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How long do birth parents need to make adoption decisions?

One state bill that stands out against several others proposes shortening the amount of time a birth mother has to change her mind about adoption. Several people and agencies involved with adoption recently weighed in on the subject.

At first, House Bill 1526, proposed shortening the adoption revocation period from 30 days to just five days. However, an amendment to the bill lengthened the proposed revocation period to 14 days. Some people in support of Pennsylvania adoption law reform say this is not enough time for birth parents to make the right decision. Others who want reform say it is too long to keep families and the child in limbo.

A Pennsylvania state representative stated that he knew of families who had to go to other states to adopt because of Pennsylvania birth moms changing their minds at the last moment. Rebutting this statement, the founder of Pennsylvania Adoptee Rights says that the focus should not be on the adoptive parents, but rather the child and the birth parents. To support her side of the issue, she advocates for birth parents having at least one full week after a baby is born before they are required to sign adoption documents.

In yet another opinion, the director of the Children's Home of Pittsburgh stated that her preferences lie somewhere between the two arguments. She added that it would be good if the birth parents had the option to "choose a revocation period or finalize the adoption immediately." This way, both sets of parents would know what to expect after the child is born.

In the meantime, it is never a bad idea to seek advice from a lawyer. This is true for both adoptive parents and birth parents. Family law issues in which human lives are on the line will typically always benefit from the professional guidance an attorney can provide.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "How much time is enough time to decide? Many seek update of state adoption laws," Elizabeth Lepro and Lauren Rosenblatt, PublicSource, July 10, 2016

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