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House of Representatives
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: February 11, 2013 12:10 PM
From: Representative Michael H. Schlossberg
To: All House members
Subject: Child Support Payments from Perpetrators of Rape
If a woman is raped and impregnated in Pennsylvania, she should not be forced to make the difficult decision of receiving child support from her rapist or terminating her rapist’s parental rights. Right now, that is the law in Pennsylvania; my legislation would change that.

In the near future, I plan to introduce legislation that will amend Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by requiring perpetrators of rape to support a child they conceived, even if their parental rights are terminated.

Currently, the courts are authorized to terminate the parental rights of an individual that conceived a child as a consequence of a rape. However, if those parental rights are terminated, the perpetrator will be relieved of his duty to financially support that child. Conversely, if the court does not terminate the parental rights, the perpetrator could request visitation rights or custody of the child.

Victims of rape and children that are conceived during these heinous acts should not be penalized for the wrongdoings of the perpetrator. We must provide victims and their families with the protection they need, while ensuring they are given the financial support they are owed. My legislation attempts to address this issue by requiring that perpetrators of rape provide financial support for any child they fathered as a consequence of rape or incest, even if the parental rights have been terminated.

Please join me in providing rape victims the protection and support that they desperately need. If you have any questions about this proposed legislation, please contact my Legislative Assistant Geoff Brace (gbrace@pahouse.net).

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Introduced as HB836