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

  

                         Laws of Minnesota 1987 

                        CHAPTER 187-H.F.No. 1041 
           An act relating to adoption; requiring certain 
          notifications to parents placing a child for adoption 
          and to proposed adoptive parents; specifying that 
          adoptive parents may not voluntarily terminate 
          parental rights for any reason not available to birth 
          parents; amending Minnesota Statutes 1986, sections 
          259.24, subdivision 5; 259.25, subdivision 1; and 
          260.221; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota 
          Statutes, chapter 259. 
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
    Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 259.24, 
subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
    Subd. 5.  [EXECUTION.] All consents to an adoption, except 
those by the commissioner, the commissioner's agent, a licensed 
child-placing agency, or the child's parent when that parent is 
either a copetitioner in the adoption proceeding or does not 
have custody of the child, shall be executed before a 
representative of the commissioner, the commissioner's agent or 
a licensed child-placing agency.  In addition all consents to an 
adoption shall be in writing and shall contain notice to the 
parent of the substance of subdivision 6a, providing for the 
right to withdraw consent.  The consent must contain the 
following written notice in all capital letters at least 
one-eighth inch high: 
    "This agency will submit your consent to adoption to the 
court.  The consent itself does not terminate your parental 
rights.  Parental rights to a child may be terminated only by an 
adoption decree or by a court order terminating parental 
rights.  Unless the child is adopted or your parental rights are 
terminated, you may be asked to support the child."  
    Consents shall be executed before two competent witnesses 
and acknowledged by the consenting party. Consents shall be 
filed in the adoption proceedings at any time before the matter 
is heard provided, however, that a consent executed and 
acknowledged outside of this state, either in accordance with 
the law of this state or in accordance with the law of the place 
where executed, is valid. 
    Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 259.25, 
subdivision 1, is amended to read:  
    Subdivision 1.  [CONSENTS REQUIRED.] The parents and 
guardian, if there be one, of a child may enter into a written 
agreement with the commissioner of human services or an agency, 
giving the commissioner or such agency authority to place the 
child for adoption.  If an unmarried parent is under the age of 
18 years the written consent of the parents and guardian, if 
any, of the minor parent also shall be required; if either or 
both of the parents are disqualified from giving such consent 
for any of the reasons enumerated in section 259.24, subdivision 
1, then the written consent of the guardian shall be required.  
The agreement and consent shall be in the form prescribed by the 
commissioner and shall contain notice to the parent of the 
substance of subdivision 2a providing for the right to revoke 
the agreement.  The agreement and consent must contain the 
following written notice in all capital letters at least 
one-eighth inch high: 
    "This agency will submit your consent to adoption to the 
court.  The consent itself does not terminate your parental 
rights.  Parental rights to a child may be terminated only by an 
adoption decree or by a court order terminating parental 
rights.  Unless the child is adopted or your parental rights are 
terminated, you may be asked to support the child."  
     The agreement shall be executed by the commissioner or 
agency, or one of their authorized agents, and all other 
necessary parties, and shall be filed, together with the 
consent, in the proceedings for the adoption of the child. 
    If, after the execution of an agreement and consent under 
this section, the child is diagnosed with a medical or 
psychological condition that may present a substantial barrier 
to adoption, the child-placing agency shall make reasonable 
efforts to give notice of this fact to a party to the agreement 
and consent.  If a child is not adopted within two years after 
an agreement and consent are executed under this subdivision, 
the agency that executed the agreement shall so notify a parent 
who was a party to the agreement and request the parent to take 
custody of the child or to file a petition for termination of 
parental rights.  This notice must be provided to the parent in 
a personal and confidential manner.  A parent who has executed 
an agreement under this subdivision shall, upon request to the 
agency, be informed of whether the child has been adopted. 
    Sec. 3.  [259.257] [NOTICE TO ADOPTIVE PARENTS.] 
    Subdivision 1.  [PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITIES.] Prior to 
