West Chester Grandparent Adoption Lawyer | Pennsylvania Family Law Attorney
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Lee Ciccarelli

Lee Ciccarelli

Lee Ciccarelli is the founder and managing partner of Ciccarelli Law Offices with over two decades experience as a practicing attorney.

Office Locations
Primary Location
A
304 North High Street West Chester, PA 19380
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Secondary Locations

These locations are available by appointment only

B
1515 Market St., #200 Philadelphia, PA 19102
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C
135 East State St. Kennett Square, PA 19380
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D
600 West Germantown Pike Plymouth Meeting, PA 19462
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E
1489 Baltimore Pike Ste 221 Springfield, PA 19064
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G
101 Lindenwood Dr, Ste 225 Malvern, PA 19355
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H
150 N. Radnor Chester Rd Ste. F200, Radnor, PA 19087
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I
313 West Liberty St., Ste 341 Lancaster, PA 17603
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Grandparent Adoption

Grandparents enjoy special bonds with their grandchildren, and they oftentimes go above and beyond with the amount of financial and emotional support they provide. Pennsylvania law understands the importance of these relationships, and grandparents are given special rights or “standing” when it comes to custody matters.

If a parent dies or becomes unable to care for a child, the grandparents may be able to petition the court for legally adoptive custody of the child. In Pennsylvania, the grandparent of an adopted child is afforded the same rights as grandparents of biological children.

West Chester Grandparent Adoption Lawyer

Whether you are the grandparent or step-grandparent to an adopted child or a biological child, you will want to work with a capable Pennsylvania family law attorney in order to obtain custody of your grandchildren. Ciccarelli Law Offices serves communities all over Chester County as well surrounding areas in Delaware County, Montgomery County, Lancaster County, and the greater Philadelphia area.

Our firm will protect your rights and determine the most effective way to present your case to the court. Call us today at (877) 529-2422 to set up a free consultation so we can review your case.


Chester County Grandparent Adoption Overview


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Legal Standing in Pennsylvania Grandparent Adoption

Under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 23 Chapter 53 § 5324, there are three types of parties that have the standing, or legal stake or interest in a dispute entitling him or her to bring the controversy before the court, for any form of physical custody or legal custody. These include the child’s parent, a person who stands in loco parentis (in the place of a parent) to the child, or a child’s grandparent who is not in loco parentis to the child but:

  • Whose relationship with the child began either with the consent of a parent of the child or under a court order
  • Who assumes or is willing to assume responsibility for the child
  • Meets one of the following conditions:
    • The child has been determined to be a dependent child under Pennsylvania consolidated statute title 42 chapter 63, relating to juvenile matters
    • The child is substantially at risk due to parental abuse, neglect, drug or alcohol abuse or incapacity
    • The child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, in which case the action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home

Additionally, Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 23 Chapter 53 § 5325 lists the following situations in which grandparents and great-grandparents may file an action for partial physical custody or supervised physical custody:

  • If the parent of the child is deceased
  • If the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage
  • If the child has, for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, an action must be filed within six months after the removal of the child from the home

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Chester County Grandparent Adoption Factors

There are 16 relevant factors listed under Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 23 Chapter 53 § 5328 that any court needs to give weighted consideration to in determining the best interest of the child. These include:

  • Which party is more likely to encourage and permit frequent and continuing contact between the child and another party
  • Present and past abuse committed by a party or member of the party's household, whether there is a continued risk of harm to the child or an abused party, and which party can better provide adequate physical safeguards and supervision of the child
  • Parental duties performed by each party on behalf of the child
  • Stability and continuity in the child's education, family life and community life
  • Availability of extended family
  • The child's sibling relationships
  • The well-reasoned preference of the child, based on the child's maturity and judgment
  • The attempts of a parent to turn the child against the other parent, except in cases of domestic violence where reasonable safety measures are necessary to protect the child from harm
  • Which party is more likely to maintain a loving, stable, consistent and nurturing relationship with the child adequate for the child's emotional needs
  • Which party is more likely to attend to the daily physical, emotional, developmental, educational and special needs of the child
  • The proximity of the residences of the parties
  • Each party's availability to care for the child or ability to make appropriate child-care arrangements
  • The level of conflict between the parties and the willingness and ability of the parties to cooperate with one another
  • The history of drug or alcohol abuse of a party or member of a party's household
  • The mental and physical condition of a party or member of a party's household
  • Any other relevant factor

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Additional Pennsylvania Grandparent Adoption Considerations

Pennsylvania Consolidated Statute Title 23 Chapter 53 § 5328(c) also lists the following court considerations for grandparents and great-grandparents in cases in which the parent of the child is deceased or the parents of the child have been separated for a period of at least six months or have commenced and continued a proceeding to dissolve their marriage:

  • The amount of personal contact between the child and the party prior to the filing of the action
  • Whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship
  • Whether the award is in the best interest of the child

If the child has resided with the grandparent or great-grandparent for a period of at least 12 consecutive months, excluding brief temporary absences of the child from the home, and is removed from the home by the parents, then the court considers the following:

  • Whether the award interferes with any parent-child relationship
  • Whether the award is in the best interest of the child

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Find A Grandparent Adoption Lawyer in West Chester

Ciccarelli Law Offices represents grandparents in Chester County communities like Kennett Square, Phoenixville, West Caln, Downingtown, Coatesville, West Chester, Easttown, and West Goshen. We also help clients in Lancaster, Willlow Street, Salisbury, and Columbia in Lancaster County, Pottstown, Cheltenham, Norristown, and Horsham in Montgomery County, as well as Radnor, Chester, and Middletown in Delaware County.

If you are a grandparent seeking assistance in the adoption process, let our firm see what we can do for you. We can review your case when you call (877) 529-2422 to schedule a free consultation.