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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language


  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1983 

                        CHAPTER 278--S.F.No. 723
           An act relating to public welfare; providing 
          guidelines for considering race and ethnic origin in 
          foster care and adoption placement; requiring 
          recruitment, periodic review, reporting, and 
          recordkeeping; providing for a voluntary task force; 
          amending Minnesota Statutes 1982, sections 257.01; 
          257.071, subdivision 2, and by adding subdivisions; 
          259.27, subdivisions 1 and 2; 259.28; 260.181, 
          subdivision 3; 260.191, subdivision 1; 260.192; and 
          260.242, by adding a subdivision; proposing new law 
          coded in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 257 and 259. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 257.01, is 
amended to read: 
    257.01 [RECORDS REQUIRED.] 
    Each person or authorized child placing agency permitted by 
law to receive children, secure homes for children, or care for 
children, shall keep a record containing the name, age, and 
former residence, legal status, health records, sex, race, and 
accumulated length of time in foster care, if applicable, of 
each child received; the name, former residence, occupation, 
health history, and character, of each genetic parent; the date 
of reception, placing out, and adoption of each child, and the 
name, race, occupation, and residence of the person with whom a 
child is placed; the date of the removal of any child to another 
home and the cause thereof reason for removal; the date of 
termination of the guardianship; the history of each child until 
he reaches the age of 18 years, is legally adopted, or is 
discharged according to law; and such further demographic and 
other information as is required by the commissioner of public 
welfare.  
    Sec. 2.  [257.065] [AUTHORIZED CHILD PLACING AGENCY 
DEFINITION.] 
     For the purposes of chapters 257 and 259, "authorized child 
placing agency" means the local social service agency under the 
authority of the county welfare board or human service board, or 
any agency licensed by the commissioner of public welfare or a 
comparable authority in the state or United States, to place 
children for foster care or adoption.  
    Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 257.071, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [PROTECTION OF HERITAGE OR BACKGROUND.] The 
authorized child placing agency shall ensure that the child's 
best interests are met by giving due consideration of the 
child's race or ethnic heritage in making a family foster care 
placement.  The authorized child placing agency shall place a 
child, released by court order or by voluntary release by the 
parent or parents, in a family foster home selected by following 
the preferences described in section 260.181, subdivision 3.  
    Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 257.071, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [SIX MONTH REVIEW OF VOLUNTARY PLACEMENTS.] If 
the child has been placed in a residential facility pursuant to 
a voluntary release by his parent or parents, There shall be an 
administrative review of the case plan shall be subject to an 
administrative review of each child placed in a residential 
facility no later than 180 days after the initial placement of 
the child in a residential facility and at least every six 
months thereafter if the child is not returned to the home of 
his parent or parents within that time.  As an alternative to 
the administrative review, the social service agency responsible 
for the placement may bring a petition as provided in section 
260.131, subdivision 1a, to the court for review of the foster 
care to determine if placement is in the best interests of the 
child.  This petition must be brought to the court within the 
applicable six months and is not in lieu of the requirements 
contained in subdivision 3 or 4.  
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 257.071, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 6.  [ANNUAL FOSTER CARE REPORT.] The commissioner of 
public welfare shall publish annually a report on children in 
residential facilities as defined in subdivision 1.  The report 
shall include, by county and statewide, information on legal 
status, living arrangement, age, sex, race, accumulated length 
of time in foster care, and other demographic information deemed 
appropriate on all children placed in residential facilities. 
The report shall also state the extent to which authorized child 
placing agencies comply with sections 6 and 11 and include 
descriptions of the methods used to comply with those sections.  
    Sec. 6.  [257.072] [RECRUITMENT OF FOSTER FAMILIES.] 
    Each authorized child placing agency shall make special 
efforts to recruit a foster family from among the child's 
relatives, except as authorized in section 260.181, subdivision 
3, and among families of the same minority racial or minority 
ethnic heritage.  Special efforts include contacting and working 
with community organizations and religious organizations, 
utilizing local media and other local resources, and conducting 
outreach activities.  The agency may accept any gifts, grants, 
offers of services, and other contributions to use in making 
special recruitment efforts.  
