Two Successful Step-Parent Adoptions!
One of the most joyous and satisfying areas of the practice of law is adoption. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of representing my clients, a father, and his wife, at an adoption hearing in Lancaster County in which the wife adopted her husband’s two children born to a prior relationship of the father’s. The courtroom was filled with friends and family there to take part in this momentous occasion. After the hearing, we took photos of this new family, their friends and relatives, and even the Judge who presided. It was a wonderful day. But, to get to the adoption hearing we had to go through an involuntary termination of parental rights hearing that occurred two months earlier. That’s because the biological mother refused to consent to the adoption. So, we had no choice but to petition to terminate the rights of the biological mother. To do so, we had to prove either (1) The mother by conduct continuing for at least six 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. 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511 (a)(1). We were able to prove both elements using text and social media communications and testimonial evidence. I felt sorry for the biological mother, but she failed or refused to assert her parental rights and care for her children for too long. And, the children had a stepmother, now the legal mother, who had provided continuous and wonderful care for them for many years. The children are in great hands with their new mother.
If you have questions about adoption law, do not hesitate to contact Scaringi Law at 717-657-7770 for a consultation.