In re L.J.
This case involved two siblings who were both in the child welfare system. The goal of one of the siblings, L.J., was changed to adoption, which meant that the other sibling, John Doe Jr., risked losing connection with his brother if he was adopted. John Doe Jr. challenged the change of the goal to adoption and argued that the same attorney could not represent both children because it was a conflict of interest.
Juvenile Law Center filed a brief in a matter of first impression in Pennsylvania arguing that a half-brother should be granted standing to participate in child welfare proceedings involving his sibling and that siblings have a fundamental liberty interest in their relationship with one another.
The Superior Court held that the half-brother lacked standing and that the child advocate's representation of both children did not constitute a conflict of interest.