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PA Bulletin, Doc. No. 22-971




Amendments to Local Rules; No. 22-233 Prothonotary

[52 Pa.B. 3678]
[Saturday, July 2, 2022]


And Now, this 15th day of June, 2022, all previously promulgated Berks County Orphan's Court local rules under Chapter XV concerning adoption proceedings are vacated effective July 1, 2022, pursuant to the PA Supreme Court Order dated July 22, 2021.

 Berks County Orphan's Court Rules 15.3A, 15.12A, 15.13A, 15.13B, and 15.13C shall become effective on July 1, 2022, or thirty (30) days after publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin, in accordance with Pa.R.J.A. No. 103(d)(5)(iii), whichever comes last.

 The District Court Administrator is Ordered and Directed to:

 1. Submit one (1) copy of this Order, including the amended rule, to the appropriate Rules Committee of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania for review.

 2. Distribute two (2) copies of this Order, including the amended rule, and one (1) disk copy to the Legislative Reference Bureau for publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 3. File one (1) copy of this Order, including the amended rules, with the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts contemporaneously with publishing the local rules in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 4. Compile the local rules within the complete set of local rules available on the Berks County Court website no later than 30 days following publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin.

 5. Distribute one (1) copy of this Order, including the amended rule to the Berks County Prothonotary's Office so they can keep them continuously available for public inspection and copying.

President Judge

Chapter XV. Adoptions

Rule 15.3A. Separate Petitions.

 A separate petition shall be filed for each parent whose rights the petitioner seeks to terminate.

Rule 15.12A. Guardian ad Litem.

 If a child had an appointed guardian ad litem through any prior permanency review hearings, the appointed guardian ad litem shall cooperate with the post-adoption continuing contact agreement, if available.

Rule 15.13A. Pending Petitions.

 In addition to the requirements of Rule 15.13(a)(11), if there are any known pending petitions regarding custody or guardianship of the adoptee, the Petitioner shall inform the Court of such and request guidance on whether to provide notice of the adoption and hearing to those parties in the pending action for custody or guardianship of the adoptee.

Rule 15.13B. Financial Responsibility.

 A Statement of Financial Responsibility, in the following form, shall be attached to all petitions for adoption:



 I, ___________________________ , the person petitioning to adopt the above-named child, acknowledge that if the adoption is approved by the court I will have the duty, just as any other parent, to support the child financially. I acknowledge that this duty of support is absolute and may extend beyond the child's eighteenth (18th) birthday in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S.A. § 4321. I acknowledge that I will owe this duty of support even if my relationship with the child's other parent ends, regardless of which parent has physical custody of the child, and I may need to make sacrifices to meet this burden.

 As evidenced by my signature below, I accept my acknowledged parental duty of financial support for the above-named child.

Date: _________________
   Adoptive Parent

Rule 15.13C. Agreements for Post-Adoption Contact.

 Whenever a request for court approval of a voluntary agreement for continuing contact, or modification or termination thereof, under Subchapter D of the Adoption Act is filed and the child(ren) subject to the agreement is or was represented by a guardian ad litem in a dependency or termination of parental rights proceeding, the party filing the request for approval shall immediately serve notice of the filing on the guardian ad litem. If a voluntary agreement for continuing contact is proposed for the first time at the time of an adoption hearing and a previously appointed guardian ad litem is not present for the hearing, the matter shall be continued to allow notice to the guardian.

[Pa.B. Doc. No. 22-971. Filed for public inspection July 1, 2022, 9:00 a.m.]

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