Pittsburgh Attorney for Adoption Service in Allegheny County (Pittsburgh), Beaver Couty, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Lawyer if you want to adopt a child or children, work with CYF, CYS for custody of dependent child, handle paperwork for adoption

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Termination of Parental Rights.

Termination of parental rights can come one of two ways: voluntary or
involuntary. Either way, even with consent, a formal process is necessary to
protect the interests of all parties concerned.

Involuntary termination requires more than just a short fact finding hearing to
evaluate "consent." In an involuntary termination proceeding, consent is not
required to terminate parental rights. The statute in this area is fairly clear.
(This law is being provided for informational purposes only and not legal advice.
You should contact an attorney if you are seeking legal advice that relates to
your particular case.)

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23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 2501(a) (West 1991)

When any child under the age of 18 years has been in
the care of any agency for a minimum period of three
days or, whether or not the agency has the physical
care of the child, the agency has received a written
notice of the present intent to transfer to it custody of
the child, executed by the parent, the parent or
parents of the child may petition the court for
permission to relinquish forever all parental rights and
duties with respect to their child.

23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 2511(a), (b) (West Supp.
1998)

The rights of a parent in regard to a child may be
terminated after a petition filed on any of the following
grounds:

The parent by conduct continuing for a period of at
least 6 months immediately preceding the filing of the
petition either has evidenced a
settled purpose of relinquishing parental claim
to a child or has refused or failed to perform
parental duties;

The repeated and continued incapacity, abuse,
neglect or refusal of the parent has caused the
child to be without essential parental care,
control or subsistence necessary for his physical
or mental well-being and the conditions or causes
of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal
cannot or will not be remedied by the parent;

The parent is the presumptive but not the natural
father of the child;

The child is in the custody of an agency, having
been found in such circumstances that the
identity or whereabouts of the parent is unknown
and cannot be ascertained by diligent search and
the parent does not claim the child within 3
months after the child is found;

The child has been removed from the care of the
parent by the court or under a voluntary
agreement with an agency for a period of at least
6 months, the conditions which led to the removal
or placement of the child continue to exist, the
parent cannot or will not remedy those conditions
within a reasonable period of time, the services
or assistance reasonably available to the parent
are not likely to remedy the conditions which led
to the removal or placement of the child within a
reasonable period of time and termination of the
parental rights would best serve the needs and
welfare of the child;

In the case of a newborn child, the parent knows
or has reason to know of the child's birth, does
not reside with the child, has not m
arried the
child's other parent, has failed for a period of
4 months immediately preceding the filing of the
petition to make reasonable efforts to maintain
substantial and continuing contact with the child
and has failed during the 4-month period to
provide substantial financial support;

The parent is the father of a child conceived as
a result of a rape or incest;

The child has been removed from the care of the
parent by the court or under a voluntary
agreement with an agency, 12 months or more have
elapsed from the date of removal or placement,
the conditions which led to the removal or
placement of the child continue to exist and
termination of parental rights would best serve
the needs and welfare of the child.

The court, in terminating the rights of a parent,
shall give primary consideration to the
developmental, physical and emotional needs and
welfare of the child. The rights of a parent
shall not be terminated solely on the basis of
environmental factors such as inadequate housing,
furnishings, income, clothing and medical care if
found to be beyond the control of the parent.
With respect to any petition filed pursuant to
the provisions listed above, the court shall not
consider any efforts by the parent to remedy
conditions described therein which are first
initiated subsequent to the giving of notice of
filing the petition.

42 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. 6302 (West, WESTLAW
through End of 2000 Reg. Sess.)

'Aggravated circumstances' means any of the following
circumstances:

The child is in the custody of a county agency and either
the identity or whereabouts of the
parents is unknown and cannot be ascertained and
the parent does not claim the child within 3
months of the date the child was taken into
custody; or the identity or whereabouts of the
parents is known and the parents have failed to
maintain substantial and continuing contact with
the child for a period of 6 months;

The child or another child of the parent has been
the victim of physical abuse resulting in serious
bodily injury, sexual violence, or aggravated
physical neglect by the parent;

The parent of the child has been convicted of any
of the following offenses where the victim was a
child: criminal homicide; a felony under laws
relating to aggravated assault, rape, statutory
sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual
intercourse, sexual assault, or aggravated
indecent assault; a misdemeanor under the law
relating to indecent assault; an equivalent crime
in another jurisdiction; the attempt,
solicitation or conspiracy to commit any of the
offenses listed above;

The parental rights of the parent have been
involuntarily terminated with respect to a child
of the parent.

'Aggravated physical neglect' means any omission in the
care of a child which results in a life-threatening condition
or seriously impairs the child's functioning.
Adoption Through Dependency
Proceedings.


Our attorneys evaluate dependency issues and the
prerequisites for adoption. Each Pittsburgh attorney with us
handles grandparent adoptions, stepparent adoption,
surrogate parent adoption, domestic agency adoption, and
private adoption. We handle juvenile court proceedings
concerning the termination (voluntary or involuntary) of
parental rights. We will handle all the paper work concerning
your adoption in either Allegheny, Beaver, and Washington
Counties. Call us to speak with experienced family law
attorneys on this matter.

Links to Agencies Concerning Dependency:
http://dsf.chesco.org/cyf/cwp/view.asp?A=3&Q=611628
http://www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/children.aspx
http://www.alleghenycourts.us/family/child_protection/court_
processes.asp
David N. Hanna, P.C.