Termination of Parental Rights

Terminating Parental Rights Attorneys in PA

Termination of Parental Rights in PA

There are few cases more complex, emotional, or important that terminating parental rights in Pennsylvania. These cases will lead to the complete negation of a parent as a child’s father or mother, as if that child was never born to them at all.

This may be needed in the case of any of the following:

  • Adoption
  • Abuse or abandonment
  • Danger to the child
  • When a parent committed a serious crime
  • To terminate any rights or obligations

Contact our lawyers at O’Malley Law Office, LLC. We serve Scranton, Clarks Summit, and Wyoming, Luzerne, Monroe, Wayne, and Susquehanna counties in Pennsylvania.

Voluntary vs. Involuntary Termination

discussing relinquishment of parental rightsThere are two types of termination procedures in Pennsylvania. One or both parents may be seeking voluntary termination of their rights and obligations. The other is a involuntary termination, where the parent has demonstrated there is a purpose for relinquishing their rights. Or, one or both parents has not performed parental duties for at least six months.

Furthermore, proceedings can be involuntary, such as when a state agency has evidence of significant abuse, neglect, or complete abandonment. In either case, termination proceedings can be brought against a parent by the other parent, by a third party, by an adopting parent, or by another individual or agency with just cause to do so.

Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights in PA

There are two ways of signing over parental rights in PA:

  1. Voluntary Relinquishment - Both parents relinquish their rights to an adoption agency or a couple who wants to adopt the baby. The parents are required to fill out a consent form, then they will be required to attend a hearing 35 to 40 days after the form has been submitted.

  2. Alternative Procedure for Relinquishment - This allows the biological parents to relinquish their parental rights by executing a Consent to Adoption. The father can sign the consent to adoption form at any time, but the mother is required to wait at least 72 hours after birth. Once the 30-day revocation period has passed, an adoption agency must file a consent to adoption petition and attend a hearing. The birth parents are not typically required to attend the hearing.

Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights in PA

For involuntary termination of parental rights in Pennsylvania, without the consent of the parent, one of the following must apply:

  • The parent shows a “sense of purpose” in giving up his or her rights, or refused or failed to perform parental duties for the past six months.

  • There is evidence of repeated and continued incapacity, neglect, abuse that left the child without adequate or proper care and the parent refuses to address or fix the situation.

  • The parent is only the presumptive father of the child, but not the natural father.

  • The identities and whereabouts of the child’s parents are unknown, cannot be found through diligent searches, and have not claimed the child within three months of him or her being found.

  • The child in question is a newborn and the parent knows of the child, but does not reside with him or her, has not married the other parent, and has not made an effort to maintain contact with the child for at least four months.

  • The parent of the child is the father of the child through rape or incest.

  • The child was removed from his or her parents’ care for over a year and the conditions that prompted this removal still exist.

  • The child has been living out of the home for at least six months due to certain conditions that have still not been remedied, and the termination of parental rights would serve the best interests of the child.

  • The child’s parent was convicted of criminal homicide, aggravated assault, or an attempt of either of those criminal offenses.

If the parent’s case to terminate the rights of the other parent are based on one of these grounds, the court might consider granting an involuntary termination of parental rights. It is important to remember that after a parent’s rights are terminated they will no longer have an obligation to provide financial support for the child and will not have a right to demand custody or visitation.

Termination Proceedings Demand Caring Representation

Parents terminating their rightsComplicated matters need a compassionate attorney. At O’Malley Law Office, LLC, we can guide you through your matter, fighting for the rights of your child. We also protect you and your family so you can rest assured that your case is in good hands.

Choose O’Malley Law Office, LLC and experience the benefit of our compassion, tireless commitment to our clients, resources, and more than 80 years of legal experience. We are here to help you face better days and a brighter future.

    Call (570) 391-0866 to learn more about your legal rights and options.

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