However, research on The Mental and Social Life of Babies suggested that the "parent-infant system," rather than a bond between biologically related individuals, is an evolved fit between innate behavior patterns of all human infants and equally evolved responses of human adults to those infant behaviors. Thus nature "ensures some initial flexibility with respect to the particular adults who take on the parental role.
Beyond the foundational issues, the unique questions posed for adoptive parents are varied. They include how to respond to stereotypes, answering questions about heritage, and how best to maintain connections with biological kin when in an open adoption. Numerous suggestions have been made to substitute new lessons, e. Adopting older children presents other parenting issues. This is a false economy as local authority care for these children is extremely expensive. Concerning developmental milestones, studies from the Colorado Adoption Project examined genetic influences on adoptee maturation, concluding that cognitive abilities of adoptees reflect those of their adoptive parents in early childhood but show little similarity by adolescence, resembling instead those of their biological parents and to the same extent as peers in non-adoptive families.
Similar mechanisms appear to be at work in the physical development of adoptees. Danish and American researchers conducting studies on the genetic contribution to body mass index found correlations between an adoptee's weight class and his biological parents' BMI while finding no relationship with the adoptive family environment. Moreover, about one-half of inter-individual differences were due to individual non-shared influences.
These differences in development appear to play out in the way young adoptees deal with major life events. In the case of parental divorce, adoptees have been found to respond differently from children who have not been adopted. While the general population experienced more behavioral problems, substance use, lower school achievement, and impaired social competence after parental divorce, the adoptee population appeared to be unaffected in terms of their outside relationships, specifically in their school or social abilities.
Several factors affect the decision to release or raise the child. White adolescents tend to give up their babies to non-relatives, whereas black adolescents are more likely to receive support from their own community in raising the child and also in the form of informal adoption by relatives. Research suggests that women who choose to release their babies for adoption are more likely to be younger, enrolled in school, and have lived in a two-parent household at age 10, than those who kept and raised their babies.
There is limited research on the consequences of adoption for the original parents, and the findings have been mixed. One study found that those who released their babies for adoption were less comfortable with their decision than those who kept their babies. However, levels of comfort over both groups were high, and those who released their child were similar to those who kept their child in ratings of life satisfaction, relationship satisfaction, and positive future outlook for schooling, employment, finances, and marriage.
However, these feelings decreased significantly from one year after birth to the end of the second year. More recent research found that in a sample of mothers who had released their children for adoption four to 12 years prior, every participant had frequent thoughts of their lost child. For most, thoughts were both negative and positive in that they produced both feelings of sadness and joy.
Those who experienced the greatest portion of positive thoughts were those who had open, rather than closed or time-limited mediated adoptions. In another study that compared mothers who released their children to those who raised them, mothers who released their children were more likely to delay their next pregnancy, to delay marriage, and to complete job training.
However, both groups reached lower levels of education than their peers who were never pregnant. Adolescent mothers who released their children were more likely to reach a higher level of education and to be employed than those who kept their children. They also waited longer before having their next child. Furthermore, there is a lack of longitudinal data that may elucidate long-term social and psychological consequences for birth parents who choose to place their children for adoption.
Previous research on adoption has led to assumptions that indicate that there is a heightened risk in terms of psychological development and social relationships for adoptees. Yet, such assumptions have been clarified as flawed due to methodological failures.
But more recent studies have been supportive in indicating more accurate information and results about the similarities, differences and overall lifestyles of adoptees. Evidence about the development of adoptees can be supported in newer studies. It can be said that adoptees, in some respect, tend to develop differently from the general population. This can be seen in many aspects of life, but usually can be found as a greater risk around the time of adolescence. For example, it has been found that many adoptees experience difficulty in establishing a sense of identity.
There are many ways in which the concept of identity can be defined. It is true in all cases that identity construction is an ongoing process of development, change and maintenance of identifying with the self. Research has shown that adolescence is a time of identity progression rather than regression. Typically associated with a time of experimentation, there are endless factors that go into the construction of one's identity.
As well as being many factors, there are many types of identities one can associate with. Some categories of identity include gender, sexuality, class, racial and religious, etc. For transracial and international adoptees, tension is generally found in the categories of racial, ethnic and national identification. Because of this, the strength and functionality of family relationships play a huge role in its development and outcome of identity construction.
Transracial and transnational adoptees tend to develop feelings of a lack of acceptance because of such racial, ethnic, and cultural differences. Therefore, exposing transracial and transnational adoptees to their "cultures of origin" is important in order to better develop a sense of identity and appreciation for cultural diversity. For example, based upon specific laws and regulations of the United States, the Child Citizen Act of makes sure to grant immediate U. Identity is defined both by what one is and what one is not. Adoptees born into one family lose an identity and then borrow one from the adopting family.
The formation of identity is a complicated process and there are many factors that affect its outcome. From a perspective of looking at issues in adoption circumstances, the people involved and affected by adoption the biological parent, the adoptive parent and the adoptee can be known as the "triad members and state". Adoption may threaten triad members' sense of identity.
Triad members often express feelings related to confused identity and identity crises because of differences between the triad relationships. Adoption, for some, precludes a complete or integrated sense of self. Triad members may experience themselves as incomplete, deficient, or unfinished.
They state that they lack feelings of well-being, integration, or solidity associated with a fully developed identity. Family plays a vital role in identity formation. This is not only true in childhood but also in adolescence. The research seems to be unanimous; a stable, secure, loving, honest and supportive family in which all members feel safe to explore their identity is necessary for the formation of a sound identity. Transracial and International adoptions are some factors that play a significant role in the identity construction of adoptees.
