Each state has the right to draft, pass and enforce its own adoption laws. For example, advertising for birth mothers and adoptive parents is legal in Pennsylvania but is not technically legal in many other states, such as Rhode Island or Illinois.
Pennsylvania is a legal risk state, when it comes to adoption laws. For infant adoptions that are finalized in Pennsylvania, a birth mother cannot give consent of placement until 72 hours after the child is born. The birth father can give his consent before the child is born. A court hearing will occur at least 50 days after a consent is signed and filed. Birth parents have until the court hearing to revoke their signed consent. Because of this, the birth father's rights depend on the termination of the birth mother's rights. If no birth father is located, his rights can be terminated if he is not on the state's putative father registry.
Adoptive parents in infant adoptions being handled by an attorney or agency can only cover a birth mother's medical and hospital bills. They can also pay a few additional fees in an agency adoption if it's for counseling.
In stepparent or kin adoptions, Pennsylvania does not require a home study.
Gay and lesbian adoption is completely legal in Pennsylvania. Individuals can petition for adoption, gay and lesbian couples can jointly petition for adoption and as of 2002, co-parents can adopt the child or children of a same-sex partner.