Within 6 months after filing a Report of Intention to Adopt, the Report of Intermediary must be filed and notice must be given to the adopting parent(s). An intermediary is the party that facilitated the connection between the birth parents and the adoptive parents. It is possible that no intermediary is used, in which case a report is not necessary. The report contains information about the intermediary, the child, placement date, termination of parental rights, monies paid, property owned by the child, compliance with the interstate compact and medical history.
In order to adopt, there must be a Termination of Parental Rights. This can be done three ways:
- The first is where the birth parents voluntarily relinquish their rights to either an agency or to the adopting parent(s). The birth parents must attend the termination hearing in this option.
- The second method is when the adopting parent(s) obtain the written consents of the birth parents to terminate their rights. The court must be presented with a petition confirming consent. In Pennsylvania, birth mother's are not able to consent until 72 hours following birth; however birth fathers may sign his consent away prior to birth. In either case, consent does not become irrevocable until 30 days after they are signed. In the case of a father who consents prior to birth, the 30 days do not start until the birth of the child. Birth parents are not required to attend a hearing using this method.
- The final method is the involuntary termination petition. There are 9 grounds for involuntary termination:
Finally, a Petition for Adoption must be filed with the
court. The Petition is a legal document that must contain information about the
adopting parent(s), the child, and the intermediary. In addition exhibits must
be attached including Childline Abuse and State Police clearances, FBI
clearances, home study update or post-placement reports if required, original
birth certificate of the child, marriage license for the adopting parents as
well as marriage and divorce decrees for any prior marriages, the Interstate
Compact on the Placement of Children forms if applicable, INS designations for
foreign adoptions, the Certificate of Adoption form, certified copies of the
termination decree, any consents to adoption, death, certificate of former
spouse or natural parent if applicable, and a certificate of counsel outlining
counsel fee expenses. The Petition must be presented at which time he court
will hear testimony for the social worker who completed the home study and the
adoptive parents. The child is usually required to be present, although the
child will generally not be asked any questions. At this point the rights of
the birth parents have been terminated; therefore, they are not a part of the
Pennsylvania recognizes Grandparents custody rights, if
the parents are not a married unit and in several other specific circumstances.
The statute provides certain circumstances for a grandparent to enter into a
custody case and obtain partial or primary custody of their grandchildren.
Doing so is not always easy and it is essential to speak to an attorney prior
to attempting to do so.
just by the nature of being grandparents have a right to file for partial
custody of their grandchild so long as the parents are not married or have been
separated for 6 months. Grandparents are permitted to file for primary custody
assuming the following is true: the relationship with their grandchild started
upon the consent of a parent or under a court order; Grandparent assumes or is
willing to assume responsibility for the child and one of the following
conditions is met: The child has been
determined to be a dependent child under the appropriate statute; the child is
substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or
incapacity; or the child has lived with the grandparent for a consecutive 12
months and is removed from the home by the parents. If the last circumstance is
true, the grandparent has 6 months to file an action.
Some Grandparents may be “in loco
parentis”, meaning they are standing in for a parent. If that is the case, the
usual grandparent's custody statute is not followed and the matter proceeds
through regular custodial proceedings once it has been established that the
grandparent is in fact in loco parentis.
This area of law is very common in
recent years and can be difficult, especially if there is already a custody
matter pending between the parents. If you have a grandparents custody matter
or aren't sure how to establish your custodial rights as a grandparent, reach
out to the Myers Law Group, LLC.
The most common client who is
considering a prenuptial agreement is either on their second marriage or has
property or other assets that they have acquired prior to the marriage that
they are looking to protect. The pre-nuptial agreement is a binding contract
between the parties in consideration of an impending marriage. It is important
to handle this matter early and give yourself plenty of time for revisions
prior to the wedding so that you are not signing the night before. If you think
you may need a pre-nuptial agreement, contact the experienced attorneys at
Myers Law Group, LLC.
much more rare than their counterparts, pre-nuptial agreements, a post-nuptial
agreement functions much in the same way as it outlines expectations, with one
important difference, it is entered into following a marriage. These documents
are frequently drafted as a result of some life event in which one party wants
to ensure that they retain their asset should a divorce happen in the future.
One such example could be a property that is purchased during the marriage with
funds from an inheritance and the purchasing party wants to ensure that in the
event of a divorce they retain all interest in that property. Post-nuptial
agreements can be difficult to draft to ensure that they remain a binding
contract; therefore, if you are considering one, you should reach out to one of
our skilled attorneys at Myers Law Group, LLC.