Matter of Cheryl Hanna W., N.Y.L.J., January 29,
1976, p. 38, col. 1.
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
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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© 2000 Christopher Philippo