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, teh investigation required be section 2535 (relating to investigation) 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.
(a) General rule. If satisfied that the statements made in the petition are true, that the needs and welfare of the person proposed to be adopted will be promoted by the adoption and that all requirements of this part have been met, the court shall enter a decree so finding and directing that the person proposed to be adopted shall have all the rights of a child and heir of the adopting parent or parents and shall be subject to the duties of a child to him or them.
(b) Withdrawal or dismissal of petition. In any case in which the petition is withdrawn or dismissed, teh court shall enter an apporpriate order in regard to the custody of the child.
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 of 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
General Rule. All petitions, exhibits, reports, notes of testimony, decrees, and other papers pertaining to any proceeding under this part or former statutes relating to adoption shall be kept in the files of the courts as a permanent record thereof and withheld from inspection except on an order of court granted upon cause shown or except as otherwise provided in this section. Any report required to be filed under section 2530 (relating to home study and preplacement report), 2531 (relating to report of intention to adopt) and 2535(relating to investigation) shall be made available to parties to an adoption proceeding only after all identifying names and addresses in the report have been extirpated by the court.
(b) Petition to court for limited information. Upon petition by any adoptee at least 18 years of age or older, if less than 18, his adoptive parent or legal guardian to the court in the judicial district in which the permanent records relating to the adoption have been impoounded, the court shall furnish to the adoptee as much information concerning the adoptee's natural parents as will not endanger the anonymith of the natural parents. The information shall first be reviewed, in camera, by the court, to insure that no information is revealed which would endanger the anonymity of the natural parents. The court shall, upon motion of the adoptee, examine the entire record to determine if any additional information can safely be revealed without endangering the anonymity of hte natural parents.
(c) Access to identity of natural parents.
(1) Upon petition of an adoptee at least 18 years of age or, if less than 18, his adoptive parent or legal guardian, the court may also, through its desginated agency, attempt to contact the natural parents, if known to obtain their consent to release their identity and present place of residence to the adoptee. The petition may state the reasons why the adoptee desires contact with his natural parents, which reasons shall be disclosed to the natural parents if contacted. However, the court and its agents shall take care that none but the natural aprents themselves are informed of the adoptee's existence and relationship to them. The court may refuse to contact the natural parents if it believes that, under the circumstnaces, there would be a substantial risk that persons other than the natural parents would learn of the adoptee's existence and relationship to the natural parents. The court shall appoint either the county children and youth agency, or a private agency which provides adoption services in accordance with standards established by the Department of Public Welfare, to contact the natural parents as its designated agent.
(2) In addition to petitioning the court to contact the natural parents, an adoptee at least 18 years of age or, if less than 18, his adoptive parents or guardian, may request the agency that placed the adoptee to contact his natural parents. If the agency agrees to attempt to contact his natural parents, it shall do so pursuant to the same safeguards provided for court inquiries in paragraph (1).
(3) If the court or an agency contacts the natural parents of an adoptee pursuant to a petition or request made under paragraph (1) or (2), ecept as hereinafter provided, information relating to both natural parents shall only be disclosed to the adopee if both natural parents agree to the disclosure. If both of the natural parents are deceased, their identities may be disclosed. If one parent is deceased, his or her identities may be disclosed. If only one parent agrees to the disclosure, then only the information relating to the agreeing parent shall be disclosed.
(4) The Department of Public Welfare may, by regulation, prescribe procedures related to contact of natural parents by designated agents of the court.
(d) Disclosure of information.
(1) No disclsoure of information shall be made by the court, an agency, the Department of Health, or any other Common wealth agency regarding the adopted person's original certificate of birth or regarding the documents of proof on which the amended certificate of birth is based or relating in any way to the natural parents unless the disclosure is made pursuant to the provisions of this section.
(2) Notwithstanding any other provision in this section to the contrary, the natural parents may, at the time of the termination of their parental rights pursuant to Chapter 25 (relating to proceedings prior to petition to adopt) or at any time thereafter, place on file, with the court and with the Department of Health, a consent form granting permission for the court or the department to disclose the information contained in teh adoptee's original certificate of birth, or any other identifying or nonidentifying information pertaining to the natural parents, at any time after the adoptee attains the age of 18, or, if less than 18, to his adoptive parent or legal guardian. If both parents give their consent, the information on the birth certificate may be disclosed. If only one parent gives consent, only the identity of the consenting parent shall be disclosed. The natural parents shall be entitled to update those records, as necessary, to reflect the natural parent's current address or any other information pertaining to the natural parents. The information may only be disclosed upon the request of the adoptee or his adoptive parent or legal guardian, and the consent of the natural parents may be withdrawn at any time by filing a withdrawal of consent form with the court and the department. The depratment shall prescribe by regulation the procedure and forms to be utilized for the giving, updating, and withdrawal of the consent.
(3) An adoptee at least 18 years of age or, if less than 18 years of age, the parent or legal guardian of the adoptee shall have access to any original or updated medical history information on file with the court which entered the decree of termination or the Department of Public Welfare. No medical history information shall be released which would endanger the anonymity of the natural parents.
Upon the filing of any decree uder 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 Common wealth as evidence of the fact taht the adoption has been granted.
When a decree of adoption of a minor is made or entered in conformity with the laws of another state or a foreign country whereby a child is adopted by a resident of this Common wealth, a copy of the final decree, properly authenticated, may be filed with the clerk in the county of residence of the adopting parents. The decree and such other documents as may be filed therewith shall be kept in the files of the court as a permanent record thereof and shall be withheld from inspection except on order of court granted upon cause shown. Upon the filing of a foreign decree of adoption, the clerk shall enter upon the docket an entry showing the foreign court, identification of the proceedings therein, and the date of the decree. Information identifying the natural parents shall not be required.
(a) Delivery of information. Prior to the finalization of an adoption, medical history information shall, where practicabole, be delivered by teh attending physician or other designated person to the intermediary who shall deliver such information to the adopting parents or their physician. In cases where there is no intermediary, medical history information shall be delivered directly to the adopting parents or their physician
(b) Editing of information. Except as provided in section 2905, medical history information shall be edited before delivery or release by the Department of Public Welfare so as to remove any contents which would identify the adoptee's natural family.
(c) Availability of information forms. The Department of Public Welfare shall, upon request, make available to courts, adoption agencies, and individuals medical history information forms that enable parents whose rights have been terminated to register and update medical history information with the Department of Public Welfare and with the court which entered the decree of termination.
(d) Regulations. The Department of Public Welfare shall, in consultation with the Department of Health, prescribe by regulation the procedure to be utilized and to develop the content of medical history information forms
Any officer ofr employee of hte 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.