Act 95 Terminates Parental Rights for Child Conceived in Rape I KingSpry

New Law Addresses Termination of Parental Rights When Child is Conceived as the Result of Rape or Incest

Posted on November 3rd, 2020
by Rebecca A. Young

Act 95 of 2020 was signed by the Governor on October 30 and goes into effect in 60 days.

The new provision applies to petitions filed on or after December 29, 2020.

The Adoption Act allows termination of a father’s parental rights when the child was conceived as a result of a rape or incest. However, the law has also required that an adoption be pending before rights can be terminated. This created a situation where a mother could not terminate the father’s parental rights following sexual assault unless someone else was willing to adopt and take the birth father’s place. In addition, the abuser could then pursue custody rights and the mother would be compelled to co-parent with the abuser.

Under Act 95, parental rights can be terminated without a pending adoption when the child was conceived as the result of a rape or incest. All other requirements of the Act must still be met, including primary consideration of the needs and welfare of the child.

The law does not address whether the rape or incest incident must have been reported or resulted in a criminal conviction.  The courts may require an offer of proof regarding the incident to terminate rights under this provision. If you have any questions related to your situation, consult your legal counsel or one of the Adoption attorneys at KingSpry.

heARTbeat is a publication of KingSpry’s Adoption Law and Assisted Reproductive Technology Law Practice Group. It is meant to be informational and does not constitute legal advice.