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Can you adopt a child as a solo parent in Pennsylvania?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2023 | Family Law |

Adopting a child as a single individual is possible and can be a fulfilling experience for you and the child. But it is essential to know that solo adoption can present unique challenges to you as an unmarried person. But with the proper support and planning, the joys of adoption can be within reach.

The Pennsylvania Adoption Act

According to the Pennsylvania Adoption Act, single individuals can adopt a child. However, all prospective adoptive parents, including single individuals, must meet certain eligibility requirements. You must be at least 21 years of age and:

  • Have stable housing and income
  • Pass a criminal background check
  • Pass a child abuse clearance
  • Possess good physical and mental health

In addition to these requirements, you must undergo a home study, which thoroughly evaluates your ability to provide a safe place for a child. It involves a series of interviews, home visits and evaluations to ensure that the prospective parent can meet the child’s needs. Ultimately, the goal of the home study and all these assessments is to ensure that the child goes to a loving and supportive environment that will help them thrive.

Types of adoptions in Pennsylvania

Like married couples, solo parents have a range of adoption options. And the type of adoption they choose will depend on their circumstances and preferences. Some common types of adoption include:

  • Domestic adoption
  • International adoption
  • Foster care adoption
  • Open adoption

Each type of adoption has its own set of requirements and procedures, so it is crucial to consider which option is suitable for you carefully.

Challenges to the process of solo adoption

There may be some unique challenges to adopting as a single individual compared to a married couple. For example, adoption agencies or birth parents may prefer to place a child with a married couple, as they may perceive a married couple as having more stability or support. That said, knowing your adoption rights and the options available helps you to navigate the adoption process as an individual successfully.