In re Adoption of K.M.G.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court used In re Adoption of K.M.G. as a vehicle to answer the question: “[W]hether reviewing courts must determine sua sponte whether a conflict existed in an attorney’s representation of a child’s best interests and legal interests and whether counsel’s advocacy for the child’s legal interests included placing the child’s preferred outcome on the record.” Here, one attorney acted as guardian ad litem and attorney for four siblings. An en banc panel of the Superior Court held that such an inquiry could not be raised by an appellate court sua sponte. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the appellate court should make sure that counsel was appointed to represent a child’s legal interests in a termination of parental rights case. And the reviewing court should make sure that the orphans’ court decided that there is no conflict of interest. But the Supreme Court stopped there and held that the reviewing court should not delve into the record sua sponte to rule on the providence of that determination. 

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