Harrisburg — The State Senate today unanimously approved legislation sponsored by State Senator John DiSanto (R-Dauphin/Perry) that would expedite the voluntary termination of parental rights in the course of the legal adoption process.
Senate Bill 1129 would require the courts to set a hearing date no more than 30 days after the birth parents file with the court a petition for relinquishment of parental rights to an adoption agency or adult wishing to adopt the child. Current law requires the court to set a hearing date no less than 10 days after a relinquishment petition is filed, but does not stipulate a scheduling deadline for such a hearing.
The legislation also provides procedures for a diligent search for alleged birth fathers as well as notice of a scheduled adoption hearing. Failure to appear at the hearing or file a written objection would result in termination of his parental rights.
“Pennsylvania’s cumbersome adoption process takes months for a child to be adopted and many would-be parents have found it unnecessarily difficult and expensive,” said DiSanto. “My legislation is one of several bills that will considerably improve the Commonwealth’s adoption law and, most importantly, encourage more adoptive parents to provide loving homes for children in need.”
DiSanto’s bill now goes to the House for consideration.
CONTACT: Chuck Erdman firstname.lastname@example.org (717) 787-6801