    Sec. 7.  [259.255] [PROTECTION OF HERITAGE OR BACKGROUND.] 
    The policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the 
best interests of the child are met by requiring due 
consideration of the child's minority race or minority ethnic 
heritage in adoption placements.  For purposes of intercountry 
adoptions, due consideration is deemed to have occurred if the 
appropriate authority in the child's country of birth has 
approved the placement of the child.  
    The authorized child placing agency shall give preference, 
in the absence of good cause to the contrary, to placing the 
child with (a) a relative or relatives of the child, or, if that 
would be detrimental to the child or a relative is not 
available, (b) a family with the same racial or ethnic heritage 
as the child, or, if that is not feasible, (c) a family of 
different racial or ethnic heritage from the child which is 
knowledgeable and appreciative of the child's racial or ethnic 
heritage.  
    If the child's genetic parent or parents explicitly request 
that the preference described in clause (a) or clauses (a) and 
(b) not be followed, the authorized child placing agency shall 
honor that request consistent with the best interests of the 
child.  
    If the child's genetic parent or parents express a 
preference for placing the child in an adoptive home of the same 
or a similar religious background to that of the genetic parent 
or parents, in following the preferences in clause (a) or (b), 
the agency shall place the child with a family that also meets 
the genetic parent's religious preference.  Only if no family is 
available that is described in clause (a) or (b) may the agency 
give preference to a family described in clause (c) that meets 
the parent's religious preference.  
    Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 259.27, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSIONER'S DUTIES.] Upon the filing of 
a petition for adoption of a child the clerk of court shall 
immediately transmit a copy of the petition to the commissioner 
of public welfare.  The commissioner shall verify the 
allegations of the petition, investigate the conditions and 
antecedents of the child for the purpose of ascertaining whether 
he is a proper subject for adoption, and make appropriate 
inquiry to ascertain whether the proposed foster home and the 
child are suited to each other and whether the proposed foster 
home meets the preferences described in section 259.28, 
subdivision 2.  The report of the county welfare board submitted 
to the commissioner of public welfare bearing on the suitability 
of the proposed foster home and the child to each other shall be 
confidential, and the records of the county welfare board or the 
contents thereof shall not be disclosed either directly or 
indirectly to any person other than the commissioner of public 
welfare or a judge of the court having jurisdiction of the 
matter.  Within 90 days after the receipt of said copy of the 
petition the commissioner shall submit to the court a full 
report in writing with his recommendations as to the granting of 
the petition.  If such report is not returned within the 90 
days, without fault of petitioner, the court may hear the 
petition upon giving the commissioner five days notice by mail 
of the time and place of the hearing.  If such report 
disapproves of the adoption of the child, the commissioner may 
recommend that the court dismiss the petition.  
     Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 259.27, 
subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 2.  [ADOPTION AGENCIES.] Notwithstanding the 
provisions of subdivision 1, if the child to be adopted has been 
committed to the guardianship of an agency pursuant to section 
260.241, or if the child has been surrendered to an agency 
pursuant to section 259.25 the court, in its discretion, may 
refer the adoption petition to such agency, or, if the adopting 
parent has a step-parent relationship to the child, to the 
county welfare department of the county in which the adoption is 
pending.  The agency or county welfare department, within 90 
days of receipt of a copy of the adoption petition, shall file 
with the court a report of its investigation of the environment 
and antecedents of the child to be adopted and of the home of 
the petitioners and its determination whether the home of the 
petitioners meets the preferences described in section 259.28, 
subdivision 2.  If such report disapproves of the adoption of 
the child, the agency or county welfare department may recommend 
that the court dismiss the petition.  
    Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 259.28, is 
amended to read: 
    259.28 [HEARING, DECREE.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [FINDINGS; ORDERS.] Upon the hearing, 
    (a) if the court shall find finds that it is in the best 
interests of the child that the petition be granted, a decree of 
adoption shall be made and recorded in the office of the clerk 
of court, ordering that henceforth the child shall be the child 
of the petitioner. In the decree the court may change the name 
of the child if desired.  After the decree is granted the clerk 
of court shall immediately mail a copy of the recorded decree to 
the commissioner of public welfare; 
    (b) if the court is not satisfied that the proposed 
adoption is in the best interests of the child, the court shall 
deny the petition, and shall order the child returned to the 
custody of the person or agency legally vested with permanent 
custody or certify the case for appropriate action and 
disposition to the court having jurisdiction to determine the 
custody and guardianship of the child.  
    Subd. 2.  [PROTECTION OF HERITAGE OR BACKGROUND.] The 
policy of the state of Minnesota is to ensure that the best 
interests of children are met by requiring due consideration of 
the child's minority race or minority ethnic heritage in 
adoption placements.  For purposes of intercountry adoptions, 
due consideration is deemed to have occurred if the appropriate 
authority in the child's country of birth has approved the 
placement of the child.  
    In the adoption of a child of minority racial or minority 
ethnic heritage, in reviewing adoptive placement, the court 
shall consider preference, and in determining appropriate 
adoption, the court shall give preference, in the absence of 
good cause to the contrary, to (a) a relative or relatives of 
the child, or, if that would be detrimental to the child or a 
relative is not available, to (b) a family with the same racial 
or ethnic heritage as the child, or if that is not feasible, to 
(c) a family of different racial or ethnic heritage from the 
child that is knowledgeable and appreciative of the child's 
racial or ethnic heritage.  
    If the child's genetic parent or parents explicitly request 
that the preference described in clause (a) or in clauses (a) 
and (b) not be followed, the court shall honor that request 
consistent with the best interests of the child.  
    If the child's genetic parent or parents express a 
preference for placing the child in an adoptive home of the same 
or a similar religious background to that of the genetic parent 
or parents, in following the preferences in clause (a) or (b), 
the court shall place the child with a family that also meets 
the genetic parent's religious preference.  Only if no family is 
available as described in clause (a) or (b) may the court give 
preference to a family described in clause (c) that meets the 
parent's religious preference.  
    Sec. 11.  [259.455] [FAMILY RECRUITMENT.] 
    Each authorized child placing agency shall make special 
efforts to recruit an adoptive family from among the child's 
relatives, except as authorized in section 259.28, subdivision 
2, and among families of the same minority racial or minority 
ethnic heritage.  Special efforts include contacting and working 
with community organizations and religious organizations, 
utilizing local media and other local resources, and conducting 
outreach activities.  The agency may accept any gifts, grants, 
offers of services, and other contributions to use in making 
special recruitment efforts.  
    Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 260.181, 
subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 3.  [PROTECTION OF RELIGIOUS AND RACIAL OR ETHNIC 
HERITAGE, OR RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION.] The policy of the state is 
to ensure that the best interests of children are met by 
requiring due consideration of the child's minority race or 
minority ethnic heritage in foster care placements.  
    The court, in transferring legal custody of any child or 
appointing a guardian for him the child under the laws relating 
to juvenile courts, shall place him so far as it deems 
practicable the child, in the following order of preference, in 
the absence of good cause to the contrary, in the legal custody 
or guardianship of some an individual holding the same religious 
belief and the same ethnic origin as the parents of the child, 
or with some association which is controlled by persons of like 
religious faith and ethnic origin as the parents who (a) is the 
child's relative, or if that would be detrimental to the child 
or a relative is not available, who (b) is of the same racial or 
ethnic heritage as the child, or if that is not possible, who 
(c) is knowledgeable and appreciative of the child's racial or 
ethnic heritage.  The court may require the county welfare 
agency to continue efforts to find a guardian of like religious 
faith or ethnic origin the child's minority racial or minority 
ethnic heritage when such a guardian is not immediately 
available. 
    If the child's genetic parent or parents explicitly request 
that the preference described in clause (a) or in clauses (a) 
and (b) not be followed, the court shall honor that request 
consistent with the best interests of the child.  