Many tensions arise from relationships built between the adoptee s and their family. Will tensions arise if this is the case? What if the very people that are supposed to be modeling a sound identity are in fact riddled with insecurities? Ginni Snodgrass answers these questions in the following way. The secrecy in an adoptive family and the denial that the adoptive family is different builds dysfunction into it.
To believe that good relationships will develop on such a foundation is psychologically unsound" Lawrence. Secrecy erects barriers to forming a healthy identity. The research says that the dysfunction, untruths and evasiveness that can be present in adoptive families not only makes identity formation impossible, but also directly works against it.
What effect on identity formation is present if the adoptee knows they are adopted but has no information about their biological parents? Silverstein and Kaplan's research states that adoptees lacking medical, genetic, religious, and historical information are plagued by questions such as "Who am I? Adolescent adoptees are overrepresented among those who join sub-cultures, run away, become pregnant, or totally reject their families. The adoptee population does, however, seem to be more at risk for certain behavioral issues.
Swedish researchers found both international and domestic adoptees undertook suicide at much higher rates than non-adopted peers; with international adoptees and female international adoptees, in particular, at highest risk. Nevertheless, work on adult adoptees has found that the additional risks faced by adoptees are largely confined to adolescence. Young adult adoptees were shown to be alike with adults from biological families and scored better than adults raised in alternative family types including single parent and step-families.
For example, in one of the earliest studies conducted, Professor Goldfarb in England concluded that some children adjust well socially and emotionally despite their negative experiences of institutional deprivation in early childhood. This suggests that there will always be some children who fare well, who are resilient, regardless of their experiences in early childhood. Since the proportion of adoptees that seek mental health treatment is small, psychological outcomes for adoptees compared to those for the general population are more similar than some researchers propose.
In Western culture, many see that the common image of a family being that of a heterosexual couple with biological children. This idea places alternative family forms outside the norm. As a consequence, research indicates, disparaging views of adoptive families exist, along with doubts concerning the strength of their family bonds. The most recent adoption attitudes survey completed by the Evan Donaldson Institute provides further evidence of this stigma. Nearly one-third of the surveyed population believed adoptees are less-well adjusted, more prone to medical issues, and predisposed to drug and alcohol problems.
The majority of people state that their primary source of information about adoption comes from friends and family and the news media. Some adoption blogs, for example, criticized Meet the Robinsons for using outdated orphanage imagery   as did advocacy non-profit The Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute. The stigmas associated with adoption are amplified for children in foster care. Adoption practices have changed significantly over the course of the 20th century, with each new movement labeled, in some way, as reform.
These ideas arose from suggestions that the secrecy inherent in modern adoption may influence the process of forming an identity ,   create confusion regarding genealogy ,  and provide little in the way of medical history. Family preservation : As concerns over illegitimacy began to decline in the early s, social-welfare agencies began to emphasize that, if possible, mothers and children should be kept together.
It established three new principles including "to prevent placements of children Open records: Movements to unseal adoption records for adopted citizens proliferated along with increased acceptance of illegitimacy. Similar ideas were taking hold globally with grass-roots organizations like Parent Finders in Canada and Jigsaw in Australia.
In , England and Wales opened records on moral grounds. By , representatives of 32 organizations from 33 states, Canada and Mexico gathered in Washington, DC to establish the American Adoption Congress AAC passing a unanimous resolution: "Open Records complete with all identifying information for all members of the adoption triad, birthparents, adoptive parents and adoptee at the adoptee's age of majority 18 or 19, depending on state or earlier if all members of the triad agree.
It is the deep and consequential feeling of abandonment which the baby adoptee feels after the adoption and which may continue for the rest of his life. Estimates for the extent of search behavior by adoptees have proven elusive; studies show significant variation. Nevertheless, some indication of the level of search interest by adoptees can be gleaned from the case of England and Wales which opened adoptees' birth records in The projection is known to underestimate the true search rate, however, since many adoptees of the era get their birth records by other means.
The research literature states adoptees give four reasons for desiring reunion: 1 they wish for a more complete genealogy, 2 they are curious about events leading to their conception, birth, and relinquishment, 3 they hope to pass on information to their children, and 4 they have a need for a detailed biological background, including medical information. It is speculated by adoption researchers, however, that the reasons given are incomplete: although such information could be communicated by a third-party, interviews with adoptees, who sought reunion, found they expressed a need to actually meet biological relations.
It appears the desire for reunion is linked to the adoptee's interaction with and acceptance within the community. Internally focused theories suggest some adoptees possess ambiguities in their sense of self, impairing their ability to present a consistent identity. Reunion helps resolve the lack of self-knowledge. Externally focused theories, in contrast, suggest that reunion is a way for adoptees to overcome social stigma. First proposed by Goffman, the theory has four parts: 1 adoptees perceive the absence of biological ties as distinguishing their adoptive family from others, 2 this understanding is strengthened by experiences where non-adoptees suggest adoptive ties are weaker than blood ties, 3 together, these factors engender, in some adoptees, a sense of social exclusion, and 4 these adoptees react by searching for a blood tie that reinforces their membership in the community.
The externally focused rationale for reunion suggests adoptees may be well adjusted and happy within their adoptive families, but will search as an attempt to resolve experiences of social stigma. Some adoptees reject the idea of reunion. It is unclear, though, what differentiates adoptees who search from those who do not. One paper summarizes the research, stating, " In sum, reunions can bring a variety of issues for adoptees and parents.
