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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: February 18, 2015 01:23 PM
From: Representative Angel Cruz
To: All House members
Subject: Legislation Ensuring the Termination of Parental Rights for Rapists
In the near future, I intend to reintroduce legislation that would ensure that rapists would not have parental rights to a child conceived as a result of rape.

Though current law already terminates the parental rights of a father to a child conceived as a result of rape, an incident that occurred in my legislative district necessitates further language in statute. In that case, a court in Philadelphia ignored the provisions contained in Title 23 that terminate the rights of rapists by awarding a rapist custody of his biological child conceived as a result of his rape of the child’s mother. This decision was an insult to the victim of the rape and also an indication that something in our law needed to change to prevent this from happening again.

My legislation would amend Title 23 (Domestic Relations) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, to ensure that a court will not award any form of custody to the parent convicted of the offense that resulted in a child’s birth, specifically when the parent who is the victim of the sexual crime objects.

My legislation would also require a person convicted of certain sex crimes to support any born as a result of that offense, regardless of whether their parental rights are terminated. Finally, this bill provides for paternity confirmation by means of genetic or blood testing.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important legislation.

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Introduced as HB721