Thousands of children in the United States are waiting to be adopted. These children have entered the dependency system after they were relinquished by their families or removed by the court. Public adoption, whether by family members or foster parents, is an option when reunification with a child’s parent is not possible and the court finds adoption to be in the child’s best interest.
At Petrelli Previtera Schimmel, our lawyers assist adoptive parents with adoptions through both the foster care system and the public interest system, as well as through private adoptions.
“Adoptions come in many forms, our attorneys have the experience to guide families through this exciting process.”
In this video, Diana Schimmel explains how we help clients navigate the process smoothly and happily.
How Do Public Agency Adoptions Work?
Funded by local, state, and federal sources, public adoption agencies facilitate the adoption of children from foster care. These agencies sometimes arrange meetings between prospective adoptive parents and social workers and/or supervisors, or they work through a placement committee to match children with the right family.
After the parents choose an avenue of adoption, they will select an agency to match them with a child. The agency will then perform a home study to evaluate the adoptive parents’ home environment and help them prepare for their child’s arrival. There may be a waiting period based on the family and child’s individual circumstances, after which the agency will work with the parents to finalize the adoption.
Do I Need a Lawyer?
Adoption should be an exciting time for everyone involved. While adoptive parents are not required to have a lawyer, getting the right legal help can ensure a smooth procedure from start to finish.
When assisting with public agency adoptions, our attorneys can help families adopt children from the Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN) database. We can also facilitate contact with the City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services (DHS) and various foster care agencies. Our attorneys are able to guide parents through the following steps and more:
- Filing an initial petition for adoption
- Completing a home study
- Obtaining clearances
- Completing various required reports
As a former child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia in its Child Advocacy Unit, firm partner Diana C. Schimmel has in-depth knowledge about the foster care and adoption system. Our team knows the ins and outs of state law regarding adoption, and we can answer any questions parents have.
Contact Our Experienced Adoption Lawyers for Assistance
Petrelli Previtera Schimmel offers parents confidential consultations about adoption. During our meeting, we will discuss your family’s needs and wishes and come up with the best course of action.