Nevertheless, most reunion results appear to be positive. This does not, however, imply ongoing relationships were formed between adoptee and parent nor that this was the goal. The book "Adoption Detective: Memoir of an Adopted Child" by Judith and Martin Land provides insight into the mind of an adoptee from childhood through to adulthood and the emotions invoked when reunification with their birth mothers is desired. Reform and family preservation efforts have also been strongly associated with the perceived misuse of adoption.
In some cases, parents' rights have been terminated when their ethnic or socio-economic group has been deemed unfit by society. Some of these practices were generally accepted but have later been considered abusive; others were uncontroversially reprehensible. Forced adoption based on ethnicity occurred during World War II. In German occupied Poland, it is estimated that , Polish children with purportedly Aryan traits were removed from their families and given to German or Austrian couples,  and only 25, returned to their families after the war.
These practices have become significant social and political issues in recent years, and in many cases the policies have changed. From the s through the s, a period called the baby scoop era , adoption practices that involved coercion were directed against unwed mothers, as described for the US in The Girls Who Went Away. More recently the military dictatorship in Argentina from to is known to have given hundreds of babies born to women captives who were then murdered to be brought up by military families.
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Viewing Birth Records. Death Records. Death Records Request. Viewing Death Records. Marriage Records. Marriage Records Request. Viewing Marriage Records. Property Document Recording. No attorney or law firm shall represent both the child and the adopting parent or parents. Chapter 25 was added October 15, , P.
Chapter 25 is referred to in section of this title. The consent of the agency to accept custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted shall be required. Section is referred to in sections , of this title. The adult or adults having care of the child shall file a separate consent to accept custody of the child. Act 21 amended subsec. Section 2 of Act 21 provided that the amendment of subsec.
The petitioner must appear at the hearing. A petition has been filed asking the court to put an end to all rights you have to your child insert name of child. The court has set a hearing to consider ending your rights to your child. That hearing will be held in insert place, giving reference to exact room and building number or designation on insert date at insert time. Your presence is required at the hearing. You have a right to be represented at the hearing by a lawyer.
You should take this paper to your lawyer at once. If you do not have a lawyer or cannot afford one, go to or telephone the office set forth below to find out where you can get legal help. Telephone number ". Act amended subsec. The original consent or consents to the adoption shall be attached to the petition. Notice of the hearing shall be by personal service or by registered mail or by such other means as the court may require upon the consenter and shall be in the form provided in section b relating to hearing.
Notice of the hearing shall be given to the other parent or parents, to the putative father whose parental rights could be terminated pursuant to subsection c and to the parents or guardian of a consenting parent who has not reached 18 years of age. The notice shall state that the consenting parent's or putative father's rights may be terminated as a result of the hearing. After hearing, which shall be private, the court may enter a decree of termination of parental rights in the case of a relinquishment to an adult or a decree of termination of parental rights and duties, including the obligation of support, in the case of a relinquishment to an agency.
The court shall take such steps as are reasonably necessary to assure that the identity of the adoptive parent or parents is not disclosed without their consent in any proceeding under this subchapter or Subchapter B relating to involuntary termination. The Supreme Court may prescribe uniform rules under this section relating to such confidentiality. May 21, , P. Act 34 added section The patient shall sign an acknowledgment of receipt of such list prior to discharge, a copy of which receipt shall be provided to the patient.
Such list shall be distributed to every agency, hospital or other facility providing maternity care within the county and shall be made available upon request to any intermediary or licensed health care professional. If the parent has not received such counseling, the court may, with the parent's consent, refer the parent to an agency or qualified counselor listed by a court pursuant to subsection b for the purpose of receiving such counseling.
In no event shall the court delay the completion of any hearing pursuant to section or for more than 15 days in order to provide for such counseling. The court, in its discretion, may make such a referral where it is satisfied that this counseling would be of benefit to the parent. The county may also make supplemental appropriations to the fund. All costs of counseling provided pursuant to subsection c or d to individuals who are unable to pay for such counseling shall be paid from the fund.
No filing fee may be exacted under this subsection with respect to the adoption of a special needs child who would be eligible for adoption assistance pursuant to regulations promulgated by the Department of Public Welfare. In addition, the court may reduce or waive the fee in cases of demonstrated financial hardship. Subchapter B is referred to in section H relating to registration of sexual offenders or I relating to continued registration of sexual offenders or to register with a sexual offender registry in another jurisdiction or foreign country.
The rights of a parent shall not be terminated solely on the basis of environmental factors such as inadequate housing, furnishings, income, clothing and medical care if found to be beyond the control of the parent. With respect to any petition filed pursuant to subsection a 1 , 6 or 8 , the court shall not consider any efforts by the parent to remedy the conditions described therein which are first initiated subsequent to the giving of notice of the filing of the petition.
Act 10 amended subsec. Act added subsec. Act 20 amended subsec. Act 76 amended subsecs. Section 7 of Act 76 provided that subsecs. Section is referred to in sections , of this title; section of Title 42 Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. The petition filed under this section shall also contain an averment that the petitioner will assume custody of the child until such time as the child is adopted.
If the petitioner is an agency it shall not be required to aver that an adoption is presently contemplated nor that a person with a present intention to adopt exists. Act 76 added subsec. Former section , referred to in this section, is repealed. The subject matter is now contained in section A copy of the notice shall be given in the same manner to the other parent, putative father or parent or guardian of a minor parent whose rights are to be terminated. A putative father shall include one who has filed a claim of paternity as provided in section relating to acknowledgment and claim of paternity prior to the institution of proceedings.
The notice shall state the following:. You are warned that even if you fail to appear at the scheduled hearing, the hearing will go on without you and your rights to your child may be ended by the court without your being present. Act 34 amended subsec. The home study shall be conducted by a local public child-care agency, an adoption agency or a licensed social worker designated by the court to perform such study. The preplacement report shall also include the information required by section b relating to employees having contact with children; adoptive and foster parents.