    If the child's genetic parent or parents express a 
preference for placing the child in a foster or adoptive home of 
the same or a similar religious background to that of the 
genetic parent or parents, in following the preferences in 
clause (a) or (b), the court shall order placement of the child 
with an individual who meets the genetic parent's religious 
preference.  Only if no individual is available who is described 
in clause (a) or (b) may the court give preference to an 
individual described in clause (c) who meets the parent's 
religious preference.  
    Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 260.191, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
    Subdivision 1.  [DISPOSITIONS.] If the court finds that the 
child is neglected, dependent, or neglected and in foster care, 
it shall enter an order making any of the following dispositions 
of the case: 
    (a) Place the child under the protective supervision of the 
county welfare board or child placing agency in his own home 
under conditions prescribed by the court directed to the 
correction of the neglect or dependency of the child; 
    (b) Transfer legal custody to one of the following: 
    (1) a child placing agency; or 
    (2) the county welfare board; 
    (c) If the child is in need of special treatment and care 
for his physical or mental health, the court may order the 
child's parent, guardian, or custodian to provide it.  If the 
parent, guardian, or custodian fails to provide this treatment 
or care, the court may order it provided. 
    Subd. 1a.  [WRITTEN FINDINGS.] Any order for a disposition 
authorized under this section shall contain written findings of 
fact to support the disposition ordered, and shall also set 
forth in writing the following information: 
    (a) Why the best interests of the child are served by the 
disposition ordered; and 
    (b) What alternative dispositions were considered by the 
court and why such dispositions were not appropriate in the 
instant case; and 
    (c) In the case of a child of minority racial or minority 
ethnic heritage, how the court's disposition complies with the 
requirements of section 260.181, subdivision 3.  
    Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 260.192, is 
amended to read: 
    260.192 [DISPOSITIONS; VOLUNTARY FOSTER CARE PLACEMENTS.] 
    Upon a petition for review of the foster care status of a 
child, the court may:  
    (a) Find that the child's needs are being met and that the 
child's placement in foster care is in the best interests of the 
child, in which case the court shall approve the voluntary 
arrangement.  The court shall order the social service agency 
responsible for the placement to bring a petition pursuant to 
either section 260.131, subdivision 1 or section 260.131, 
subdivision 1a, as appropriate, within two years if court review 
was pursuant to section 257.071, subdivision 3 or subdivision 4, 
or within one year if court review was pursuant to section 
257.071, subdivision 2.  
    (b) Find that the child's needs are not being met, in which 
case the court shall order the social service agency or the 
parents to take whatever action is necessary and feasible to 
meet the child's needs, including, when appropriate, the 
provision by the social service agency of services to the 
parents which would enable the child to live at home, and shall 
order an administrative review of the case to be reviewed again 
within six months and a review by the court within one year. 
    (c) Find that the child has been abandoned by his parents 
financially or emotionally, or that the developmentally disabled 
child does not require out-of-home care because of the 
handicapping condition, in which case the court shall order the 
social service agency to file an appropriate petition pursuant 
to sections 260.131, subdivision 1, or 260.231. 
     Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit 
bringing a petition pursuant to section 260.131, subdivision 1 
or 2, sooner than required by court order pursuant to this 
section.  
    Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1982, section 260.242, is 
amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
    Subd. 1a.  [PROTECTION OF HERITAGE OR BACKGROUND.] In 
ordering guardianship and transferring legal custody of the 
child to an individual under this section, the court shall 
comply with the provisions of section 260.181, subdivision 3.  
    Sec. 16.  [ADVISORY TASK FORCE.] 
    The commissioner of public welfare shall establish a foster 
care and adoption advisory task force to advise the commissioner 
on foster care and adoption policy regarding children of 
minority racial or minority ethnic heritage.  Task force members 
shall serve on a voluntary basis.  The task force shall expire 
on June 30, 1985.  
    Sec. 17.  [257.80] [RULEMAKING.] 
    The commissioner of public welfare shall promulgate rules 
to implement the provisions of sections 1 to 9 and 11 and to 
coordinate foster care and adoption services in order to 
facilitate referral of children from foster care into adoptive 
placement where eventual return of the child to the child's 
genetic parent or parents is unlikely or would be detrimental to 
the child. 
    Approved June 6, 1983