Right of bio parent to counsel in step-parent adoption. Published opinion from Ky Court of Appeals

S.S. V. COMMONWEALTH OF KENTUCKY, CABINET FOR HEALTH AND FAMILY SERVICES, ET AL.

Family court terminated mother’s parental rights and allowed for step-mother adoption. Mother appealed arguing that the trial court failed in finding it could not appoint counsel on her behalf. The Court of Appeals agreed holding that because an “adoption without the consent of a living biological parent is a proceeding to involuntarily terminate that parent’s parental rights”... “the provisions of KRS Chapter 625 apply to step-parent adoption proceedings under KRS Chapter 199.” Mother was entitled to counsel at all critical stages of litigation.

Digested by Elizabeth M. Howell