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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 53 Pa.B. 8238 (December 30, 2023).

231 Pa. Code Rule 15.2. Definitions.

Rule 15.2. Definitions.

 In addition to the terms and definitions provided in Rule 1.3, the following words and phrases when used in Chapter XV shall have the following meaning:

   ‘‘Adopted Child’’ or ‘‘Adopted Individual’’—any individual for whom a decree of adoption has been entered in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. §  2902 after a hearing, or in accordance with the laws of another country or state of a similar import;

   ‘‘Adoptee’’—an individual as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2102;

   ‘‘Agency’’—an entity or organization providing adoption services as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2102 or 23 Pa.C.S. §  2732, as applicable;

   ‘‘Authorized Representative’’—an individual as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2911 trained by the Department to handle certain requests for identifying information and to search for the subject of the request as necessary;

   ‘‘Birth Relative’’—an individual as identified in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2732;

   ‘‘Child’’—an adoptee or adopted individual who is a minor, or the individual whose parent’s rights are the subject of a termination proceeding;

   ‘‘Clerk’’—the clerk or department as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2102;

   ‘‘Contact Agreement’’—a voluntary written agreement between a Prospective Adoptive Parent and a birth relative that is executed and approved by the court in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. § §  2731 et seq. and provides for continuing post-adoption contact or communication between the adopted child and the birth relative or between the adoptive parent and the birth relative;

   ‘‘Court’’—the division of the Court of Common Pleas conducting any proceeding under the Adoption Act;

   ‘‘Department’’—the Department of Human Services of the Commonwealth;

   ‘‘Intermediary’’—any person or agency arranging an adoption placement as defined in 23 Pa.C.S. §  2102;

   ‘‘Minor’’—a person who has not attained 18 years of age;

   ‘‘Presumptive Father’’—the man married to the child’s mother at any time during the one-year period prior to the child’s birth;

   ‘‘Prospective Adoptive Parents’’—individuals with whom the adoptee has been placed for the purpose of adoption, or who have filed a report of intention to adopt under 23 Pa.C.S. §  2531;

   ‘‘Putative Father’’—an alleged birth father whose parental status has not been legally established and who is not a presumptive father;

   ‘‘Statement of medical, personal, or social history information’’—the information concerning an adopted individual or the birth family of an adopted individual as set forth in 23 Pa.C.S. § §  2102, 2911. The Rules in this Chapter use the term ‘‘statement of medical, personal, or social history information’’ because the Adoption Act refers to these statements in varying ways. Compare 23 Pa.C.S. § §  2503(e), 2504(d), 2511(c) with 23 Pa.C.S. § §  2923, 2934.

Explanatory Comment

   In Philadelphia County, jurisdiction over adoptions, terminations of parental rights, birth records, and related proceedings is exercised through the Family Court Division of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas. 20 Pa.C.S. §  713. In all other counties, family court judges who have adjudicated a child dependent, conducted permanency hearings, or conducted other dependency proceedings may be assigned to the Orphans’ Court Division for purposes of hearing petitions to terminate parental rights or petitions to adopt a dependent child. 42 Pa.C.S. §  6351(i).


   The provisions of this Rule 15.2 rescinded and replaced July 22, 2021, effective July 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 4267. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (382159) to (382160).

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