Adoption Lawyers Erie PA

Adoption Attorney - Erie, PA - Law Firm of Carney & GoodEvery child deserves a loving and nurturing family to permanently support them. Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws guiding the process can be complex and difficult to work through.

Working with a licensed attorney from the Law Offices of Carney & Good who has expertise in adoptions of all types will enable you to make decisions about how to proceed and build a plan that fits your family's needs. When you are considering adoption, it is important to understand the numerous types of adoption available for you.

There are many types of adoption including:

  • Domestic
  • Agency
  • Private
  • Same-sex
  • Stepparent and second parent
  • Contested

Parents who wish to adopt a special needs or an older child will need to work with a county agency or the affiliate agency Statewide Adoption and Permanency Network (SWAN), and parents who seek to adopt an infant will need the services of a private adoption agency. While the Law Offices of Carney & Good typically represent adoptive parents, we are happy to represent birth parents as well. Whether you are a birth parent or a prospective parent, working with an established adoption attorney can help you determine the best course of adoption. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Carney & Good proudly represent residents of Erie, PA.

How long will it take to adopt?
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There are typically two stages of adoption: pre-placement and post-placement. Placement is when the child enters your home, pre-placement describes the time before and post-placement the time after. With a completed "homestudy" in place, the adoption process involving a child with special needs can often move forward quickly and be completed within a few months. The wait is typically between two and seven years for a healthy infant.

What is a homestudy?

A homestudy is a schedule of meetings with a social worker in order to obtain more in-depth information about adoption and help prepare a candidate for raising an adopted child. The homestudy process varies from agency to agency and state to state. Some agencies may conduct individual and joint interviews with both members of a couple where others might conduct group homestudies with several families at one time. Most agencies require applicants to provide written information about themselves and their life experiences. Agencies may also require certain documents: a marriage license, birth certificate, medical report, criminal check and child abuse clearance. Personal character references are often required. The homestudy includes at least one visit to your home by an agency social worker.

What's the difference between foster care and adoption?

Foster care is meant to be temporary shelter for a child. Generally, children return to their parents when they are able to provide quality care. If that fails, the child is made available for adoption. There are foster-adopt programs available where foster parents can work to eventually adopt a child. In fact, most adoptions in the United States are by children's foster parents.

How much does adoption cost?

Typically, agencies have a sliding fee scale and has little to no cost at all. After adoption, the children may receive subsidies to cover medical and other necessary expenses. Although, the family is still likely to incur other costs as a normal parent raising a child would. Foreign adoptions tend to be costly, not including travel expenses.

Is there a tax credit for people who adopt?

Federal legislation was passed in June, 2001 that increases tax credits and exclusions for all adoptive families. The Hope for Children Act taking effect on January 1, 2002 provided an adoption tax credit of $10, 000 for all adoptions from 2002 and thereafter, and a tax exclusion of up to $10, 000 for employer-provided adoption benefits, effective in 2003.

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