If at any time prior to the completion of the home study the court is notified by the individual or agency conducting the home study that it withdraws its assent to the interim placement, the court may order the placement of the child in temporary foster care with an agency until a favorable recommendation for placement is received.
If so, the report shall state the dates on which the counseling was provided and the name and address of the counselor or agency which provided the counseling. Immediately above the signature of the person or persons intending to adopt the child shall appear the following statement:. I acknowledge that I have been advised or know and understand that the birth father or putative father may revoke the consent to the adoption of this child within 30 days after the later of the birth of the child or the date he has executed the consent to an adoption and that the birth mother may revoke the consent to an adoption of this child within 30 days after the date she has executed the consent.
When a person receives or retains custody or physical care of a child from an agency, the report shall set forth only the name and address of the agency, the circumstances surrounding such person receiving or retaining custody or physical care of the child and a copy of the preplacement report prepared pursuant to section Section is referred to in sections , , , , , , of this title. The report required by section relating to report of intention to adopt shall be filed within 30 days after the date of receipt of the custody or physical care of the child.
Act 7 added subsec. Section 2 of Act 7 provided that Act 7 shall apply to expenses incurred for adoption decrees made after the effective date of Act 7, regardless of whether the expenses were incurred prior to or after the effective date of Act 7. Section is referred to in sections , , of this title.
The report of the intermediary shall have attached to it the following exhibits:. In lieu of the investigation, the court may accept an investigation made by the agency which placed the child and the report of investigation in such cases may be incorporated into the report of the intermediary required by section relating to report of intermediary.
Subchapter E was added December 19, , P. The following words and phrases when used in this subchapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:. However, information about these children shall not be publicized without prior approval by the department, which shall ensure the anonymity of these children until such time as parental rights are terminated. Identifying information of such children shall be forwarded to PACE by the agency, with reference to the specific reason for which the child is not to be placed on the listing service.
PACE shall be responsible for the following:. All public and licensed private child service agencies shall register all children with PACE for whom parental rights have been terminated for 90 days and for whom no report of intention to adopt has been filed in the court of common pleas. A public or licensed private agency may register other children as set forth in section b relating to registration of children. This subchapter shall not be construed to limit or delay actions by agencies or institutions to arrange for adoptions or other related matters on their own initiative and shall not alter or restrict the duties, authority and confidentiality of the agencies and institutions in those matters.
The department shall promulgate necessary regulations and shall hire the staff which is necessary to implement this subchapter. This subchapter shall apply retroactively to all children for whom:. Chapter 27 was added October 15, , P. A petition for adoption shall set forth:. The petition shall have attached to it the following exhibits:. Absent such proof, the consent of a former husband of the natural mother shall be required if he was the husband of the natural mother at any time within one year prior to the birth of the adoptee. A putative father may execute a consent at any time after receiving notice of the expected or actual birth of the child.
Any consent given outside this Commonwealth shall be valid for purposes of this section if it was given in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction where it was executed. A consent to an adoption may only be revoked as set forth in this subsection.
The revocation of a consent shall be in writing and shall be served upon the agency or adult to whom the child was relinquished. The following apply:. I hereby voluntarily and unconditionally consent to the adoption of the above named child. I understand that by signing this consent I indicate my intent to permanently give up all rights to this child. I understand such child will be placed for adoption. I understand I may revoke this consent to permanently give up all rights to this child by placing the revocation in writing and serving it upon the agency or adult to whom the child was relinquished.
If I am the birth father or putative father of the child, I understand that this consent to an adoption is irrevocable unless I revoke it within 30 days after either the birth of the child or my execution of the consent, whichever occurs later, by delivering a written revocation to insert the name and address of the agency coordinating the adoption or insert the name and address of an attorney who represents the individual relinquishing parental rights or prospective adoptive parent of the child or insert the court of the county in which the voluntary relinquishment form was or will be filed.
If I am the birth mother of the child, I understand that this consent to an adoption is irrevocable unless I revoke it within 30 days after executing it by delivering a written revocation to insert the name and address of the agency coordinating the adoption or insert the name and address of an attorney who represents the individual relinquishing parental rights or prospective adoptive parent of the child or insert the court of the county in which the voluntary relinquishment form was or will be filed.
I have read and understand the above and I am signing it as a free and voluntary act. The consent of an incarcerated parent of an adoptee may be witnessed by a correctional facility employee designated by the correctional facility. Any consent witnessed by a correctional facility employee shall list the address of the correctional facility on the consent.
Act 47 amended subsec. Act 21 amended subsecs. Section 2 of Act 21 provided that the amendment of subsecs. Act 24 amended subsec. Section is referred to in sections , , , , of this title. A consent to a proposed adoption meeting all the requirements of this part but which does not name or otherwise identify the adopting parent or parents shall be valid if it contains a statement that it is voluntarily executed without disclosure of the name or other identification of the adopting parent or parents.
The court, in its discretion, may dispense with consents other than that of the adoptee to a petition for adoption when:. Consent of a parent to adoption shall not be required if a decree of termination with regard to such parent has been entered. When parental rights have not previously been terminated, the court may find that consent of a parent of the adoptee is not required if, after notice and hearing as prescribed in section relating to hearing , the court finds that grounds exist for involuntary termination under section relating to grounds for involuntary termination.
The court shall fix a time and place for hearing. Notice of the hearing shall be given to all persons whose consents are required and to such other persons as the court shall direct. Notice to the parent or parents of the adoptee, if required, may be given by the intermediary or someone acting on his behalf. Notice shall be by personal service or by registered mail to the last known address of the person to be notified or in such other manner as the court shall direct. The hearing shall be private or in open court as the court deems appropriate.
