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Child custody case for parents who have not seen child in months

A child custody battle that may be interesting to some in Pennsylvania has a judge trying to decide whether to leave a young child in the guardianship with its foster family or to grant permanent custody to its biological parents. In a recent hearing, the child's biological parents, the foster mother and personnel from the local child services agency appealed to the judge their arguments as to where permanent child custody should lie. The judge is expected to make his decision in the near future.

A report on the hearing did not make clear why the 18-month-old child had been removed from the home of its parents, but there was a statement that informed the court that recent drug testing on the parents was clean. A number of months ago, the parents moved to a town two hours away. There, the father found a steady job, and the couple moved to a permanent residence and have had another child. However, they have not been to see their toddler in seven months.

Both parents say they do not have transportation that would allow them a visit when they live so far away, but they are serious about gaining custody of their child. A guardian appointed by the court to represent the child responded that the parents may have found a way to show up to court but it did not seem important enough to them to find a way to witness several important first events in the child's life. The attorney for the father acknowledged the length of separation but emphasized his client was working to get his priorities in order so his child could be returned to him. The foster mother, who has had the child since the day after the child was born, stated she and her husband plan to begin adoption proceedings should they be granted permanent custody.

This child custody case appears to be intense on the part of all involved and each has an opinion on what would be in the best interest of the child. It will be up to the judge to decide what that will actually be. Pennsylvania parents who are in a comparable situation will want a capable representative when laying out their case in court.

Source: timesgazette.com, "Judge mulls custody case", Angela Shepherd, July 28, 2015

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