There are numerous costs involved in an adoption action. The total amount of expenses will vary depending on the nature of the adoption. For example, a kinship or family adoption where the natural parent(s) are cooperating with the adoption will have different costs than a case where the adoption is contested by the natural parent(s) or if the adoption is not kinship. Prospective parents will need to have background checks done prior to the adoption. Pennsylvania presently requires three (3) different background checks. 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. The costs are nominal for each of these inquiries. A home study is required for a non-kinship adoption. Due to the intensive inquiry that must be completed, this is usually a fairly substantial cost ($700+). A home study is not required for a family adoption.
There are a number of costs involved in an adoption action. The total amount of expenses will vary depending on the nature of the adoption. For example, a kinship or family adoption where the natural parent(s) are cooperating with the adoption will have different costs than a case where the adoption is contested by the natural parent(s) or if the adoption is not kinship. There is a filing fee due to the court for an adoption petition. Other filings that may be necessary depending on your circumstances can include a request for a home study, notice of intent to adopt, petition for involuntary termination and/or confirmation of consent. Each county will determine which pleadings require a filing fee as well as the amount. On average, it can be several hundred dollars just in filing fees. This may be something to consider if you have multiple options available in terms of counties with proper venue for your adoption case.
Most family law actions that will be filed include a filing fee for the initial complaint or pleading. A part of these filing fees go to fund the Pennsylvania Children's Trust Fund (CTF). This fund has received approximately $40 million dollars from family law filing fees since inception. The initiative of the CTF is to prevent child abuse and neglect across the state. The main emphasis of CTF is to put prevention programs in place to decrease child abuse and neglect overall. The CTF grants its money to local community programs with the same initiatives. It is up to the respective community programs to apply with CTF to see if they are eligible for a grant. Currently, upwards of 280 community based programs across the state have received grants to aid in the fight against child abuse and neglect.