A local adoption agency, Bethany Christian Services, is facing legal proceedings initiated by a man who says the agency violated his constitutional right to child custody. The State College baby was placed with a York County pre-adoptive couple two years ago, in August 2015.
According to legal documents, both parents were with each other for a short time. The mother did not inform the father of her pregnancy. He heard from the mother about his baby, and the upcoming adoption six weeks following the birth. The lawsuit further says that the Bethany Christian Services reached out to the man on Facebook a week prior to the birth, but the adoption agency was aware approximately four months before the birth.
The lawsuit says that the adoption agency tortiously, knowingly and voluntarily interfered with the father's parental rights. Allegedly, Bethany further gave the man false information regarding the adoptive parents and it would not tell him where his child was or allow for a paternity test.
The court has already said that the actions of Bethany were troubling. The lawsuit has requested $1 million in punitive damages, $50,000 in compensation and $20,000 in legal costs. At this time, it is unknown how the court will ultimately decide the matter, but the court has expressed that the man appears to be a fit parent and has awarded the father shared custody of the child on an every-other-week basis.
Are you facing a custody battle and fear that you could lose your parental rights? A Pennsylvania child custody lawyer can help protect your rights in court.
Source: Centre Daily Times, "State College adoption agency sued for more than $1 million," Shawn Annarelli, Aug. 04, 2017