Appeal from the Order entered on October 20, 2008 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Orphans' Court Division, No. CYF 20 of 2005.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Musmanno, J.
BEFORE: MUSMANNO, DONOHUE and SHOGAN, JJ.
¶ 1 Y.N., the biological paternal aunt of S.B. (d/o/b 6/3/97), appeals from the Order of the Orphans' Court denying her Petition to unseal S.B.'s adoption records due to Y.N.'s lack of standing. We affirm, albeit upon a different basis.
¶ 2 The Orphans' Court set forth the underlying facts and procedural history of this case as follows:
This case involves the five-year journey of a child through the child welfare system. On June 18, 2003, the Office of Children Youth and Families (CYF) obtained an emergency custody order for S.B. CYF filed a [P]etition for dependency and on July 30, 2003, [the Orphans' Court] adjudicated the child dependent and ordered that S.B. remain in foster care. [S.B. was placed into foster care with the Appellees in the instant case (hereinafter "adoptive parents")]. On August 16, 2004, after the child had been in care for fifteen months and [his biological] parents had made little or no progress toward remedying the conditions that led to the child's removal and placement, the permanency goal was changed to adoption. Subsequently, on July 1, 2005, [the Orphans' Court] terminated the parental rights of the biological parents of S.B.
After parental rights were terminated, on July 20, 2005, nearly two years after S.B. was adjudicated dependent and nearly a year after the permanency goal was changed to adoption, [Y.N.] presented an [E]mergency [P]etition for special relief, requesting that S.B. be placed with her. Upon presentation, the [Emergency P]etition was scheduled for a hearing on September 7, 2005. On September 7, 2005, after a brief hearing and arguments of counsel, [the Orphans' Court] denied the [Emergency P]etition. Specifically, [the Orphans' Court] found that [S.B.] had been in his pre-adoptive foster home[, i.e., with the adoptive parents,] for nearly two years, that he had never resided with [Y.N.] and was bonded to his foster parents, and that remaining in the home of the foster parents was in the child's best interests.
On September 19, 2005, [Y.N.] filed an appeal of the September 7, 2005 order [denying her Emergency Petition]. The adoption of S.B. was finalized on September 20, 2005. On September 26, 2005, [the Orphans' Court] entered an order directing counsel for [Y.N.] to file a concise statement of matters complained of on appeal [pursuant to Pennsylvania Rule of Appellate Procedure 1925(b)]. On December 13, 2005[,] [the Orphans' Court] filed an [O]pinion and requested dismissal of the appeal for failure of [Y.N.] to file a 1925(b) statement. On April 19, 2006[,] the Superior Court entered an order dismissing the appeal.
On September 6, 2005[,] CYF filed a [P]etition for adoption on behalf of S.B. On September 20, 2005, [the Orphans' Court] entered an adoption decree wherein S.B. became the adopted child of [the adoptive parents]. On September 10, 2008, more than three years after this adoption, [Y.N.] presented a
[P]etition to unseal [S.B.'s adoption] record[, alleging that the adoptive parents, who are Turkish citizens residing in the United States, had committed a fraud upon the Orphans' Court during the adoption process by misrepresenting their immigration status]. Upon presentation of the [P]etition, a hearing was scheduled for October 20, 2008.
On October 20, 2008, after the hearing on the [P]etition to unseal [S.B.'s adoption] record, [the Orphans' Court] found that [Y.N.] lacked the necessary standing to intervene and to request that the adoption record of S.B. be unsealed. Accordingly, [the Orphans' Court] dismissed [Y.N.'s P]etition. This [timely] appeal follows.
Orphans' Court Opinion, 1/8/09, at 1-3 (footnotes omitted).
¶ 3 On appeal, Y.N. raises the following claims for our review:
I. Whether the [Orphans'] Court misapprehended and/or misapplied the law concerning standing for parties trying ...