The adopting parent or parents and the adoptee must appear at and, if required, testify at the hearing under oath unless the court determines their presence is unnecessary. In addition, the court may require the appearance and testimony of all persons whose consents are required by this part and representatives of agencies or individuals who have acted as an intermediary if their appearance or testimony would be necessary or helpful to the court.
It shall require a disclosure of all moneys and consideration paid or to be paid to any person or institution in connection with the adoption. In any case, the age, sex, health, social and economic status or racial, ethnic or religious background of the child or adopting parents shall not preclude an adoption but the court shall decide its desirability on the basis of the physical, mental and emotional needs and welfare of the child. The intermediary may honor the preference of the natural parents as to the religious faith in which the adoptive parents intend to rear the adopted child.
No person shall be denied the benefits of this part because of a religious belief in the use of spiritual means or prayer for healing. Subchapter D was added October 27, , P. The purpose of this subchapter is to provide an option for adoptive parents and birth relatives to enter into a voluntary agreement for ongoing communication or contact that:. The short title of the act of June 13, , P. The amended short title is now the Human Services Code. If the child is 12 years of age or older, an agreement made under this subchapter may not be entered into without the child's consent.
An affidavit made under oath must accompany the agreement affirmatively stating that the agreement was entered into knowingly and voluntarily and is not the product of coercion, fraud or duress. The affidavit may be executed jointly or separately. In making that determination, factors that the court may consider include, but are not limited to, the following:. Failure to comply with the terms of an agreement that has been approved by the court pursuant to this subchapter shall not be grounds for setting aside an adoption decree.
If the court finds that an action brought under section relating to modification of agreement , relating to enforcement of agreement or relating to discontinuance of agreement was wholly insubstantial, frivolous or not advanced in good faith, the court may award attorney fees and costs to the prevailing parties.
Chapter 29 was added October 15, , P. Subchapter Heading. The heading of Subchapter A was added October 27, , P. Unless the court for cause shown determines otherwise, no decree of adoption shall be entered unless the natural parent or parents' rights have been terminated, the investigation required by section relating to investigation has been completed, the report of the intermediary has been filed pursuant to section relating to report of intermediary and all other legal requirements have been met. If all legal requirements have been met, the court may enter a decree of adoption at any time.
Whenever a parent consents to the adoption of his child by his spouse, the parent-child relationship between him and his child shall remain whether or not he is one of the petitioners in the adoption proceeding. If requested by the petitioners, the decree may provide that the adoptee shall assume the name of the adopting parent or parents and any given first or middle names that may be chosen.
Section was repealed October 27, , P. Upon the filing of any decree under this part, the clerk shall enter on the docket an entry showing the date of the decree. Information identifying the natural parents shall not be entered on the docket. The clerk shall issue to the adopting parent or parents a certificate reciting that the court has granted the adoption. The certificate shall not disclose the name of any natural parent or the original name of the person adopted. The certificate shall be accepted in any legal proceedings in this Commonwealth as evidence of the fact that the adoption has been granted.
If the foreign decree of adoption is not in English, the adopting parent shall also file a certified English translation. If no birth certificate or birth identification can be obtained, the adopting parent shall include an affidavit stating the reason therefor. The adopting parent or parents shall sign the foreign adoption registration form indicating that they have read and understand the information provided. The clerk shall issue to the parent a certificate of adoption as defined in section relating to certificate of adoption.
The clerk shall also send documentation to the Department of Health. No hearing shall be required prior to the issuance of the certificate of adoption, and the parent shall not be required to obtain counsel. The clerk shall provide the adopting parent with the standardized information. Information identifying the birth parents of the adoptee shall not be required. The clerk may charge a filing fee in accordance with the court's regular fee schedule as approved by the president judge. July 7, , P. Any officer or employee of the court, other than a judge thereof, the Department of Health, the Department of Public Welfare or any agency who willfully discloses impounded or otherwise confidential information relating to an adoption, other than as expressly authorized and provided in this chapter, commits a misdemeanor of the third degree.
Subchapter B was added October 27, , P. Subchapter B is referred to in sections , , of this title. The term includes, but is not limited to, the following:. An individual authorized to receive both nonidentifying information and identifying information may file a single written request under Subchapter D relating to release of information. Any court or agency may charge reasonable fees for services provided under this chapter.
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The plan shall be subject to approval by the department. An attorney representing a party to an adoption proceeding or acting as counsel or guardian ad litem for a child in a proceeding under this part may forward records and information relating to the child, the child's birth family and the adoptive family to the court which finalized the adoption, as established by general rule by the Supreme Court. Such records and information shall be treated as court records for purposes of this chapter.
Subchapter C was added October 27, , P. Subchapter C is referred to in sections , of this title. The department shall do all of the following:. The department shall publicize the availability of the registry and the manner in which information may be filed with and obtained from the registry. An adoptee, an adoptive parent and a birth parent may at any time file and update medical and social history information with the registry on a form developed by the department.
The following individuals may request information from the registry:. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations necessary to implement this subchapter. The department may request, but shall not require, an agency to submit medical and social history information for adoptions finalized or registered in this Commonwealth prior to the effective date of this subchapter.
Subchapter D is referred to in section of this title. The search for information shall only be conducted by an authorized representative appointed by:. The authorized representative shall review the court and agency record for identifying information regarding the birth or adoptive family and shall determine whether an authorization form has been filed with the court or agency.
