2nd Engrossment - 80th Legislature (1997 - 1998) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am
1.1 A bill for an act 1.2 relating to adoption; changing provisions in the 1.3 fathers' adoption registry; modifying conditions for 1.4 open adoption agreements; amending Minnesota Statutes 1.5 1997 Supplement, sections 259.52, subdivisions 1, 4, 1.6 9, 10, 11, 12, and by adding a subdivision; and 259.58. 1.7 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 1.8 Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 1.9 259.52, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 1.10 Subdivision 1. [ESTABLISHMENT OF REGISTRY; PURPOSE; FEES.] 1.11 (a) The commissioner of health shall establish a putative 1.12 fathers' adoption registry for the purpose of determining the 1.13 identity and location of a putative father interested in a minor 1.14 child who is, or is expected to be, the subject of an adoption 1.15 proceeding, in order to provide notice of the adoption 1.16 proceeding to the putative father who is not otherwise entitled 1.17 to notice under section 259.49, subdivision 1, paragraph (a) or 1.18 (b), clauses (1) to (7). The commissioner of health may 1.19 establish informational material and public service 1.20 announcements necessary to implement this section. Any 1.21 limitation on a putative father's right to assert an interest in 1.22 the child as provided in this section applies only in adoption 1.23 proceedings and only to those putative fathers not entitled to 1.24 notice and consent under sections 259.24 and 259.49, subdivision 1.25 1, paragraph (a) or (b), clauses (1) to (7). The commissioner 1.26 of health has no independent obligation to gather or update the 2.1 information to be maintained on the registry. It is the 2.2 registrant's responsibility to update his personal information 2.3 on the registry. 2.4 (b) The putative fathers' adoption registry must contain 2.5 the following information: 2.6 (1) with respect to the putative father, the: 2.7 (i) name, including any other names by which the putative 2.8 father may be known and that he may provide to the registry; 2.9 (ii) address at which he may be served with notice of a 2.10 petition under this chapter, including any change of address; 2.11 (iii) social security number, if known; 2.12 (iv) date of birth; and 2.13 (v) if applicable, a certified copy of an order by a court 2.14 of another state or territory of the United States adjudicating 2.15 the putative father to be the father of this child; 2.16 (2) with respect to the mother of the child: 2.17 (i) name, including all other names known to the putative 2.18 father by which the mother may be known; 2.19 (ii) if known to the putative father, her last address; 2.20 (iii) social security number, if known; and 2.21 (iv) date of birth; 2.22 (3) if known to the putative father, the name, gender, 2.23 place of birth, and date of birth or anticipated date of birth 2.24 of the child; 2.25 (4) the date that the commissioner of health received the 2.26 putative father's registration; and 2.27 (5) other information the commissioner of health determines 2.28 by rule to be necessary for the orderly administration of the 2.29 registry. 2.30 (c) The commissioner of health shall notify the mother of 2.31 the child whenever a putative father has registered with the 2.32 adoption registry under this section. Notice shall be sent to 2.33 the name and address submitted by the putative father under 2.34 paragraph (b), clause (2). If no current address for the mother 2.35 is submitted by the putative father under paragraph (b), clause 2.36 (2), the commissioner of health shall not notify the mother. 3.1 The commissioner of health has no independent obligation to 3.2 locate the mother. The notice shall be mailed within 14 days of 3.3 the date that the commissioner received the putative father's 3.4 adoption registration unless a search has been requested under 3.5 subdivision 2. There shall be no charge to the birth mother for 3.6 this notice. 3.7 (d) The commissioner of health shall set reasonable fees 3.8 for the use of the registry; however, a putative father shall 3.9 not be charged a fee for registering. Revenues generated by the 3.10 fee must be deposited in the state government special revenue 3.11 fund and appropriated to the commissioner of health to 3.12 administer the putative fathers' adoption registry. 3.13 Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 3.14 259.52, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 3.15 Subd. 4. [CLASSIFICATION OF REGISTRY DATA.] Data in the 3.16 putative fathers' adoption registry are private data on 3.17 individuals, as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 2. Data 3.18 in the registry may be released to: 3.19 (1) a person who is required to search the registry under 3.20 subdivision 2, if the data relate to the child who is or may be 3.21 the subject of the adoption petition;
