Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

Legislation, Termination of Parental Rights (Private) - Birth Parents

There is a right to counsel for an indigent "parent of a child in any adoption proceeding who opposes the adoption of such child." N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 262(a)(vii); N.Y. Surr. Ct. Proc. Act § 407(1)(a)(iii); see also N.Y. Soc. Serv. Law § 384-b(3)(e) (requiring notice to parents "of their right to the assistance of counsel, including any right they may have to have counsel assigned by the court in any case where they are financially unable to obtain counsel" in a proceeding to free a destitute or dependant child for adoption).


This right to counsel extends to the appeal. N.Y. Fam. Ct. Act § 1120(a).

Where these proceedings take place in the New York Supreme Court, the parties have the same rights to counsel as identified above. N.Y. Jud. Law § 35(8) (providing for fees to be paid to appoint counsel when the supreme court exercises jurisdiction over family court matter "whereby, if such proceedings were pending in family court, such court would be required by [section 262] of the family court act to appoint counsel")

Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no