Subject to subsections b and c , the Department of Health shall issue a noncertified copy of original birth record within 45 days of receipt of an application if the application complies with the requirements of subsection d. Upon such request, the Department of Health shall also provide the birth parent with an updated medical history form, which shall be completed and returned, together with the completed contact preference form, by the birth parent to the Department of Health. The contact preference form shall provide the birth parent with options, in substantially the following form, from which the birth parent shall select one:.
I have completed the contact preference form and an updated medical history form and am filing them with the Department of Health. I may change this preference by filling out another contact preference form. The form shall include all of the following:. The Department of Health shall accept a name redaction request form if all of the following apply:.
The Department of Health shall remove the form if the birth parent provides the department all of the following:. All of the following information shall be provided:. The fee charged shall not exceed the fee for a certified copy of an original birth record provided in section A of the act of April 9, P. Act amended the entire section, effective immediately as to subsec. The department shall promulgate rules and regulations implementing a standardized training program for court-appointed and agency-appointed authorized representatives conducting searches under this subchapter.
Part IV was added December 19, , P. See section 5 of Act of in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to construction of Divorce Code. Chapter 31 was added December 19, , P. This part shall be known and may be cited as the Divorce Code. Therefore, it is the policy of the Commonwealth to:. B relating to victim and witness intimidation. In the event a complaint in divorce is filed and served, it shall be presumed that the parties commenced to live separate and apart not later than the date that the complaint was served.
Act 24 added the defs. Section is referred to in section of Title 42 Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Both parties shall be competent witnesses to prove their respective residence, and proof of actual residence within this Commonwealth for six months shall create a presumption of domicile within this Commonwealth.
The court also has the power to annul void or voidable marriages celebrated outside this Commonwealth at a time when neither party was domiciled within this Commonwealth. Suspension by Court Rule. A premarital agreement shall not be enforceable if the party seeking to set aside the agreement proves, by clear and convincing evidence, that:. Section 5 2 of Act provided that section shall apply to premarital agreements executed on or after the effective date of par. Chapter 33 was added December 19, , P. A presumption that no prospect of discharge exists shall be established by a certificate of the superintendent of the institution to that effect and which includes a supporting statement of a treating physician.
During this period, the court shall require counseling as provided in section relating to counseling. If the parties have not reconciled at the expiration of the time period and one party states under oath that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall determine whether the marriage is irretrievably broken. If the court determines that the marriage is irretrievably broken, the court shall grant the divorce. Otherwise, the court shall deny the divorce. Section 2 of Act provided that the amendment of subsec.
Section is referred to in sections , , , , , of this title. Act 24 added subsec. The validity of a voidable marriage shall not be subject to attack or question by any person if it is subsequently confirmed by the parties to the marriage or if either party has died. When the validity of a marriage is denied or doubted, either or both of the parties to the marriage may bring an action for a declaratory judgment seeking a declaration of the validity or invalidity of the marriage and, upon proof of the validity or invalidity of the marriage, the marriage shall be declared valid or invalid by decree of the court and, unless reversed upon appeal, the declaration shall be conclusive upon all persons concerned.
The defenses of condonation, connivance, collusion, recrimination and provocation are abolished as to the grounds enumerated in section c and d.
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If a spouse is insane or suffering from serious mental disorder, an action may be commenced under this part against that spouse upon any ground for divorce or annulment. The entry of a general appearance by, or in behalf of, a defendant does not constitute collusion. Collusion shall be found to exist only where the parties conspired to fabricate grounds for divorce or annulment, agreed to and did commit perjury or perpetrated fraud on the court. Negotiation and discussion of terms of property settlement and other matters arising by reason of contemplated divorce or annulment do not constitute collusion.
The court may appoint a master to hear testimony on all or some issues, except issues of custody and paternity, and return the record and a transcript of the testimony together with a report and recommendation as prescribed by general rules, or a judge of the court in chambers may appoint a master to hold a nonrecord hearing and to make recommendations and return the same to the court, in which case either party may demand a hearing de novo before the court.
Only the issues ordered by the court shall be tried. The rule shall not be made absolute when, in the opinion of the court, a trial by jury cannot be had without prejudice to the public morals. In the enforcement of the rights of any party to any of these matters, the court shall have all necessary powers, including, but not limited to, the power of contempt and the power to attach wages.
In the absence of the consent of both parties, the court may enter a decree of divorce or annulment prior to the final determination and disposition of the matters provided for in subsection b if:. Act added subsecs. See section 5 3 , 4 and 5 of Act in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability. The validity of a decree of divorce or annulment issued by a court shall not be questioned, except by appeal, in any court or place in this Commonwealth after the death of either party to the proceeding.
If it is shown that a party who subsequently attempts to question the validity of the decree had full knowledge of the facts and circumstances later complained of at the time of issuance of the decree or failed to take any action despite this knowledge within two years after the date of the decree, the party shall be barred from questioning the decree, and it shall be valid in all courts and places within this Commonwealth.
A motion to open a decree of divorce or annulment may be made only within the period limited by 42 Pa. The motion may lie where it is alleged that the decree was procured by intrinsic fraud or that there is new evidence relating to the cause of action which will sustain the attack upon its validity. A motion to vacate a decree or strike a judgment alleged to be void because of extrinsic fraud, lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter or a fatal defect apparent upon the face of the record must be made within five years after entry of the final decree.
Intrinsic fraud relates to a matter adjudicated by the judgment, including perjury and false testimony, whereas extrinsic fraud relates to matters collateral to the judgment which have the consequence of precluding a fair hearing or presentation of one side of the case. The validity of a divorce or annulment decree granted by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter may not be questioned by a party who was subject to the personal jurisdiction of the court except by direct appeal provided or prescribed by law.
