A majority of the changes in article 1 delete provisions related to children who are under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services from the adoption chapter (chapter 259) and move them to the child protection chapter (chapter 260C), where they are consolidated and put in logical order. This bill also modifies child support provisions, child care, MFIP and DWP, and makes changes to conform with federal law.
Article 1: Children and Families Policy
Section 1 (13.46, subd. 2) amends the welfare data statute to expand access to child support data disclosed to local agencies administering child welfare, foster care, and adoption programs.
Section 2 (13.461, subd. 17) deletes a reference to data of the child maltreatment review panel, which is repealed in section 57.
Section 3 (13.465, subd. 5a) adds a cross-reference to data that may be disclosed to a prospective adoptive parent under section 37.
Section 4 (145.902, subd. 1) modifies the definition of “safe place” for newborns to include a health care provider that provides access to urgent care services or a sheriff's department. This section allows a newborn born within seven days, instead of 72 hours, to be left at the safe place.
Sections 5 and 6 (145.902, subd. 2 and 3) make conforming amendments to reporting and immunity requirements for safe places.
Section 7 (256.998, subd. 1) amends the definition of “hiring” for purposes of the work reporting system for child support. Hiring includes reemploying a person after being terminated or laid off for 60, instead of 90, days.
Section 8 (256.998, subd. 5) requires the report provided by employers regarding new hires to include all information required by federal law, rather than specifying information to be provided.
Section 10 (259.22, subd. 2) strikes the Commissioner of Human Services as the placing authority for adoptions.
Section 11 (259.23, subd. 1) strikes provisions related to the court venue for proceedings related to children who are under the guardianship of the commissioner and updates cross-references, consistent with recodifying the language in chapter 260C.
Section 12 (259.24, subd. 1) modifies consent provisions for adoption by striking provisions related to children under the guardianship of the commissioner, and strikes the reference to "parent who has lost custody through divorce or dissolution."
Section 13 (259.24, subd. 3) strikes provisions related to children under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 14 (259.24, subd. 5) strikes language requiring a consent to an adoption to be made before the commissioner, the commissioner's agent, or a licensed child-placing agency to children under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 15 (259.24, subd. 6a) strikes provisions related to children under the guardianship of the commissioner and updates cross-references.
Section 16 (259.24, subd. 7) strikes references to the commissioner regarding withholding consent to an adoption.
Section 17 (259.29, subd. 2) modifies placements with relatives or friends by adding cross-references to the child protection chapter of law, in order to conform with federal law.
Sections 18 to 49 modify chapter 260C (Child Protection).
Section 18 (260C.193, subd. 3) updates cross-references and modifies language governing placement of siblings.
Section 19 (260C.201, subd. 11a) modifies the court review after the child has been in foster care for six months. A review would be required for all children, not just children less than eight years old. Factors to be considered by the court are expanded and notice provisions are included. The time for holding a trial on certain petitions is modified.
Section 20 (260.212, subd. 1) amends the out-of-home placement plan prepared by the social services agency to ensure the child remains in the same school when the child moves from one placement to another, and adds a requirement that the agency ensure that the independent living plan for a child age 16 or older includes, annually, a consumer report and assistance in resolving inaccuracies in the report.
Section 21 (260C.212, subd. 2) makes education and medical needs of a child two separate items to consider in selecting a placement option for the child.
Section 22 (260C.212, subd. 5) allows a relative to receive notice of the permanency progress review hearing and eliminates the parent’s ability to refuse a relative search, unless the relative should not be considered due to safety reasons.
Section 23 (260C.212, subd. 7) amends the review of placements to require the agency to ensure that youth being discharged from foster care receive their consumer credit report and assistance in resolving inaccuracies in the report.
Section 24 (260C.217) modifies the safe place for newborns statute. This section adds the same “safe place” definition as in section 4. This section also permits the mother or a person with the mother’s permission to relinquish the child to a 911 responder, extends from 72 hours to seven days the time a child may be relinquished, and provides immunity to designated personnel.
Section 25 (260C.317, subd. 3) amends the termination of parental rights statute, striking language regarding children under the guardianship of the commissioner, which is consolidated later in this chapter. This section also clarifies continuing jurisdiction of the court.
Section 26 (260C.317, subd. 4) amends the rights of terminated parents to allow a contract or communication agreement with the adopting family, if it is determined by the court to be in the best interests of the child.
