mom: 7 Immediate Must-Dos

If you're facing divorce after you dedicated years to staying home and raising your children, you need to act quickly to protect yourself and your children. Follow these important steps:

The First Things to Do If Your Husband Leaves You

The very first thing to do if your husband leaves you is to find an expert Montgomery or Bucks County divorce lawyer. You're in a very vulnerable position, especially if your husband has been the primary breadwinner and you have children at home. You need a lawyer who knows the law and knows how to fight for you.

Clearances for Adoption

Background checks are required for all prospective parents in an adoption matter. In Pennsylvania, there are three background checks that are required: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance through the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks through the State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Background Check through the Department of Welfare. These background checks must also be completed for all other adult household members where the adoptee will reside. At this time, requests for all three background checks can be done online. The cost for each background check is nominal. Fingerprinting is required for the FBI Criminal Background Check.

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Confirming Consent to Adoption

If the natural parent(s) agree to the adoption and are signing off on their rights, prospective parents may file a petition to confirm their consent to finalize the voluntary termination of their parental rights. In this scenario, the child is usually already in the care of the prospective parent(s). The prospective parent must consent to accept custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted. The prospective parent(s) would also need to file a report of intention to adopt with the court.

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Private vs Agency Adoption

In a private adoption, you know someone and have direct communication regarding the adoption. This can include a kinship adoption or a non-kinship adoption. The prospective parents should work with an attorney to make sure all the requisite steps are taken and the correct paperwork is submitted to the court for a successful adoption. The natural parents may elect to have their own counsel if they so choose. Counseling is available for natural parents considering terminating their rights regardless of the nature of the adoption.

Adoption Network

SWAN is the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network for Pennsylvania. It is a central resource for all individuals and agencies seeking to place children in permanent homes. SWAN supports local social services agencies and adoption agencies by promoting children available for adoption with the goal of expediting placement. There is information available on the SWAN webpage for individuals as well in terms of how to become a foster parent or adoptive parent. Information on upcoming events is available. Events often serve the purpose of introducing children and prospective families to one another.

Foreign Adoption

If you have adopted a child from abroad, there are several steps to take to finalize the adoption domestically. A re-adoption being filed in the United States can serve a few purposes. It can allow for an adoption decree that is in English. It can be required for immigration purposes. It may also be helpful for effectuating a name change of the child if not already completed.

The procedure for re-adoption in Bucks County is similar to domestic adoptions. It begins by filing a Report of Intent to Adopt. There is only one post-placement visit required that is usually completed by the agency the parties worked with for the foreign adoption. Once report is completed, petition for adoption can be filed. Copies of all the foreign documents (ex. Birth certificate, decree of guardianship, adoption decree) shall be translated if necessary, certified, and presented to the court for adoption hearing.

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Langhorne Office
174 Middletown Blvd
#300
Langhorne, PA 19047

Phone: 215-752-6200
Fax: 215-752-6202
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Doylestown Office
196 West Ashland Street
Doylestown, PA 18901

Phone: 215-348-3800
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630 Freedom Business Center
3rd Floor
King of Prussia, PA 19406

Phone: 484-704-2100
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610 Old York Road
Suite 400
Jenkintown, PA 19046

Phone: 267-636-0100
Fax: 215-752-6202
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