Compassionate Adoption Lawyers

Adoption is life-changing for children, as well as their biological and adoptive families. But, before the change can happen, there is often a great deal of legal work to be done. You do not have to go through the legal system alone. At our Philadelphia law firm — Previtera & Schimmel — we can help.

Private Adoptions

The adoption process can be complex. Parental rights and adoptions are taken seriously. The amount of paperwork may seem overwhelming at times, and many people worry that they are doing things incorrectly. An error can delay the process.

While we cannot eliminate the paperwork required, we can alleviate the burden. We have guided numerous clients through the adoption process. We are familiar with the legal professionals who handle these cases in the adoptions branch of the courthouse. We know the process, and we know which steps to take to get results.

We can guide you through the process of filing an initial petition, completing a home study, obtaining clearances and various required reports. We are knowledgeable about our state's laws on involuntary and voluntary termination of parental rights and adoption, and can answer any questions you might have.

In Pennsylvania, Act 101 allows a contract to be put into place to protect the relationship between the child and the biological parent after an adoption. Enacted in 2010, Act 101 means that biological parents are no longer forced into closed adoptions like they were in the past. Contract terms create an open adoption situation in which biological parents can be guaranteed pictures, updates and visits with the children involved. Contracts can always be changed as the child grows.

Public Adoptions

In addition to private adoption applications, we also handle adoptions through the foster care system or the public interest system. These public adoptions often happen when a child is in the dependency system and reunification with the parent is not an option. Adoptions by other family members or foster parents can be in the best interests of the child.

We can help people 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. As a former child advocate attorney for the Defender Association of Philadelphia in its Child Advocacy Unit, attorney Diana C. Schimmel has in-depth knowledge about how the system works.

Contact Our Stepparent Adoption Lawyers

We offer confidential consultations about adoption. In your consultation, we will discuss the facts of your case, and we will help you understand how the law may apply in your situation. To get started, contact us at Previtera & Schimmel by calling 800-580-9136.