A party who sought and obtained a decree, financed or agreed to its procurement, or accepted a property settlement, alimony pendente lite or alimony pursuant to the terms of the decree, or who remarries after the decree, or is guilty of laches, is barred from making a collateral attack upon the validity of the decree unless, by clear and convincing evidence, it is established that fraud by the other party prevented the making of a timely appeal from the divorce or annulment decree. Chapter 35 was added December 19, , P. Chapter 35 is referred to in section of this title.
However, marital property does not include:. Any decrease in value of the nonmarital property of a party shall be offset against any increase in value of the nonmarital property of that party. However, a decrease in value of the nonmarital property of a party shall not be offset against any increase in value of the nonmarital property of the other party or against any other marital property subject to equitable division.
The presumption of marital property is overcome by a showing that the property was acquired by a method listed in subsection a. The denominator of the coverture fraction shall be the number of months the employee spouse worked to earn the total benefit and the numerator shall be the number of such months during which the parties were married and not finally separated. The benefit to which the coverture fraction is applied shall include all postseparation enhancements except for enhancements arising from postseparation monetary contributions made by the employee spouse, including the gain or loss on such contributions.
The denominator of the coverture fraction shall be the number of months the employee spouse worked to earn the accrued benefit as of a date as close to the time of trial as reasonably possible and the numerator shall be the number of such months during which the parties were married and not finally separated. The benefit to which the coverture fraction is applied shall include all postseparation enhancements up to a date as close to the time of trial as reasonably possible except for enhancements arising from postseparation monetary contributions made by the employee spouse, including the gain or loss on such contributions.
See section 5 6 of Act in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability. Equitable Distribution Proceedings. Section 1 of Act 4 of provided that subsec.
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The court may consider each marital asset or group of assets independently and apply a different percentage to each marital asset or group of assets. Factors which are relevant to the equitable division of marital property include the following:. Where it is necessary to protect the interests of a party, the court may also direct the purchase of, and beneficiary designations on, a policy insuring the life or health of either party. If the court finds, after hearing, that the person willfully failed to comply with the court order, it may deem the person in civil contempt of court and, in its discretion, make an appropriate order, including, but not limited to, commitment of the person to the county jail for a period not to exceed six months;.
See section 5 8 and 9 of Act in the appendix to this title for special provisions relating to applicability. Whenever a decree or judgment is granted which nullifies or absolutely terminates the bonds of matrimony, all property rights which are dependent upon the marital relation, except those which are vested rights, are terminated unless the court expressly provides otherwise in its decree.
All duties, rights and claims accruing to either of the parties at any time theretofore in pursuance of the marriage shall cease, and the parties shall severally be at liberty to marry again as if they had never been married. Unless provided otherwise by the court, whenever a decree of divorce or annulment is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction, both parties whose marriage is terminated or affected shall have complete freedom of disposition as to their separate real and personal property and may mortgage, sell, grant, convey or otherwise encumber or dispose of their separate property, whether the property was acquired before, during or after coverture, and neither need join in, consent to or acknowledge a deed, mortgage or instrument of the other.
The court may also issue a writ of ne exeat to preclude the removal. The party in whose name the assets are held shall be declared the constructive trustee unless the court designates a different trustee, and the trust may include any terms and conditions the court may determine. The court shall grant the petition upon a finding of a failure to disclose the assets as required by general rule of the Supreme Court.
Section 5 10 of Act provided that the amendment shall apply to all equitable distribution proceedings irrespective of whether the proceeding was commenced before, on or after the effective date of par. In an order made under this chapter for the distribution of property, the court shall set forth the percentage of distribution for each marital asset or group of assets and the reason for the distribution ordered.
Section 5 11 of Act provided that the amendment shall apply to all orders made on or after the effective date of par. The decree shall be indexed in the grantor's index against each of the tenants by the entireties. Saved from Suspension. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure No. Whenever married persons have acquired real estate as tenants by entireties and thereafter are divorced, either former spouse, except as otherwise provided by an order made under this chapter, may convey to the other, without the joinder of the other, the grantor's interest in the real estate so that the grantee holds the real estate in fee simple, freed from all right, title and interest which the grantor had in the real estate as a tenant by the entireties.
Chapter 37 was added December 19, , P. The marital misconduct of either of the parties from the date of final separation shall not be considered by the court in its determinations relative to alimony, except that the court shall consider the abuse of one party by the other party. As used in this paragraph, "abuse" shall have the meaning given to it under section relating to definitions. Any further order shall apply only to payments accruing subsequent to the petition for the requested relief.
Remarriage of the party receiving alimony shall terminate the award of alimony. Act 36 amended subsec. Act 58 amended subsec. Reasonable counsel fees and expenses may be allowed pendente lite, and the court shall also have authority to direct that adequate health and hospitalization insurance coverage be maintained for the dependent spouse pendente lite. Any amount paid by the injured party after the commission of the offense but before the conviction of the other party shall be recoverable by the injured party upon petition.
If at any time a party is in arrears in the payment of alimony or alimony pendente lite as provided for in sections relating to alimony and relating to alimony pendente lite, counsel fees and expenses , the court may, after hearing, in order to effect payment of the arrearages:. If the court finds, after hearing, that the named person willfully failed to comply with the court order, it may declare the person in civil contempt of court and in its discretion make an appropriate order, including, but not limited to, commitment of the person to prison for a period not to exceed six months.
