Rachel Thiessen, a sole practitioner in Lemoyne, PA, focuses her practice on adoption law and is committed to helping create and unite families. As both an adoptee and an adoptive parent, Rachel is uniquely suited to guide families through the adoption process from start to finish. Adoption has profoundly impacted her personal experience, from her own brief stay in foster care as a child to being reunited with her biological family as an adult. These experiences drew her to study adoption law in law school and to practice adoption law as an attorney. Rachel is not only well-versed in adoption law on a professional level, but is able to draw from a well of personal experience to help guide parents through the adoption process.
Each adoption is as unique as the child being adopted. Every adoption comes with circumstances that require a thorough understanding of all aspects of adoption law. Rachel Thiessen knows that adoptions come in all shapes and sizes, and has experience dealing with a variety of different types of adoptions, including:
Private adoptions are commonly accomplished through an agency. Birth parents are often able to select the adoptive parents, who are screened by the agency. Birth parents may wish to meet the adoptive parents and may have other conditions that can be agreed upon contractually.
Foster Care Adoptions
Rachel Thiessen can explain the foster care adoption process from start to finish and will help you decide if a foster care adoption is right for your family. She has experience with Pennsylvania’s Statewide Adoption Network, and can help you through the process of becoming an adoptive parent through the Pennsylvania foster care system. She is the proud parent of two children adopted from the foster care system.
In many families, a step-parent adoption can create stability for a child. In this type of adoption, a step-parent adopts the child (or children) of a spouse and then assumes legal and financial responsibility for that child. A non-custodial parent is subsequently released from those responsibilities.
Pennsylvania allows for adoption by gay and lesbian individuals and couples, and also allows for second-parent adoption. Rachel is experienced in handling LGBT adoptions and is familiar with the unique estate planning, social, and legal issues that are linked with this type of adoption. She can explain your rights and any other special circumstances involved with LGBT adoption.
More and more grandparents are assuming parental duties every year. Grandparent adoptions can provide a more stable life for children with parents who cannot take care of them. In Pennsylvania, grandparents are allowed to adopt grandchildren if their parents are deemed legally unfit to take care of them.
International Adoptions (U.S. Re-adoption)
Many adoptions take place between parents residing in the United States and a child that is born in another country. In this case, you many need to re-adopt that child in the United States, even if you have already legally adopted the child in his or her country. This process involves a unique combination of federal and state adoption laws and immigration laws. Rachel Thiessen is experienced in facilitating international adoptions and can guide you through the process.
Subsidies can make adopting a child with special needs possible for many families. Negotiating the maximum subsidy for your adoptive child, however, is a complicated process that many families find emotionally draining and frustrating. An experienced adoption attorney can negotiate on your behalf to secure the maximum subsidy available to help your special needs child enjoy the best quality of life possible.
Termination of Parental Rights
Termination of parental rights is a necessary step for most types of adoptions, whether the adopting parent is a relative or from a completely different family. Rachel Thiessen will answer all your questions regarding termination of parental rights in the context of adoption.