Section 27 (260C.325, subd. 1) clarifies provisions related to court-ordered guardianship.
Section 28 (260C.325, subd. 3) clarifies guardianship of a child when both parents are deceased.
Section 29 (260C.325, subd. 4) modifies a guardian’s responsibilities, by establishing explicit rights and duties of the guardian, and restates the legal relationship between the commissioner as the guardian and the county social services as the agent with placement responsibilities.
Section 30 (260C.328) strikes the provision that permits the court to discharge an emancipated child from guardianship, and allows a child turning 18 who has not been adopted to continue in foster care. This section also deletes the provision the permits a foster parent to be appointed guardian for a child age 14 or older.
Sections 31 to 49 are new sections of law that consolidate provisions related to the termination of parental rights review and adoption proceedings for children under the guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services. The content is largely a restatement and clarification of existing law, moved to this chapter from Chapter 259. There are some modifications to existing law that are specified in the summary.
Section 31 (260C.601) sets forth the court review and adoption finalization requirements for children under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 32 (260C.603) defines terms.
Section 33 (260C.605) contains the requirements related to providing reasonable efforts to finalize an adoption.
Section 34 (260C.607) contains the court process to review the efforts to finalize adoption of a child under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 35 (260C.609) restates the requirement that the responsible social services agency complete a detailed and current social and medical history of the child, and provide a copy of the report to the adopting parent.
Section 36 (260C.611) requires that the adoption study be completed before placing a child in a home for adoption.
Section 37 (260C.613) specifies the duties of the county agency when a child is under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 38 (260C.615) provides the duties of the commissioner when a child is under the guardianship of the commissioner. All duties, obligations, and consents not specifically reserved to the commissioner in this section are delegated to the responsible social services agency.
Section 39 (260C.617) relates to sibling placement, and moves the responsibility for making decisions about sibling separation from the commissioner to the judge or judges responsible for overseeing the county agency's reasonable efforts to finalize the adoption.
Section 40 (260C.619) modifies communication and contact agreements by expanding current policy to allow a contact agreement between siblings who are not placed together, and establishes a court forum to resolve issues over the agreements after the adoption is finalized.
Section 41 (260C.621) contains court jurisdiction and venue provisions affecting the adoption of a child under the guardianship of the commissioner.
Section 42 (260C.623) relates to the adoption petition. New language permits the county agency to petition for adoption under certain circumstances. This section also shortens the time for filing a petition from 12 months after the child is placed to nine months.
Section 43 (260C.625) provides the requirements for documents filed by the social services agency.
Section 44 (260C.627) contains notice of adoption proceedings requirements.
Section 45 (260C.629) contains requirements for the hearing when adoption is finalized.
Section 46 (260C.631) clarifies agency duty to support a petition by testimony that may be by telephone and restates requirements for final order of adoption.
Section 47 (260C.633) restates procedures when the adoption petition is denied by the court.
Section 48 (260C.635) restates the legal effect of the adoption.
Section 49 (260C.637) specifies that an adopted person may ask the Commissioner of Health to disclose original birth record information under the general law applicable to those records.
Sections 50 and 51 (541.04; 548.09, subd. 1) relate to judgments for child support, requiring that all actions on judgments begin within ten, instead of 20 years, after entry of the judgment. The law extending these judgments was originally enacted in 2010, has been extended twice, and is currently scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2013.
Section 52 (609.3785) amends the criminal code provision granting immunity to persons who leave a newborn at a hospital to use the term "safe place," and expands the time period from 72 hours to seven days of birth, consistent with earlier changes in the bill.
Section 53 (626.556, subd. 2) modifies definitions under the reporting of maltreatment of minors statute. A child is subject to a report of threatened injury when the social services agency reviews birth match data. The agency shall accept birth match data as a report under this section.
Sections 54 to 56 (626.556, subd. 2; 626.556, subd. 10f; 626.556, subd. 10i; 626.556, subd. 11) strike references to the child maltreatment review panel, which is repealed in section 53.
Section 57 repeals the child maltreatment review panel.
Article 2: Child Care
Sections 4 and 5 (119B.125, subds. 1a and 2) amend the background study requirements and disqualifying convictions for nonlicensed family child care providers. Language is stricken and replaced by cross-references to applicable sections in chapter 245, the law governing human services licensing background studies.