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Adoptions and Their Affect on Grandparents

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Can the Relationships that grandparents have with their grandchildren be Affected by an adoption to someone outside their family?

By Attorney Jeffrey B. Engle, Family Law Division Leader, Harrisburg, PA

I recently dealt with a case where the grandparents, although involved with their grandchildren, had their relationship severed because they were unable to adopt (for health reasons) and the parents had agreed to terminate their rights. 

The truth is that a decree of adoption terminates forever all relations between the child and its natural parents, severs it entirely from its own family tree, and attached to a new family.  Moreover, when the child is adopted by someone other than a stepparent or grandparent, the decree of adoption also terminates the natural grandparent's visitation rights under the Custody and Grandparents' Visitation Act. Thereafter, the child attains a status, in law, of a natural child of the adopting parents.

If you have questions regarding your grandchildren and a custody or adoption proceeding, contact an experienced attorney. 

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