Celebrating his 50th anniversary as a member of the Lycoming Law Association, a local lawyer helped to extend the adoption rights of children to judges of the Supreme Court in the 80s.
Charles F. Greevy III can trace his family’s inherited legacy for more than 120 years in Lycoming County, starting with his grandfather, who began practicing in 1900 and was District District Attorney from 1916 to 1919.
Greevy’s father was elected as one of the two judges of the county in 1951, and then Greevy was admitted to the Ly Law Law Association in 1969.
He started in his uncle’s office, practicing general law at 29 W. St.
The office soon built the legal services of the county and Greevy worked as a Children and Youth attorney – a position he would hold for 40 years.
He also worked for the county planning commission and the mental health department.
In 1976, during the first year of its work with the county, the Pennsylvania Adoption Act was ratified.
“Previously, there was only abandonment of abandonment, if you left the rights of biological parents if you left your child for six months,” t he said.
With the passage, the court would be able to find out, for various reasons, the right of a biological parent to their child.
“I came to work on ending the rights of parents, where three young men were in foster care for seven years. And the children and youth agency decided that her mother would not be able to care for all three of them, particularly when they were getting older, and we went to court, ” Greevy said.
The children, aged between 7, 11 and 13, were away from their parents’ home for six years and the foster parents and children wanted to go on to take them. With parental rights still valid, the children would hold uncertainty until the court made its decision.
The President Judge Thomas Charles Raup addressed the agency in 1978, but the parents appealed to a higher court, arguing that the Adoption Act was unconstitutional.
“That decision was appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court who decided that Judge Raup’s decision was correct, and that the boys should be eligible for adoption,” t he said.
The case was again appealed to the US Circuit Court of Appeal in Philadelphia, which only takes about 5 per cent of cases referred.
“I had a number of other cases that were referred to the US Supreme Court but that was the opportunity I had in my life. The only time I was over them was to argue my case, ” Greevy said. “It was a real milestone in my long-standing law practice that I was able to do and do.” T
The judge found that the parents had no legal standing or right to argue on behalf of their three children, he said.
During the whole four-year process, the eldest boy was unable to accept him at 17 years of age, but their younger parents accepted the two younger boys, aged between 15 and 11 years.
Several years later, Greevy said that it believes state statutes take note and impose timeline restrictions where parents must comply with the court’s claims within 15 months to retain their parental rights.
“I think it was a factor that showed them why a large number of children were being kept in foster care because the parents could not respond as they should,” he said.
All hearings are before the winding up to help parents find services to help them keep back various issues from their children.
Advocacy for children gave a personal insight into most of Greevy’s life while working to help Children and Youth find the best place for children, he said.
“I think it was the reward I had in practicing law than many children I worked with children,” he said. “The main thing I had was to make sure they could go back to their natural parents or biological. That is the best thing. ”
If this is not an option, then it would have to move the children permanently as possible to ensure that they receive an education and opportunity to become good citizens, he said.
The other reward for working on so many cases was the people who helped them to be active in their lives, he said.
“They will come to me and I say you were there for my case and thank you for what you did” he said. “It’s good to see a young person entering a permanent home and in a permanent setting so they can grow and mature in the way they want.”
Greevy retired from satisfaction for Children and Youth in 2016 and in the coming years, he wants to delay his private practice and enjoy his grandchildren, he said.