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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: December 5, 2016 03:08 PM
From: Representative William C. Kortz, II
To: All House members
Subject: Grandparents’ Rights in Child Custody Cases (former HB 685)
In the near future, I will re-introduce legislation – House Bill 685 – to amend Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes by adding a provision that gives grandparents additional rights and consideration as it relates to the placement of a dependent child.

Ensuring that our children are placed in stable and nurturing homes is a monumental task for courts and child advocacy groups across the Commonwealth. Unfortunately, caring grandparents are often overlooked with regards to the placement of dependent children. Current law allows a court to consider any relative who, after study by the probation officer or other person or agency designated by the court, is found to be qualified to receive and care for the child. However, Pennsylvania law does not afford grandparents specific or distinctive rights.

Under my legislation, if a court determines that a dependent child should be placed with an individual other than the child’s parents, guardian, or other custodian, a grandparent who wishes to be given custody shall be considered. Additionally, the bill specifically allows grandparents to have standing in any court proceeding involving the dependent child or children.

The merits of this legislation are compelling in that familial relationships remain intact, which can be extremely beneficial for the psychological health of the child. I invite you to co-sponsor this important legislation.

Previous co-sponsors: Kotik, Bishop, Cohen, Tallman, Millard, O'Neill, Kauffman, Diamond, Hickernell, James, Grell, Harkins, Carroll, Watson, Conklin, Murt, A. Harris, Fee, Brownlee, Pickett, Readshaw, Mahoney, Gillen, Gibbons, Donatucci, McCarter, Rozzi, Kinsey, McNeill, Stephens, Boback, Phillips-Hill, Freeman, Baker, Everett, Pashinski, Thomas, Rapp, Acosta, Staats, Rader, Sabatina, Farry and Bradford

Introduced as HB1047