The Effect of Adoption on Grandparent's Rights to Seek Custody

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More than ever, grandparents seek, through the Pennsylvania Court System, custodial or visitation rights to their grandchildren. The Pennsylvania Legislature has addressed the rights potentially conferred to grandparents in child custody matters. The challenge, however, has been properly addressing the seemingly ever-evolving roles of parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents in matters involving custody of a child.

One facet of this milieu is the effect of adoption on the ability of a grandparent or great-grandparent to seek custody of their grandchild or great-grandchild.

Under Pennsylvania statutory law, unless a child is adopted by a close family member, all rights to seek custody of the child by a grandparent or great-grandparent are permanently terminated.

In this context, Pennsylvania defines “close family member” as a stepparent, grandparent or great-grandparent.

The logic is fairly simple. When the child is adopted by a close family member, the familial bonds are preserved after the adoption. Accordingly, the potential rights of another grandparent or great-grandparent to seek custody of their grandchild or great-grandchild are also preserved.

Conversely, if the child was adopted by an individual who is not a close family member, the potential rights of a grandparent or great-grandparent to seek custody of their grandchild or great-grandchild are permanently terminated.

If you have questions regarding your ability to seek custody of your grandchild or great-grandchild, contact Scaringi Law 717 657 7770.

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