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My husband and I are in a Kinship/Adopt program fostering…

My husband and I...

My husband and I are in a Foster Kinship/Adopt program fostering our 2 year old granddaughter who we have had for 1 year. Her mother is our 27 year old adopted daughter and both she and the father of this little girl used IV heroin. Our daughter realized she has a serious problem and has voluntarily signed over her maternal rights but the father did not and after court Dec. 15th the Judge decided that because he has a job and he is renting a house with his mother's help, and his urine has been clean since August that he did not terminate his rights. Our daughter failed to appear in court prior to this because she was on drugs and was afraid of getting caught but she has since left a rehab and was violated by probation and is currently in Lehigh County Prison for 7 months. Our daughter believes that her boyfriend is just a good actor and does not trust in his recovery. We have filed an Intent to Adopt in Lehigh County but now the social agency is trying to reunify our granddaughter with intent to move her to him in a few months' time. We did try to file for custody in Bucks County but were sent a return letter that they could not proceed because the case is an open case in another county. We do have a witnessed letter from our daughter supporting our desire to adopt her daughter as well as a letter from my employer who is a daycare director supporting our intent. What can we do-how can we proceed? Should we try to file for custody in Lehigh County in which perhaps a master would hear the case or must we go through some steps to have it transferred to Bucks County? We are very concerned about the safety and well-being of our little granddaughter who all would agree is doing very well in our home, church and goes with me to 4 hours of daycare on weekdays.

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Pennsylvania

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

Yes-we did fill out and send to a lawyer the Intent to Adopt paper and we have a case number ***** Bucks County as well as in Lehigh County but when the termination of the father's rights hearing occurred Dec. 15, 2017 the Judge did not ask my husband who was subpoenaed any thing about the father's previous behaviors such as taking my daughter's check to use for drugs, how he threw my daughter across the bed when she was 6 months pregnant so that my husband ended up paying for a hotel room for our then pregnant daughter twice.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

He has only been out of a rehab for three months and has had three jobs in last three months.

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Answered in 9 minutes by:
3/7/2018
Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,062
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. My name is ***** ***** I'm an attorney. Please note this site is for general information for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Communicating with an expert on this site does not establish an attorney-client relationship. You might be offered a phone call, but you are under no obligation to accept; the phone call requests don’t come from me - they’re offered by the site - but if you do want a phone call I’d be happy to do that as well.

Give me just a moment to review what you've written.

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So here's the thing... filing for custody in a different county than the one that is currently "handling" the matter is not going to make the first county give up the case.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
can we try to file for custody in Lehigh County where C& Y has custody at this time?
Customer reply replied 4 months ago
can we try to file for custody in Lehigh County where C& Y has custody at this time? Please continue with the email not phone call.

You can file for custody but they won't just grant custody with a parent who wants to accept the child... not without a hearing and an evaluation as to why the child shouldn't be given to that parent.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
To be clear, you are saying that we can file in Lehigh County?. We know that there will then be a hearing and an evaluation. Is that right? We are concerned that the Judge that did not terminate the father's rights would hear the case or would it be a master?

You would file where the CURRENT case is - if that's Lehigh County then you would file there. If it's not Lehigh County you'd file where the case is, where the CPS involvement is. Not in a different county. I just want you to understand that where there is a parent and that parent is capable of caring for the child, the odds of someone else getting custody of that child are not high.

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago

OK--thank you! Sincerely, ***** ***** Denise ************

It's my pleasure. I wish I had more "good news" for you. IF you wouldn't mind, could you please take a moment to submit a rating so that I receive credit for working with you. If you have any follow up questions I would be *happy* to answer them. Experts only get credit for the time and effort we spend on our answers if you rate positively - 5 stars is definitely appreciated but not required! It DOES NOT cost you anything at all to submit a rating; it just allows me to get credit for helping you - otherwise I get no credit at all. You CAN still ask follow up questions after rating. There may be a lag between your question and my answer; this is because I'm either not at my computer or helping someone else but I assure you I will ALWAYS come back and answer your question.

Olivia Kent
Olivia Kent, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4,062
Experience: Partner at Kent Law Group, LLC
Verified
Olivia Kent and 87 other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
We like your truthfulness-so it seems that we could apply for custody asking for a hearing in Lehigh County where the C&Y case is. We were able to print out the form-do you think we could represent ourselves or must we have a lawyer-they are doing a search in our area for one?
Sincerely,
David and Denise Myers

You do not need to hire an attorney to represent you - legally you can proceed without one - but you need to decide if you're comfortable proceeding without one. If you do decide to hire an attorney, a good place to start looking for one would be Martindale.com which allows you to search by state and by specialty (family law).

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Category: Family Law
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