Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

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The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 52 Pa.B. 5624 (August 27, 2022).

231 Pa. Code Rule 15.7. Voluntary Relinquishment to Agency.

Rule 15.7. Voluntary Relinquishment to Agency.

 (a)  Petition. A petition under 23 Pa.C.S. §  2501 to relinquish parental rights and duties with respect to a child who has been in the care of an agency shall contain the following averments:

   (1)  the name, address, age, and racial background of each petitioner;

   (2)  the information required in subparagraph (1) as to any parent who is not a petitioner, including the birth father, presumptive father and putative father, or the reasons why the court should find such information is not necessary;

   (3)  the marital status of the mother as of the time of the child’s birth and during one year prior thereto, and her maiden name;

   (4)  the name, age, date of birth, place of birth, racial background, and gender of the child;

   (5)  the name and address of the agency having care of the child;

   (6)  the date when the child was placed with the agency;

   (7)  the reasons for seeking relinquishment;

   (8)  whether each petitioner has been informed of counseling services concerning the termination of parental rights and the alternatives thereto and provided with a list of qualified counselors and counseling services;

   (9)  whether each petitioner has received any counseling concerning the termination of parental rights and the alternatives thereto and, if so, the name of the organization or qualified counselor providing such counseling services;

   (10)  whether each petitioner has been informed of the opportunity for a birth relative of the child, including the petitioner, to enter into a Contact Agreement with the Prospective Adoptive Parents, once identified;

   (11)  whether the agency’s consent to accept custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted is attached to the petition; and

   (12)  that each petitioner understands the petition, has considered the alternatives, and has executed the petition voluntarily.

 (b)  Exhibits. The following exhibits shall be attached to the petition:

   (1)  Documentation signed by each petitioner as required by 23 Pa.C.S. §  2501(a).

   (2)  A verified statement from a representative of the agency, counsel for the agency, or counsel representing any other party that written notice was provided to the petitioner birth parent regarding the opportunity of a birth relative to enter into a Contact Agreement, that such notice was provided by hand delivery, by first-class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address, or by electronic transmission in accordance with Rule 15.4(b)(1)(C), and the date(s) that such notice was given. A copy of the notice shall accompany this verified statement.

   (3)  If, as part of the hearing on the petition, the parental rights of a putative father could be terminated pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. §  2503(d), and if written notice of the opportunity to enter into a Contact Agreement has been provided to the putative father in advance of the petition’s filing, a verified statement from a representative of the agency, counsel for the agency, or counsel representing any other party that written notice was provided to the putative father regarding the opportunity of a birth relative to enter into a Contact Agreement, that such notice was provided by hand delivery, by first-class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address, or by electronic transmission in accordance with Rule 15.4(b)(1)(C), and the date(s) that such notice was given, or the reasons why such notice cannot be given, including efforts made to identify or locate the subject person. If notice was given, a copy of the notice shall accompany this verified statement.

   (4)  The joinder or consent of the agency having care of the child, including its consent to accept custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted.

 (c)  Hearing and Decree.

   (1)  Notice of the hearing on the petition shall be provided in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. §  2503(b), and in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. §  2503(d) if the rights of a putative father are to be terminated as part of the same proceeding, and shall be served in accordance with Rule 15.4(b)(1).

   (2)  On or before the hearing, the court shall be presented with a certificate of service stating that notice of the hearing on the petition was given to the petitioner and all others entitled to a copy of the notice in accordance with 23 Pa.C.S. §  2503 and Rule 15.4(b)(1).

   (3)  The petitioner birth parent voluntarily relinquishing his or her parental rights shall be present at the hearing and available to be examined under oath.

   (4)  If as part of hearing on the petition, the parental rights of a putative father could be terminated pursuant to 23 Pa.C.S. §  2503(d), and if notice of the opportunity to enter into a Contact Agreement was not provided to the subject putative father prior to the petition’s filing, then on or before the hearing, the court shall be presented with a verified statement from a representative of the agency, counsel for the agency, or counsel representing any other party that written notice was provided to the subject putative father regarding the opportunity of a birth relative to enter into a Contact Agreement, that such notice was provided by hand delivery, by first-class United States mail, postage prepaid, to the last known address, or by electronic transmission in accordance with Rule 15.4(b)(1)(C), and the date(s) that such notice was given or the reasons why such notice cannot be given, including efforts made to identify or locate the subject person. If notice was given, a copy of the notice shall accompany this verified statement.

Explanatory Comment

   Section 2733(c) of the Adoption Act requires the agency, the intermediary or an attorney for a party to provide notice of the opportunity to enter into a Contact Agreement to the Prospective Adoptive Parents, a birth parent, and, in some instances, a child. Notice to a birth relative who is not a birth parent is not statutorily required, although birth relatives may enter into and become parties to a Contact Agreement.

   An original birth certificate or certification of registration of the child’s birth must be filed with the clerk by the time of filing the initial petition to terminate parental rights. See Rule 15.3(b).

Source

   The provisions of this Rule 15.7 amended March 3, 1999, effective immediately, 29 Pa.B. 1484; rescinded and replaced July 22, 2021, effective July 1, 2022, 51 Pa.B. 4267. Immediately preceding text appears at serial page (366190).



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