commencing an investigation of the suitability of proposed 
adoptive parents, a child-placing agency shall give the 
individuals the following written notice in all capital letters 
at least one-eighth inch high: 
    "Minnesota Statutes, section 259.29, provides that upon 
legally adopting a child, adoptive parents assume all the rights 
and responsibilities of birth parents.  The responsibilities 
include providing for the child's financial support and caring 
for health, emotional, and behavioral problems.  Except for 
subsidized adoptions under Minnesota Statutes, section 259.40, 
or any other provisions of law that expressly apply to adoptive 
parents and children, adoptive parents are not eligible for 
state or federal financial subsidies besides those that a birth 
parent would be eligible to receive for a child.  Adoptive 
parents may not terminate their parental rights to a legally 
adopted child for a reason that would not apply to a birth 
parent seeking to terminate rights to a child.  An individual 
who takes guardianship of a child for the purpose of adopting 
the child shall, upon taking guardianship from the child's 
country of origin, assume all the rights and responsibilities of 
birth and adoptive parents as stated in this paragraph." 
    Subd. 2.  [REFERRAL TO FOREIGN AGENCIES.] An agency in this 
state that refers individuals to an agency or individual in 
another country for the purpose of adopting a child located in 
that country shall provide the following information in writing 
at the time of making the referral: 
    (1) the name of any government authority in the country 
where the adoption agency or individual is located that licenses 
or regulates the adoption agency or individual; 
    (2) the name of the current director of the adoption agency;
    (3) whether the country in which the agency or individual 
is located requires a legal adoption to take place in that 
country before a child can be removed from the country; and 
     (4) the notification required by subdivision 1. 
    Sec. 4.  [259.465] [REFERRAL FOR SERVICES.] 
    When a parent contacts a licensed child-placing agency and 
requests out-of-home placement for a child, the agency shall 
refer the parent to the local welfare agency if the 
child-placing agency is not able to arrange a shelter or foster 
placement for the child as requested by the parent. 
    Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1986, section 260.221, is 
amended to read: 
    260.221 [GROUNDS FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.] 
    The juvenile court may, upon petition, terminate all rights 
of a parent to a child in the following cases: 
    (a) With the written consent of a parent who for good cause 
desires to terminate parental rights; or 
    (b) If it finds that one or more of the following 
conditions exist: 
    (1) That the parent has abandoned the child; or 
    (2) That the parent has substantially, continuously, or 
repeatedly refused or neglected to comply with the duties 
imposed upon that parent by the parent and child relationship, 
including but not limited to providing the child with necessary 
food, clothing, shelter, education, and other care and control 
necessary for the child's physical, mental or emotional health 
and development, if the parent is physically and financially 
able; or 
    (3) That a parent has been ordered to contribute to the 
support of the child or financially aid in the child's birth and 
has continuously failed to do so without good cause.  This 
clause shall not be construed to state a grounds for termination 
of parental rights of a noncustodial parent if that parent has 
not been ordered to or cannot financially contribute to the 
support of the child or aid in the child's birth; or 
     (4) That a parent is palpably unfit to be a party to the 
parent and child relationship because of a consistent pattern of 
specific conduct before the child or of specific conditions 
directly relating to the parent and child relationship either of 
which are determined by the court to be permanently detrimental 
to the physical or mental health of the child; or 
    (5) That following upon a determination of neglect or 
dependency, reasonable efforts, under the direction of the 
court, have failed to correct the conditions leading to the 
determination; or 
    (6) That in the case of a child born to a mother who was 
not married to the child's father when the child was conceived 
nor when the child was born the person is not entitled to notice 
of an adoption hearing under section 259.26 and either the 
person has not filed a notice of intent to retain parental 
rights under section 259.261 or that the notice has been 
successfully challenged; or 
    (7) That the child is neglected and in foster care.  
     For purposes of clause (a), an adoptive parent may not 
terminate parental rights to an adopted child for a reason that 
would not apply to a birth parent seeking termination of 
parental rights to a child under clause (a). 
    Approved May 20, 1987