Section is referred to in section of this title; sections , When so ordered by the court, all payments of child and spousal support, alimony or alimony pendente lite shall be made to the domestic relations section of the court which issued the order or the domestic relations section of the court at the residence of the party entitled to receive the award. The domestic relations section shall keep an accurate record of all payments and shall notify the court immediately whenever a person subject to a payment order is 30 days in arrears of payment so that appropriate action may be taken to enforce the order of the court.
The domestic relations section shall distribute the payments to the person entitled to them as soon as possible after receipt. Upon registration and adoption, such relief and process for enforcement as is provided or prescribed by law in similar cases originally commenced in this Commonwealth shall be available. A copy of the decree and order shall be forwarded to the court of the state or territory which issued the original decree.
The obligor shall have whatever defenses and relief are available to the obligor in the state or territory which issued the original decree and may question the jurisdiction of that court if not otherwise barred. Interest may be awarded on unpaid installments and security may be required to insure future payments as in cases originally commenced in this Commonwealth. Where property of the obligor, but not the person of the obligor, is found within this Commonwealth, there shall be jurisdiction quasi in rem, and, upon registration and adoption of the decree of the sister state or territory, relief and enforcement of the decree shall be available as in other proceedings which are quasi in rem.
No petitioner is entitled to receive an award of alimony where the petitioner, subsequent to the divorce pursuant to which alimony is being sought, has entered into cohabitation with a person of the opposite sex who is not a member of the family of the petitioner within the degrees of consanguinity. Upon the death of the payee party, the right to receive alimony pursuant to this chapter shall cease.
Upon the death of the payor party, the obligation to pay alimony shall cease unless otherwise indicated in an agreement between the parties or an order of court. Chapter 39 was added April 4, , P. Thereafter, should the parties consent to mediation, the court may order them to mediate such issues as it may specify. The effective date of this chapter shall not be delayed by virtue of this subsection. Former Chapter 53 Custody , referred to in this section, is repealed.
The subject is now contained in Chapter 53 Child Custody. The Supreme Court shall monitor mediation programs established by courts of common pleas. The Supreme Court shall establish procedures for the evaluation of the effectiveness of the program. This chapter shall not affect any existing mediation program established in any judicial district pursuant to local rule. Part V was added October 30, , P. Chapter 41 was added December 19, , P. In all cases where debts are contracted for necessaries by either spouse for the support and maintenance of the family, it shall be lawful for the creditor in this case to institute suit against the husband and wife for the price of such necessaries and, after obtaining a judgment, have an execution against the spouse contracting the debt alone; and, if no property of that spouse is found, execution may be levied upon and satisfied out of the separate property of the other spouse.
Except as otherwise provided in this title, the separate earnings of any married person of this Commonwealth, whether these earnings are wages for labor, salary, property, business or otherwise, shall accrue to and enure to the separate benefit and use of that married person independently of the other spouse, and so as not to be subject to any legal claim of the other spouse. However, in any action in which the ownership of such property is in dispute, the person claiming such property shall be compelled, in the first instance, to show title and ownership in the property.
A married person may loan the other spouse money from the separate estate of the married person and take in security therefor a judgment or mortgage against the property of the other spouse which shall be valid as otherwise provided by law. This chapter shall not be construed to affect Part IV relating to divorce. Chapter 43 was added October 30, , P. Chapter 43 is referred to in sections , of this title. The following words and phrases when used in this chapter shall have the meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:. The existence of a valid support order and nonpayment of the order, together, create the judgment.
The term includes an order for the support and maintenance of a child, including a child who has attained the age of majority, or for the parent with whom the child is living which provides for monetary support, health care, arrearages or reimbursement and which may include related costs and fees, interest and penalties, income withholding, attorneys' fees and other relief. Act added the defs. Act 58 amended the defs. Act 20 added the def. Act 62 added the def. Act 35 added the def.
Subsection b of section no longer exists. The definitions are now contained in section Section is referred to in sections Information regarding the name and the amount of arrearages owed by an obligor shall be provided periodically to consumer reporting agencies whenever the obligor owes overdue support, subject to the following:.
The notice shall be as provided by local rule of the court of common pleas. Section was repealed October 16, , P. Collection of the Social Security number shall be performed in such manner as to protect its confidentiality. If the government agency uses another identifying number on the face of the application, the government agency shall advise the applicant and shall keep the Social Security number on file at the agency.
Collection of the Social Security number shall be kept confidential. The Supreme Court shall by general rule prescribe the form of the order. The financial institution shall remit to the domestic relations section or to the department the assets available in the account on the date of the receipt of the notice of lien or seizure order by the financial institution.
Remittance by the financial institution shall be made within a reasonable period of time. The agreement may specify payment of a fee by the department to the financial institution to conduct the activities in accordance with subsection b. The department, a court, a domestic relations section or an authorized employee of such an entity requesting information under this section or ordering the seizure, encumbrance or surrender of an asset held by a financial institution shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability. A financial institution shall not be subject to any civil or criminal liability for encumbering or surrendering assets of an obligor as required by this section.
The immunity provided by this subsection shall not apply to any person or agent of a government agency, labor organization or financial institution who knowingly supplies false information under this section. The term does not include trust accounts, custodian accounts or accounts under 20 Pa. The act of December 14, P. A temporary order of support under this paragraph may not be for less than the full amount of the proposed order of support being disputed. The transmittal shall serve as a certification of arrears and a certification that the state has complied with all procedural due process requirements applicable to the case.
The response shall confirm the receipt of the request, the action taken and the amount of support collected and specify any additional information or action required of the requesting tribunal to obtain enforcement of the child support obligation. This entry of appearance may be entered without leave of court at any time and at any stage of the action or proceeding. July 2, , P. Act 58 amended the section heading and subsec. Section 7 of Act 62 provided that subsec.