When we talk about the termination of parental rights in Pennsylvania, we’re often discussing adoption. However, the process of terminating parental rights may occur for a variety of reasons.
If you believe that the termination of parental rights must occur or you are currently in the midst of a parental rights case, you need the Scranton, Dickson City, and Moosic family law firm–Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C.
Why are parental rights terminated?
In Pennsylvania, parental rights may be terminated for a variety of reasons including:
- Imminent danger to the child(ren)
- A parent has committed a serious crime
- To remove any rights or obligations the parent has over the child
It is important to know that termination of parental rights can either occur voluntarily or involuntarily, but each requires court intervention.
Voluntary Termination of Parental Rights
Voluntary termination of parental rights are in many cases, straightforward. In voluntary termination cases, either parent can terminate his or her rights to the child(ren). A parent may wish to terminate parental rights and responsibilities because the parent is no longer involved in the child’s life or someone else has been acting as the child’s parent and now hopes to adopt the child.
In the above cases, voluntary termination of parental rights in Pennsylvania is rather simple. However, when the termination of parental rights leaves the child parentless, the cases may become more difficult.
Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights
Involuntary termination of parental rights occurs when significant evidence of abuse, neglect, or complete abandonment occurs. In these cases, the proceedings may be brought upon by the other parent, a third party such as an agency, or by an individual looking to adopt the child.
In Pennsylvania, grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights include:
- The parent refuses or fails to perform parental duties towards the child for a minimum of six months.
- Because of incapacity, abuse, neglect, or refusal to take care of the child, the child is without essential care.
- The parent is not the biological father, but rather the presumptive father.
- The parents of the child have not claimed the child for three months upon the child being found and brought in by an agency.
- The child was removed from the care of the parent by the court for a period of six months or more and the behaviors have not yet been corrected.
- The parent knows the child was born but neglects the child anyway.
- The child was born as a result of rape or incest.
- The child was removed from the care of the parent by the court for a period of one year and the issues have not been remedied.
- The parent of the child has been convicted of a crime such as criminal homicide, aggravated assault, or a comparable crime in another jurisdiction.
- The parent has sexually abused one of the children.
- The parent is registered as a sex offender in Pennsylvania.
When one of the above conditions exists, the court is likely to grant involuntary termination of parental rights. Once the termination of rights occurs, the parent is not obligated to provide support payments, nor can he or she have custody or visitation rights.
Termination of Parental Rights in Pennsylvania: Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C.
If you are involved in a termination of parental rights case in Scranton, Dickson City, or Moosic, Kalinoski Law Offices, P.C. can guide you through this difficult process. Caring for a child’s needs is imperative in this difficult situation. There is no need for you to handle it alone. The family law attorney Craig Kalinoski is here to assist you. Contact our office today for a free consultation.