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HF 2458

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 04/06/2021 11:30am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 04/06/2021

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to family law; providing rights for blind parents; amending Minnesota
Statutes 2020, sections 259.53, by adding a subdivision; 260C.201, by adding a
subdivision; 518.1751, by adding a subdivision.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 259.53, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 7. new text end

new text begin Supportive parenting services for the blind. new text end

new text begin (a) A court or agency shall not
deny a petitioner the ability to proceed with an adoption due to the petitioner's blindness.
A person raising blindness as a basis for denying an adoption has the burden to prove by
clear and convincing evidence that specific behaviors of the parent will endanger the health
or safety of the child. If the person meets the burden, the blind prospective parent shall have
the opportunity to demonstrate how implementing supportive services can alleviate any
concerns. The court may require the agency to provide the opportunity to use supportive
parenting services to the prospective parent. Within a reasonable period of time, the
prospective parent has the right to a court hearing to review the need for continuing services.
For purposes of this section, "blindness" and "supportive parenting services" have the
meanings given in section 260C.201, subdivision 13.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a court denies or limits a blind prospective parent's right to adopt a child, the court
shall make specific written findings stating the basis for such a determination and why
providing supportive parenting services is not a reasonable accommodation that could
prevent the denial or limitation.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 260C.201, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 13. new text end

new text begin Supportive parenting services for the blind. new text end

new text begin A person or agency shall not
file a petition alleging that a child is in need of protection or services on the basis of a
parent's blindness. To make a prima facie showing that a child protection matter exists, the
petitioner must demonstrate in the petition that the child is in need of protection or services
due to specific behaviors of a parent or household member. The local agency or court must
offer a blind parent the opportunity to use supportive parenting services to assist the parent
if the petitioner makes a prima facie showing that through specific behaviors, the blind
parent cannot provide for the child's safety, health, or welfare. If a court removes a child
from a blind parent's home, the court shall make specific written findings stating the basis
for removing the child and why providing supportive parenting services is not a reasonable
accommodation that could prevent the child's out-of-home placement. For purposes of this
section:
new text end

new text begin (1) "blindness" means a central visual acuity of 20 out of 200 or less in the better eye
with the use of a correcting lens, or an eye that has a limitation in the field of vision so that
the widest diameter of the visual field subtends to an angle no greater than 20 degrees, or
when the individual has a degenerative condition that is reasonably expected to result in
either of these conditions; and
new text end

new text begin (2) "supportive parenting services" mean services that may assist a blind parent in
effectively using nonvisual techniques to parent a child as successfully as a parent who is
not blind, such as audio aids, training, or assistance from an individual or technology.
new text end

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 518.1751, is amended by adding a subdivision
to read:


new text begin Subd. 8. new text end

new text begin Blind parents. new text end

new text begin (a) A court shall not deny nor restrict a parent's parenting time
or custody due to the parent's blindness. A party raising blindness as a basis for denying or
restricting parenting time has the burden to prove by clear and convincing evidence that a
parent's specific behaviors during parenting time will endanger the health or safety of the
child. If the party meets the burden, the blind parent shall have the opportunity to demonstrate
how implementing supportive services can alleviate any concerns. The court may require
a blind parent to use supportive parenting services to facilitate parenting time. For the
purposes of this section, "blindness" and "supportive parenting services" have the meanings
given in section 260C.201, subdivision 13.
new text end

new text begin (b) If a court denies or limits a blind parent's right to custody of a child or visitation with
a child, the court shall make specific written findings stating the basis for the denial or
limitation and why providing supportive parenting services is not a reasonable
accommodation that could prevent denying or limiting custody or parenting time.
new text end