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In re Adoption of B.G.S.

Pennsylvania Superior Court

January 21, 2021

In the case of In re Adoption of B.G.S., on September 9, 2019, Transitions Adoption Agency Agency filed a petition to terminate Father’s parental rights to Child. At the conclusion of the hearing on the petition, the Orphans’ Court granted the petition. Father appealed, and the Superior Court reversed. The Court ruled that Father did not know, and had no reason to know, of Child’s existence and the possibility that he was Child’s father until April or May 2019. Therefore, because Father did not evidence a settled purpose of relinquishing his parental claim, or refuse or fail to perform his parental duties, for a period of at least six months immediately preceding the filing of the petition, the orphans’ court erred in terminating Father’s parental rights to Child pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S.A. 2511(a)(1). Furthermore, because Child was about 8 months old at the time the Agency filed the petition, Child was not a “newborn child” under 23 Pa.C.S.A. 2511(a)(6). Therefore, it was error for the Orphans’ Court to terminate Father’s parental rights to Child under Section 2511(a)(6).

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