Interstate Compact for Placement of Children

There are additional requirements to satisfy if you are adopting a child out of state. The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) has existed for more than forty years and provides instructions for adoptions where a child is to be transferred across state lines. All U.S. states are members of the Compact and […]

Adoption Records

Adoption records are generally sealed and not available for public inspection. In Pennsylvania, a petition must be filed with the court in order to obtain adoption records. The correct place to file a petition is the same court which handled the initial adoption matter. An adoptee over the age of 18 may file a petition […]

Who May Adopt?

An adoption petition can be filed by anyone. Pursuant to 23 P.A. CS 2312, any individual may become an adopting parent. There is no requirement that a prospective parent be married or in a relationship. An adoption can take place in any county where the natural parents of the child reside. It may also take […]

Impact of Criminal Background on Adoption

Background checks are required for all prospective parents in an adoption matter. In Pennsylvania, there are three background checks that are required: Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance through the Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Criminal Record Checks through the State Police, Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) Criminal Background Check through the Department of Welfare. New […]

Is Chapter 7 Bankruptcy the answer?

Well, it depends on what question you are asking. Chapter 7 is designed to give a person a new start. It is designed for people who have consumer debts, credit cards and medical debt. However you must attend credit counseling before you are able to file to see if there is any other kind of […]

Termination of Parental Rights due to Abandonment

Many parties inquire as to whether they can terminate the other parent’s rights on the basis of abandonment. The answer is not a simple yes or no. Pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. § 2511, there are nine (9) grounds for involuntary termination of parental rights. Two of the grounds are as follows: (1) The parent by […]

Post-Adoption Contact Contract

It may be possible to remain in touch with your child subsequent to the termination of your parental rights and their adoption. Act 101, which became law in 2010, allows post-adoption contact by agreement of all the parties. Specifically, a birth relative by blood, marriage or adoption can contract with the new adoptive parents in […]

Will My Divorce Affect My Green Card Status or Citizenship Opportunity?

Whether or not your divorce will affect your immigration status depends on the stage of the process you’re in. U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS) vigilantly watches for possible fraudulent marriages, entered into solely to evade U.S. immigration laws. There are ways to demonstrate your marriage was entered into in good faith, but their effectiveness […]

Can My Former Lawyer Represent My Spouse in Our Divorce?

While it is common and even preferable for a divorcing couple to utilize the same attorney in mediation, there are clear guidelines that generally prevent one spouse from hiring the other spouse’s former attorney in a trial divorce case. The american Bar Association (ABA) Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) rule 1.7 states:  (a) Except as […]

Dividing the Family Cars in a Divorce

When couples begin the divorce process, all assets and liabilities need to be listed and valued in order to determine division between the spouses. Negotiation often involves one spouse being given certain assets in exchange for other assets of the same value – and greater need or emotional attachment are values along with cost that […]