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231 Pa. Code Rule 15.6. Filing of Termination Petitions when an Agency is Not Involved.

Rule 15.6. Filing of Termination Petitions when an Agency is Not Involved.

 Except in cases involving an agency or as otherwise provided by law, a petition to terminate parental rights shall not be granted unless a Report of Intention to Adopt under 23 Pa.C.S. §  2531 or an adoption petition under Rule 15.13 has been filed.

Explanatory Comment

   This Rule implements long-standing Pennsylvania Supreme Court precedent that a parent can petition to terminate the parental rights of the other parent only where there is evidence of a present plan for the child to be adopted by a stepparent or other person. In re Adoption of M.R.D., 145 A.3d 1117, 1120 (Pa. 2016); In re T.R., 465 A.2d 642 (Pa. 1983); In re B.E., 377 A.2d 153 (Pa. 1977). See also In re E.M.I, 57 A.3d 1278 (Pa. Super. 2012); In re Adoption of J.F., 572 A.2d 223 (Pa. Super. 1990). A mere averment in the petition or testimony by the petitioning birth parent is insufficient; instead, evidence must be presented to the court considering the parental rights termination petition that the child’s adoption is intended and foreseeable. However, neither such averments nor evidence are required when a petition has been filed by a parent seeking to involuntarily terminate the parental rights of the other parent pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. §  2511(a)(7) (relating to a child conceived as a result of a rape or incest). See 23 Pa.C.S. §  2514.

   A Report of Intention to Adopt is required to be filed with the clerk within 30 days of when the child is placed with the non-relative individuals. 23 Pa.C.S. §  2532. In the case of an adoption by one not required to file such a report, see 23 Pa.C.S. §  2531(c), this Rule requires the adoption petition to be filed. If the adoption proceeding will occur in the same judicial district as the hearing on the parental rights termination petition, the court will be able to review the Report of Intention to Adopt or the adoption petition to determine if there are any possible impediments to completing the adoption, which then can be explored and investigated as part of the hearing on the parental rights termination petition.


   The provisions of this Rule 15.6 amended March 19, 2013, effective April 19, 2013 for all termination and adoption petitions filed after that date, 43 Pa.B. 1836; rescinded and replaced July 22, 2021, effective July 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 4267. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (366188) to (366189).

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