Now that Pennsylvania recognizes same-sex marriages, same-sex partners can also benefit from the simpler process of a kinship or step-parent adoption. This means no home study is required. The adopting parent would still complete the requisite background checks. At the adoption hearing the court will verify that all requirements for an adoption have been met. The adopting parent(s) should be prepared to indicate their understanding of the responsibility they are taking on as parents.
Same-sex adoptions can take place in the form of a second-parent adoption. A second-parent adoption allows a person to adopt the child of their "unmarried" partner. In 2002, the Supreme Court held that the parental rights of the first parent need not be terminated for the adoption by the second parent to take place. Since that time, PA has remained in the minority of states that allow second-parent adoptions on a statewide basis. If a same-sex couple is married, they follow the same procedures as a kinship or step-parent adoption.