or3.22 (2) the mother of the child listed on the putative father's 3.23 registration form who the commissioner of health is required to 3.24 notify under subdivision 1, paragraph (c); or 3.25 (3) a public authority as provided in subdivision 3. 3.26 A person who receives data under this subdivision may use 3.27 the data only for purposes authorized under this section or 3.28 other law. 3.29 Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 3.30 259.52, subdivision 9, is amended to read: 3.31 Subd. 9. [NOTICE AND SERVICE FOR THOSE ON PUTATIVE 3.32 FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY WHO ARE NOT OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO 3.33 NOTICE.] Any time after conception, an interested party, 3.34 including persons intending to adopt a child, a child welfare 3.35 agency with whom the mother has placed or has given written 3.36 notice of her intention to place a child for adoption, the 4.1 mother of a child, or any attorney representing an interested 4.2 party, may file with the court administrator a written request4.3 that the putative fathers on the registry who have registered in4.4 relation to the child be served withserve by certified mail a 4.5 putative fathers' adoption registrynotice to registered 4.6 putative father, an intent to claim parental rights with entry4.7 of appearanceform, anda denial of paternity with entry of4.8 appearanceform, and a consent to adoption form pursuant to 4.9 subdivision 11. These documents may be served on a putative 4.10 father in the same manner as a summons is served in other civil 4.11 proceedings, or, in lieu of personal service, service may be 4.12 made as follows: 4.13 (a) The person requesting notice shall pay to the court4.14 administrator a mailing fee plus the cost of United States4.15 postage for certified or registered mail and furnish to the4.16 court administrator an original and one copy of the putative4.17 fathers' adoption registry notice, the intent to claim parental4.18 rights with entry of appearance form, and the denial of4.19 paternity with entry of appearance and consent to adoption form4.20 together with an affidavit setting forth the putative father's4.21 last known address. The original putative fathers' adoption4.22 registry notice, the intent to claim parental rights with entry4.23 of appearance form, and the denial of paternity with entry of4.24 appearance and consent to adoption form must be retained by the4.25 court administrator.4.26 (b) The court administratorThe interested party or that 4.27 party's attorney shall mail to the putative father, at the 4.28 address appearing in the affidavitprovided to the registry, the 4.29 copy of the putative fathers' adoption registrynotice to 4.30 registered putative father, the intent to claim parental 4.31 rights with entry of appearanceform, andthe denial of 4.32 paternity with entry of appearanceform, and the consent to 4.33 adoption form by certified mail, return receipt requested. The4.34 envelope and return receipt must bear the return address of the4.35 court administrator.The receipt for certified mail must state 4.36 the name and address of the addressee and the date of mailing 5.1 and must be attached to the original notice. 5.2 (c)(b) The return receipt, when returned to the court5.3 administratorfiled with the court, must be attached to the 5.4 original putative fathers' adoption registrynotice to 5.5 registered putative father, the intent to claim parental 5.6 rights with entry of appearanceform, andthe denial of 5.7 paternity with entry of appearanceform, and the consent to 5.8 adoption form and constitutes proof of service. 5.9 (d)(c) The court administrator shall note the fact of 5.10 service in a permanent record. 