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FamilyAnswer
FamilyAnswer, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 23935
Experience:  9 + years of handling Family Law, Divorce, Child Custody and Child Support cases
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I want to file termination of parental rights son. s father

Customer Question

i want to file for a termination of parental rights for my son. his father has not been in the picture for almost 2 years and i have tried to make contact with him, with no luck. i would like to know how i would go about that. where do i get this petition from? i reside in PA
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon. I certainly understand the situation and your concern. The clerk of court in the family division, should have the forms for you to obtain or you can try contacting your local legal aid office, to see if they can supply them.

A petition to terminate parental rights with respect to a child under the age of 18 years may be filed by any of the following:

(1) Either parent, when termination is sought with respect to the other parent.

(2) An agency.

(3) The individual having custody or standing in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to the child and who has filed a report of intention to adopt required by 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2531 (relating to intention to adopt).

(4) An attorney representing a child or a guardian ad litem representing a child who has been adjudicated dependent under 42 Pa.C.S. Section 6341© (relating to adjudication)
23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2512(a)

    The petition must set forth specifically the grounds and facts alleged as the basis for terminating parental rights. The petition must also contain an averment that the petitioner will assume custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted. If the petitioner is an agency it is not required to aver that an adoption is presently contemplated nor that a person with a present intention to adopt exists.
    23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2512(b).

    More specifically, the petition for involuntary termination of parental rights must include the following allegations:

    (1) The name and address of the petitioner and his or her standing (why he or she has a right to bring the petition);

    (2) The name, age, date of birth, racial background, sex and religious affiliation of the child;

    (3) The name, address, age, racial background and religious affiliation of the parent or parents, including the father of a child born out of wedlock, if he has been identified;

    (4) The marital status of the mother as of the time of birth of her child and during one year prior thereto and, if the mother has ever been married, the name of her husband or husbands and her maiden name;

    (5) The date when the child was placed in the care of the petitioner;

    (6) Facts constituting grounds for the involuntary termination pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2511 and a reference to the applicable subsection(s) (see below);

    (7) Whether either parent of the child is entitled to the benefits of the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Civil Relief Act of 1940, as amended (50 U.S.C. Section 501 et seq.); and

    (8) That the petitioner will assume custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted.

    If the petition does not identify the father of the child, it must state whether a claim of paternity has been filed under 23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 8303 (relating to paternity).
    23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2512.

      The petition must have attached to it the following exhibits:

      1. (1) A birth certificate or certification of registration of birth of the child;
        (2) The joinder of a parent of a petitioner who is under the age of 18, unless excused by the court.

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

      1. (1) The parent by conduct continuing for a period of 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.

        (2) 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 and causes of the incapacity, abuse, neglect or refusal cannot or will not be remedied by the parent.

        (3) The parent is the presumptive but not the natural father of the child.

        (4) The child is in the custody of an agency, having been found under 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 three months after the child is found.

        (5) 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 six 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 parental rights would best serve the needs and welfare of the child.

        (6) 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 married the child’s other parent, has failed for a period of four 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 same four-month period to provide substantial financial support for the child.

        (7) The parent is the father of a child conceived as a result of rape or incest.

        (8) 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 since 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.
        23 Pa.C.S.A. Section 2511(a)

      Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

      I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

      Customer: replied 1 year ago.
      My husband is hoping to adopt him but I am not ready for that yet. My main concern was if something was to ever happened to me where would that leave my son, but I read it's best to also submit the adoption at the same time. Is that true
      Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

      If you have a will, you could make a request and ask ahead of time, to place your son with someone specific, if your husband does not adopt him. Of course, once the parental rights of the biological father are terminated, he would not have a right to your son. If your husband was not able to care for him, the next person would be another family member. Please let me know if there is anything else, as I would be happy to respond. If not, please remember to rate my help at this time at the top of this page, prior to leaving, so I can receive the proper credit, for our time together. Thank you.

      Expert:  FamilyAnswer replied 1 year ago.

      I just wanted to follow up and see if you had any other questions or needed me to clarify something. I am here to help, so please let me know. Thanks!

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