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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

231 Pa. Code Rule 15.17. Petition to Modify a Contact Agreement.

Rule 15.17. Petition to Modify a Contact Agreement.

 (a)  General rule. By filing a petition under 23 Pa.C.S. §  2737 with the court that entered the adoption decree, the adopting parents or the adopted child, if he or she has attained 12 years of age, may seek to modify the Contact Agreement.

 (b)  Contents of petition to modify. The petition to modify the Contact Agreement shall set forth specific averments to establish the following facts:

   (1)  the age and birth date of the adopted child;

   (2)  the date when the court approved the Contact Agreement and that such date was on or before the date of the adoption decree;

   (3)  whether the adopted child was then represented by a guardian ad litem;

   (4)  whether the adopted child either signed a separate written consent agreeing to the Contact Agreement or signed the Contact Agreement as evidence of his or her consent, or that the adopted child had not attained 12 years of age at the time of the execution of the Contact Agreement;

   (5)  whether there are siblings of the adopted child who have continuing contact or communication with the adopted child under the terms of the Contact Agreement, and if so, the names, ages, and birth dates of such siblings, the names of previously appointed guardians ad litem, if any, and who such guardian ad litem represented;

   (6)  a description of the proposed modification; and

   (7)  the reasons why the proposed modification will serve the needs, welfare and best interest of the adopted child.

 (c)  Exhibits. A copy of the Contact Agreement shall be attached to the petition.

 (d)  Service. The petition shall be served in accordance with Rule 15.16(a) and notice of any scheduled hearing shall be provided in accordance with Rule 15.16(b).

 (e)  Decree. After a hearing, if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that modification of the Contact Agreement shall serve the needs, welfare and best interest of the adopted child, the court shall enter a decree so modifying the Contact Agreement as necessary.

Explanatory Comment

   Section 2741(b) provides that a guardian ad litem may be appointed to represent siblings who have not attained 18 years of age in a proceeding to enforce or discontinue a Contact Agreement, but does not specifically mention a proceeding to modify a Contact Agreement. 23 Pa.C.S. §  2741(b)(1). However, the court has inherent powers to appoint a guardian ad litem whenever the court finds that the interests of a minor are not adequately represented by others who are sui juris.

   The evidentiary standard of clear and convincing evidence is statutorily mandated. See 23 Pa.C.S. §  2737(b).


   The provisions of this Rule 15.17 added July 22, 2021, effective July 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 4267.

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