5.11 Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 5.12 259.52, subdivision 10, is amended to read: 5.13 Subd. 10. [RESPONSE TO PUTATIVE FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY5.14 NOTICE TO REGISTERED PUTATIVE FATHER; LIMITATION OF RIGHTS FOR 5.15 FAILURE TO RESPOND AND UPON FILING OF DISCLAIMERDENIAL OF 5.16 PATERNITY.] Within 30 days of receipt of the putative fathers'5.17 adoption registrynotice to registered putative father, the 5.18 intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearanceform, 5.19 andthe denial of paternity with entry of appearanceform, and 5.20 the consent to adoption form, the putative father must file a 5.21 completed intent to claim parental rights with entry of 5.22 appearance form with the court administrator stating that he 5.23 intends to initiate a paternity action within 30 days of receipt 5.24 of the putative fathers' adoption registrynotice to registered 5.25 putative father in order to preserve the right to maintain an 5.26 interest in the child and receive notice during the pending 5.27 adoption proceeding. Failure to initiate a paternity action 5.28 within 30 days of receipt of the putative fathers' adoption5.29 registrynotice to registered putative father does not act as a 5.30 bar to receiving notice under section 259.49. If good cause is 5.31 shown, the putative father must be allowed more time to initiate 5.32 the paternity action. A putative father who files a completed 5.33 denial of paternity with entry of appearanceform and consent to 5.34 adoption form or who fails to timely file an intent to claim 5.35 parental rights with entry of appearanceform with the court: 5.36 (1) is barred from later bringing or maintaining an action 6.1 to assert any interest in the child during the pending adoption 6.2 proceeding concerning the child; 6.3 (2) is considered to have waived and surrendered a right to 6.4 notice of a hearing in any judicial proceeding for adoption of 6.5 the child, and consent of that person to the adoption of the 6.6 child is not required; and 6.7 (3) is considered to have abandoned the child. 6.8 Failure to register is prima facie evidence of sufficient 6.9 grounds to support termination of the putative father's parental 6.10 rights. 6.11 Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 6.12 259.52, subdivision 11, is amended to read: 6.13 Subd. 11. [ PUTATIVE FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY NOTICE;6.14 INTENT TO CLAIM PARENTAL RIGHTS WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE FORM;6.15 DENIAL OF PATERNITY WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE; AND CONSENT TO6.16 ADOPTION FORMFORMS.] (a) The putative father's adoption6.17 registry notice sent under subdivision 9 must be substantially6.18 as follows:6.19 "IN THE MATTER OF NOTICE TO .........., REGISTERED PUTATIVE6.20 FATHER.6.21 You have signed the putative fathers' adoption registry6.22 indicating that you are the father of a child born on the6.23 .......... day of .........., ...., (or expected to be born on6.24 or about the ....... day of .........., ....).6.25 The mother of the child is ...........6.26 The mother has indicated that she intends to place the6.27 child for adoption.6.28 As the alleged father of the child by virtue of signing the6.29 putative fathers' adoption registry, you have certain legal6.30 rights with respect to the child, including the right to notice6.31 of the filing of proceedings instituted for the adoption of the6.32 child. If you wish to retain your rights with respect to the6.33 child, you must file with the court administrator, Court of6.34 .......... County, Minnesota, whose address is ..........,6.35 Minnesota, within 30 days after the date of receipt of this6.36 notice, the enclosed intent to claim parental rights with entry7.1 of appearance form stating that you are, in fact, the father of7.2 the child and that you intend to retain your legal rights with7.3 respect to the child by initiating a paternity action within 307.4 days of receipt of the putative fathers' adoption registry7.5 notice.7.6 If you do not file an intent to claim parental rights with7.7 entry of appearance form or a request for notice, then whatever7.8 legal rights you have with respect to the child, including the7.9 right to notice of any future proceedings for the adoption of7.10 the child, may be terminated without any further notice to you.7.11 When your legal rights with respect to the child are so7.12 terminated, you will not be entitled to notice of any proceeding7.13 instituted for the adoption of the child.7.14 If you are not the father of the child, you may file with7.15 the court administrator the denial of paternity with entry of7.16 appearance and consent to adoption form enclosed herewith and7.17 you will receive no further notice with respect to the child."7.18 (b) The intent to claim parental rights with entry of7.19 appearance form sent under subdivision 9 must be substantially7.20 as follows:7.21 "INTENT TO CLAIM PARENTAL RIGHTS WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE7.22 I, .........., state as follows:7.23 (1) That I am ..... years of age; and I reside at7.24 .......... in the County of .........., State of ...........7.25 (2) That I have been advised that .......... is the mother7.26 of a .......... male/female child