Stop forcing CHILDREN into 3rd party custody! End adoption discrimination! Equal rights!

Stop forcing CHILDREN into 3rd party custody! End adoption discrimination! Equal rights!

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Steve Paulson started this petition to Pennsylvania Governor

The law singles out grandparents and denies them sole custody and the rights given to all other adoptive parents without due process. Discriminatory!

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects parental rights through the equal protection and due process clauses. The Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Enforcement Act (UCCJEA) holds 49 states responsible to uphold all home state’s laws through the “Full Faith and Credit” clause. Pennsylvania Title 23 Section 5326 forces custody with third parties and denies parental rights after adoption when a grandparent of any generation adopts. The UCCJEA will not allow our own state of residence to protect us!

Pennsylvania allows anyone with a "sincere interest in the welfare of a child" in the absence of parents to gain custody without notification to relatives. Once that person obtains custody they are considered "in loco parentis." It could be a neighbor, teacher, school bus driver, or anybody else. They retain custody even after the child is adopted. If reversed and the bus driver adopts, grandparents loose all rights to custody!

Pennsylvania’s answer to abandoned, abused, and traumatized children is to NOT allow adoptive grandparents to parent a child but continue to return them to their abusers through a judge elected by the local constituency to determine “The Best Interest of the Child.” As parents, we are denied the right to stop the abuse after they are adopted.

Our Story – without the personal details to protect our children
We have raised our own children and through choices they have made as adults, through their battles and our heartbreak we hit a point to choose to protect the most precious and innocent; our grandchildren.

Our little ones were raised in a traumatic environment. Drugs, death, neglect, and abuse are far too common in this opioid induced world. Raised in dire environments, they have been diagnosed with trauma disorders: Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and more.

Unless someone experiences raising a child with trauma disorders, there is no person that can understand what it is like! Not even the therapists that treat them. Waking 5, 8, 12 times a night to a child screaming with night terrors, constant defense and rejection of all kinds, manipulation, threats, insecurity, and unimaginable rage. The hypervigilance is triggered by just about anything; the scent of fast food french fries, a strange voice, or a loud noise that turns a child into an uncontrollable shaking blob. You do all you can to comfort and control then make notes and logs on all the things that affect them and try to overcome the issues. And it gets better.

Just when you start making progress: independence in dressing themselves, controlled anger and manners, kindness, compassion, security – then the court order says you must send them back to their abusers. Regression! Rage, hate, rejection, horrific words and hurt all come back! In a few hours you can watch a child go from gaining in life to right back where you started. Thanks to this law and the court system’s theory of “Best Interest of a Child.” No judge is required to be trained in childhood trauma conditions, yet they are granted by law to be the best judge of interest for the child. While the parent that was just granted adoption is denied that very same right, by that very same judge! Singled out only because we were grandparents.

Please YouTube “Reactive Attachment Disorder” and get a glimpse of what it is.
Here is a video on PTSD

The Law
Pennsylvania Title 23 Section 5326 is written in a confusing manner as to possibly point adoptive grandparent against grandparent or it can be read as adoptive grandparent against anyone given prior in loco parentis. Here are the words from the PA superior court when analyzing the law in Smith v Haar 2012.

“Section 5326 acts to terminate any custody rights granted prior to a child’s adoption when that child is adopted by a person other than a stepparent, grandparent, or great-grandparent.”

Additionally, they restate:

“… under our interpretation of section 5326, the effect of adoption by someone other than a stepparent, grandparent, or great-grandparent is to terminate the custody rights of all persons addressed in the specified subsections, including grandparents, great-grandparents, and parents, as well as the newly-codified rights of persons who stand in loco parentis.”

It is clear!  As well, we live it! The law denies only adoptive grandparents the right to full custody of the child they adopted when custody was granted prior to adoption. No other adoptive parent is denied that right!

Religion, schooling, doctors, sports, and any parental choices of upbringing including who influences them can be forced upon our adopted child by the third party. Custody laws are written for divorced parents and that is the way they are applied here. Because at one time, for even one day, they stood in as a parent (in loco parentis) just as a school does when you drop them off.

The Law and Step-parents
Step-parent exclusion from termination of custody by all others is a very grey area. The other party may be a legal parent with parental rights. There is also due process within the adoption proceedings for a legal parent to step forward.

Other Actions
File a lawsuit challenging constitutionality! We are working on that. However, the speed of the PA court system litigation at about 2 years to just the Superior Court and longer if it must go to the Supreme Court. During that time our children will be subjected to retribution by those with custody. Our priority is to protect our children!

The speed of legislation in Pennsylvania can be much quicker. We hope to bring to light the discrimination placed on us and that the Governor pushes legislation to correct this law before our families must endure 2 years of retribution and the excessive cost of litigation.

Follow us on FB and Twitter @LetUsParent

The Plead
Governor Wolf,
Please remove “grandparent and great-grandparent” from PA Title 23 Section 5326! Grandparents may be the scourge of the earth to Pennsylvania. However, there are no other laws in any other U.S. state that is clearly discriminatory against grandparents adopting as Pennsylvania.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!