Matter of Cheryl Hanna W., N.Y.L.J., January 29, 1976, p. 38, col. 1.


Surrogate Gelfand

    MATTER OF CHERYL HANNA W., an adoptee—Petitioner, an adult adoptee, seeks an order to show cause directed solely to the Attorney General of the State of New York, as to why the records of this court with reference to her adoption should not be unsealed pursuant to section 114, Domestic Relations Law, or, in the [38:2] alternative, if said section precludes such unsealing why the secton should not be declared unconstitutional.
    Petitioner also requests that this court not require notice to the adoptive parents of the application petitioner seeks to initiate by order to show cause.  Section 114, Domestice [sic] Relations Law, specifically provides with reference to court records in adoption matters that "no order for disclosure or access and inspection shall be granted except on good cause shown and on due notice to the adoptive parents and to such additional persons as the court may direct" (emphasis added).  Petitioner's argument that the very requirement of notice to the adoptive parents is unconstitutional gives no cognizance to the obvious fact that the adoptive parents are parties in interest with reference to this proceeding and that fundamental due process would require that they be heard as directed by the statute.  That the adoptive parents are necessary to the proceeding does not necessarily confer upon them an absolute right to veto the unsealing of the records; it gives to them merely the right to be heard on the issue.  Accordingly, the application to dispense with notice upon the adoptive parents is denied.  The order to show cause is signed directing service of a copy thereof on the Attorney General of the State of New York, and the adoptive parents.  Proceed accordingly.

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