Right to counsel

Key_development Question_mark

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

In most states, adoption proceedings are separate from termination of parental rights proceedings stemming from an abuse or neglect finding. However, it appears that in Pennsylvania, the state uses the Adoption Act to file termination of parental rights petitions based on abuse/neglect. See, e.g.In re Adoption of J.N.F., 887 A.2d 775, 778 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2005). In turn, the Adoption Act requires the court to appoint counsel for a parent in an involuntary termination proceeding if, upon petition of the parent, the court determines that the parent is unable to pay for counsel or if payment would result in substantial financial hardship. 23 Pa. Cons. Stat. Ann. § 2313(a.1).


Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no