One of the most difficult concepts for lay persons to understand in the law is the rule stating that only relevant evidence is admissible in judicial proceedings.  The concept would seem self-evident as no one would disagree with the principle that courts should not waste time considering irrelevant evidence.  But when faced with a case

Periodically I am asked questions about name changes for children or whether a mother is obligated to use the biological father’s last name for the child (answer: she’s not). A child’s last name is obviously an important and complicated issue that relates to the child’s identity and understanding of their history and parents. Mishandling a

A South Carolina attorney was recently disciplined for failing to have an active email address.

Despite characterizing herself as “retired” and not having a client in thirty years, the South Carolina Disciplinary Board still found that she “poses a substantial threat of serious harm to the public and to the administration of justice” for

I am currently in the process of finalizing an adoption for a grandmother and her grandson.  The grandmother initially came to me in 2009, but she unfortunately suffered a stroke and could not complete the adoption process.  However, she is now healthy and anxious to legally "formalize" her relationship with her grandson, so that he

One of the more nettlesome public policy questions courts are forced to address is when and under what circumstances are the rights of a child’s parent to be terminated.  The right to procreate and to enjoy the comfort of one’s off spring has long been considered fundamental as a matter of constitutional law.  But how is this right meaningful in a world where a parent has been or will be incarcerated for a substantial portion of the child’s minority?  This is the question a unanimous Supreme Court sought to answer In Re: Adoption of S.P.    


A recent article in USA Today by Sharon Jayson highlights some of the changes in how Americans are adopting children. Referring to work by Mr. Adam Pertman, author of Adoption Nation: How the Adoption Revolution is Transforming Our Families – and America, Ms. Jayson highlights recent statistical data indicating that 40% of American adoptions involve

Under Pennsylvania law, an individual stands “in loco parentis” to a child where he or she assumes the obligations of parenthood. In order to sustain an adoption petition predicated on a party’s standing in loco parentis, the child’s placement with that party must be with the agreement of the child’s biological parents.

In the Superior Court