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Kagarise defends decision

Blair County Judge Wade A. Kagarise has sent an opinion to the Pennsylvania Superior Court supporting his decision to terminate the parental rights of a Blair County mother.

The mother through Altoona attorney Cara Harr has appealed the judge’s termination order of Dec. 2, 2019.

The mother listed six issues in her appeal including a charge that the judge excused the father of the child, who petitioned for termination of the mother’s parental rights and who failed to follow provisions of the Pennsylvania Adoption Act by demonstrating there was a valid adoption resource available.

Kagarise stated that his opinion issued in December explained that “cause” exists to excuse father’s strict compliance with the Adoption Act.

The judge ruled also in his termination opinion that the evidence elicited during several hearings that mother “demonstrated a settled purpose” of relinquishing her parental claim and that she failed to perform parental duties for at least six months.

The mother charged the father erected “barriers and and obstacles” to impede her ability to associate with her children.

Kagarise reported that there was no testimony of barriers or obstacles that impeded the mother’s contact with the children and he concluded testimony established there was “no meaningful bond between the natural mother and the children.”

Altoona Attorney Mary­ann Joyce Bistline represented the legal interests of the children during the 2019 hearings.

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