Rule 15.3. Prerequisites for any Petition to Terminate Parental Rights or Petition to Adopt.
(a) Separate Petitions for Each Child and Any Adoptee. Separate petitions must be filed for each child or adult adoptee who is the subject of a proceeding under Rule 15.7 (Voluntary Relinquishment to Agency), Rule 15.8 (Voluntary Relinquishment to Adult Intending to Adopt Child), Rule 15.9 (Alternative Procedure for Relinquishment by Confirmation of Consent to Adoption), Rule 15.10 (Involuntary Termination of Parental Rights), Rule 15.12 (Court Review and Approval of Contact Agreement), Rule 15.13 (Adoption), Rule 15.14 (Registration of Foreign Adoption Decree), Rule 15.15 (Petition for Adoption of a Foreign Born Child), Rule 15.17 (Petition to Modify a Contact Agreement), Rule 15.18 (Petition to Enforce a Contact Agreement), and Rule 15.19 (Petition to Discontinue a Contact Agreement).
(b) Filing of Original Birth Certificate. Unless previously filed, the childs original birth certificate or certification of registration of birth shall be filed when the petition to terminate parental rights is filed, and the clerk shall make the original birth certificate or certification of registration of birth part of the court file pertaining to that child.
For the following reasons, a separate petition must be filed for each child and any adult adoptee who is the subject of any one of the enumerated proceedings: (i) privacy concerns; (ii) better and more accurate data collection, especially if siblings do not share the same birth parents; and (iii) facilitating appellate proceedings if an appeal from an order terminating parental rights is taken as to only one of the involved children. The court in its discretion may consolidate separate petitions for any hearing.
A county agency unduly burdened by the costs of filing separate petitions for a group of siblings may petition the court for relief from such filing costs. It is anticipated that such petitions for relief would be made only when the costs are burdensome.
The provisions of this Rule 15.3 rescinded and replaced July 22, 2021, effective July 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 4267. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (382160).
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