named .......... born or7.27 expected to be born on or about .......... and that such mother7.28 has stated that I am the father of this child.7.29 (3) I declare that I am the father of this child.7.30 (4) I understand that the mother of this child wishes to7.31 consent to the adoption of this child. I do not consent to the7.32 adoption of this child, and I understand that I must return this7.33 intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form to7.34 the court administrator of .......... County, located at7.35 .........., within 30 days of receipt of this notice.7.36 (5) I further understand that I am also obligated to8.1 initiate a paternity action under the Parentage Act (Minnesota8.2 Statutes, sections 257.51 to 257.74) within 30 days of my8.3 receiving the putative fathers' adoption registry notice, or, if8.4 the child is not yet born, within 30 days after the birth of the8.5 child, unless for good cause shown I am unable to do so. That8.6 proceeding is separate and distinct from the above mailing of8.7 intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form;8.8 in the paternity action, I must state that I am, in fact, the8.9 father of said child for one or more of the reasons stated in8.10 Minnesota Statutes, section 257.55, subdivision 1, and that I8.11 intend to retain my legal rights with respect to said child, and8.12 request to be notified of any further proceedings with respect8.13 to custody or adoption of the child.8.14 (6) I hereby enter my appearance in the above entitled8.15 cause.8.16 OATH8.17 I have been duly sworn and I say under oath that I have8.18 read and understand this intent to claim parental rights with8.19 entry of appearance form. The facts that it contains are true8.20 and correct to the best of my knowledge, and I understand that8.21 by signing this document I admit my paternity. I have signed8.22 this document as my free and voluntary act.8.23 ...........8.24 (Signature)8.25 Dated this .......... day of .........., .....8.26 Signed and Sworn Before Me This ....... day of .........., .....8.27 ...........8.28 (notary public)"8.29 (c) The denial of paternity with entry of appearance and8.30 consent to adoption form sent under subdivision 9 must be8.31 substantially as follows:8.32 "DENIAL OF PATERNITY WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE AND8.33 CONSENT TO ADOPTION8.34 I, .........., state as follows:8.35 (1) That I am ..... years of age; and I reside at8.36 .......... in the County of .........., State of ...........9.1 (2) That I have been advised that .......... is the mother9.2 of a .......... male/female child named .......... born or9.3 expected to be born on or about .......... and that I have9.4 registered with the putative fathers' adoption registry stating9.5 that I am the father of this child.9.6 (3) I now deny that I am the father of this child. My9.7 denial at this time will not subject me to any criminal9.8 liability.9.9 (4) I further understand that the mother of this child9.10 wishes to consent to the adoption of the child. I hereby9.11 consent to the adoption of this child, and waive any rights,9.12 remedies, and defenses that I may have now or in the future.9.13 This consent is being given in order to facilitate the adoption9.14 of the child and so that the court may terminate what rights I9.15 may have to the child. This consent is not in any manner an9.16 admission of paternity.9.17 (5) I hereby enter my appearance in the above entitled9.18 cause and waive service of summons and other pleading.9.19 OATH9.20 I have been duly sworn and I say under oath that I have9.21 read and understood this denial of paternity with entry of9.22 appearance and consent to adoption. The facts it contains are9.23 true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and I understand9.24 that by signing this document I have not admitted paternity. I9.25 have signed this document as my free and voluntary act in order9.26 to facilitate the adoption of the child.9.27 ...........9.28 (Signature)9.29 Dated this .......... day of .........., .....9.30 Signed and Sworn Before Me This ....... day of .........., .....9.31 ...........9.32 (notary public)"9.33 [The names of adoptive parents must not be included in the9.34 notice.]The office of the state court administrator shall 9.35 develop the following forms: 9.36 (1) notice to registered putative father; 10.1 (2) intent to claim parental rights; 10.2 (3) denial of paternity; and 10.3 (4) consent to adoption. 10.4 Sec. 6. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 10.5 259.52, subdivision 12, is amended to read: 10.6 Subd. 12. [RIGHT TO COUNSEL AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.] Upon proof 10.7 of indigency, a putative father who has registered with the 10.8 fathers' adoption registry, has received a putative fathers'10.9 adoption registrynotice to registered putative father, and has 10.10 timely filed an intent to claim paternal rights with entry of10.11 appearanceform with the court administrator, must have counsel 10.12 appointed at public expense. 10.13 Sec. 7. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 10.14 259.52, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: 10.15 Subd. 15. [INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS.] This section does not 10.16 apply to international adoptions. 10.17 Section 8. Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 10.18 259.58, is amended to read: 10.19 259.58 [COMMUNICATION OR CONTACT AGREEMENTS.] 10.20 Adoptive parents and a birth relative may enter an 10.21 agreement regarding communication with or contact between an 10.22 adopted minor, adoptive parents, and a birth relative under this 10.23 section. An agreement may be entered between: 10.24 (1) adoptive parents and a birth parent; 10.25 (2) adoptive parents and aany other birth relative with 10.26 whom the child resided before being adopted; or 10.27 (2)(3) adoptive parents and any other birth relative if 10.28 the child is adopted by a birth relative upon the death of both 10.29 birth parents. 10.30 For purposes of this section, "birth relative" means a 10.31 parent, stepparent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt 10.32 of a minor adoptee. This relationship may be by blood or 10.33 marriage. For an Indian child, birth relative includes members 10.34 of the extended family as defined by the law or custom of the 10.35 Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of laws or custom, 10.36 nieces, nephews, or first or second cousins, as provided in the 11.1 Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, section 11.2 1903. 11.3 (a) An agreement regarding communication with or contact 11.4 between minor adoptees, adoptive parents, and a birth relative 11.5 is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are 11.6 contained in a written court order entered in accordance with 11.7 this section. An order must be sought at the same time a 11.8 petition for adoption is filed. The court shall not enter a 11.9 proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved 11.10 in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, a birth relative 11.11 who desires to be a party to the agreement, and, if the child is 11.12 in the custody of or under the guardianship of an agency, a 11.13 representative of the agency. An agreement under this section 11.14 need not disclose the identity of the parties to be legally 11.15 enforceable. The court shall not enter a proposed order unless 11.16 the court finds that the communication or contact between the 11.17 minor adoptee, the adoptive parents, and a birth relative as 11.18 agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the 11.19 minor adoptee's best interests. 11.20 (b) Failure to comply with the terms of an agreed order 11.21 regarding communication or contact that has been entered by the 11.22 court under this section is not grounds for: 11.23 (1) setting aside an adoption decree; or 11.24 (2) revocation of a written consent to an adoption after 11.25 that consent has become irrevocable. 11.26 (c) An agreed order entered under this section may be 11.27 enforced by filing a petition or motion with the family court 11.28 that includes a certified copy of the order granting the 11.29 communication, contact, or visitation, but only if the petition 11.30 or motion is accompanied by an affidavit that the parties have 11.31 mediated or attempted to mediate any dispute under the agreement 11.32 or that the parties agree to a proposed modification. The 11.33 prevailing party may be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and 11.34 costs. The court shall not modify an agreed order under this 11.35 section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to 11.36 serve the best interests of the minor adoptee, and: 12.1 (1) the modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent 12.2 and the birth relative; or 12.3 (2) exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed 12.4 order was entered that justify modification of the order. 12.5 Sec. 9. [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 12.6 Sections 1 to 7 are effective the day following final 12.7 enactment. Section 8 is effective retroactive to July 1, 1997, 12.8 and applies to communication or contact agreements entered into 12.9 on or after that date.