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How to Finalize Your Adoption in Pennsylvania

Finalizing your adoption is the final step in the Pennsylvania adoption process. It’s not until this point that your child is a legal and permanent member of your family, so this is milestone is often a celebration!

If you haven't started the adoption process yet, but want to, you can fill out our free online form or call 1-800-ADOPTION to start your adoption in Pennsylvania journey.

How to Finalize Your Adoption in Pennsylvania

Before your child receives his or her final decree of adoption and Pennsylvania adoption finalization occurs, you’ll need to complete these steps first:

After these steps have been completed, your Pennsylvania adoption attorney and American Adoptions adoption specialist will contact you to let you know the details of your adoption finalization hearing, which takes place several months after initial placement. Pennsylvania adoptions fall under the jurisdiction of your county’s common pleas court.

What Happens at Your Pennsylvania Adoption Finalization Hearing

Adoption finalization hearings involve a judge issuing the final decree of adoption, which officially completes the Pennsylvania adoption process. This is often celebrated by the family and friends with a party or family photos at the finalization.

A PA adoption finalization hearing only lasts about 20 minutes to an hour. During that time, you’ll:

Step 1: Be sworn in with your adoption attorney before the judge.

Step 2: Answer the judge’s questions about your initial desire to adopt and your ability to offer your child a safe, stable, and loving home.

Step 3: The judge may have questions for your social worker, home study provider or occasionally the child’s birth family.

Step 4: The judge signs the final decree of adoption.

What Happens After Receiving the Final Decree of Adoption in Pennsylvania

Once you’ve completed your Pennsylvania adoption finalization, you can file for your child’s amended birth certificate and social security card. If you have any questions or need support from that point on, whether it’s about raising an adopted child or maintaining relationships with birth family, you can still always contact your specialist at American Adoptions for help.

Want to find out more about how our agency will guide you through the adoption process, including your adoption finalization in PA? Call 1-800-ADOPTION now for free information.

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