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Is it legal in Pennsylvania for a father to sign away rights to his children?

Allentown, PA |

My son (resident of Pennsylvania) is talking about signing away his rights for two children he has fathered with one woman. Is this a legal action in Pennsylvania? Would it mean that he no longer has any visitation or cantact with his children? Would it relieve him from financial responsibility; i.e. would he still be liable for child support? In order for him to sign off his rights would the children have to be adopted by someone else; i.e. mother's new companion/spoouse, paternal grandparents?

Attorney Answers 1


  1. A father may "sign away his rights" to some degree, but he cannot sign away his obligations. If a father terminates his parental rights to a child, he will no longer be considered a legal guardian. This is something the father must think seriously about, since it is next to impossible to reverse this action. Additionally, the father will still be on the hook for child support, unless the child is legally adopted by another. If however the father is giving up his rights only to give the mother full control of the child, the father will still owe child support until the child is emancipated.

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