What is my first step in obtaining custody if I have no proof I am the father?

Q: My daughter was taken away and kept from me pretty much her whole life and never knew me. She is now involved in DFS or Child Protective Services in the state of Florida she is currently in Pennsylvania in a shelter waiting for transport to Florida. Her mother doesn’t want her but there is no proof of that. When she gets to Florida she will be placed in a youth facility.

A:The family courts and Children Youth and Families (CYF) are directed to find relatives for children in placement. They call it “family finding”. Since this child is physically in PA, you can try a few things. Call CYF and tell them you want to be a caretaker. They may work with you but there is a possibility that the child is on her way to FLA where it appears there is jurisdiction? An attorney experienced in Juvenile Dependency law can help you immensely. If you cannot afford an attorney, you should call the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, Juvenile Court Project. 412-391-4467. If you qualify for representation, you will have an excellent attorney at no cost. The idea is, if you are serious, get involved now.


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