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Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 354-H.F.No. 3332 
                  An act relating to adoption; changing provisions in 
                  the fathers' adoption registry; modifying conditions 
                  for open adoption agreements; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1997 Supplement, sections 259.52, 
                  subdivisions 1, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, and by adding a 
                  subdivision; and 259.58. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT OF REGISTRY; PURPOSE; FEES.] 
        (a) The commissioner of health shall establish a putative 
        fathers' adoption registry for the purpose of determining the 
        identity and location of a putative father interested in a minor 
        child who is, or is expected to be, the subject of an adoption 
        proceeding, in order to provide notice of the adoption 
        proceeding to the putative father who is not otherwise entitled 
        to notice under section 259.49, subdivision 1, paragraph (a) or 
        (b), clauses (1) to (7).  The commissioner of health may 
        establish informational material and public service 
        announcements necessary to implement this section.  Any 
        limitation on a putative father's right to assert an interest in 
        the child as provided in this section applies only in adoption 
        proceedings and only to those putative fathers not entitled to 
        notice and consent under sections 259.24 and 259.49, subdivision 
        1, paragraph (a) or (b), clauses (1) to (7).  The commissioner 
        of health has no independent obligation to gather or update the 
        information to be maintained on the registry.  It is the 
        registrant's responsibility to update his personal information 
        on the registry.  
           (b) The putative fathers' adoption registry must contain 
        the following information: 
           (1) with respect to the putative father, the: 
           (i) name, including any other names by which the putative 
        father may be known and that he may provide to the registry; 
           (ii) address at which he may be served with notice of a 
        petition under this chapter, including any change of address; 
           (iii) social security number, if known; 
           (iv) date of birth; and 
           (v) if applicable, a certified copy of an order by a court 
        of another state or territory of the United States adjudicating 
        the putative father to be the father of this child; 
           (2) with respect to the mother of the child: 
           (i) name, including all other names known to the putative 
        father by which the mother may be known; 
           (ii) if known to the putative father, her last address; 
           (iii) social security number, if known; and 
           (iv) date of birth; 
           (3) if known to the putative father, the name, gender, 
        place of birth, and date of birth or anticipated date of birth 
        of the child; 
           (4) the date that the commissioner of health received the 
        putative father's registration; and 
           (5) other information the commissioner of health determines 
        by rule to be necessary for the orderly administration of the 
        registry. 
           (c) The commissioner of health shall notify the mother of 
        the child whenever a putative father has registered with the 
        adoption registry under this section.  Notice shall be sent to 
        the name and address submitted by the putative father under 
        paragraph (b), clause (2).  If no current address for the mother 
        is submitted by the putative father under paragraph (b), clause 
        (2), the commissioner of health shall not notify the mother.  
        The commissioner of health has no independent obligation to 
        locate the mother.  The notice shall be mailed within 14 days of 
        the date that the commissioner received the putative father's 
        adoption registration unless a search has been requested under 
        subdivision 2.  There shall be no charge to the birth mother for 
        this notice. 
           (d) The commissioner of health shall set reasonable fees 
        for the use of the registry; however, a putative father shall 
        not be charged a fee for registering.  Revenues generated by the 
        fee must be deposited in the state government special revenue 
        fund and appropriated to the commissioner of health to 
        administer the putative fathers' adoption registry. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [CLASSIFICATION OF REGISTRY DATA.] Data in the 
        putative fathers' adoption registry are private data on 
        individuals, as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 2.  Data 
        in the registry may be released to: 
           (1) a person who is required to search the registry under 
        subdivision 2, if the data relate to the child who is or may be 
        the subject of the adoption petition; or 
           (2) the mother of the child listed on the putative father's 
        registration form who the commissioner of health is required to 
        notify under subdivision 1, paragraph (c); or 
           (3) a public authority as provided in subdivision 3. 
           A person who receives data under this subdivision may use 
        the data only for purposes authorized under this section or 
        other law. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [NOTICE AND SERVICE FOR THOSE ON PUTATIVE 
        FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY WHO ARE NOT OTHERWISE ENTITLED TO 
        NOTICE.] Any time after conception, an interested party, 
        including persons intending to adopt a child, a child welfare 
        agency with whom the mother has placed or has given written 
        notice of her intention to place a child for adoption, the 
        mother of a child, or any attorney representing an interested 
        party, may file with the court administrator a written request 
        that the putative fathers on the registry who have registered in 
        relation to the child be served with serve by certified mail a 
        putative fathers' adoption registry notice to registered 
        putative father, an intent to claim parental rights with entry 
        of appearance form, and a denial of paternity with entry of 
        appearance form, and a consent to adoption form pursuant to 
        subdivision 11.  These documents may be served on a putative 
        father in the same manner as a summons is served in other civil 
        proceedings, or, in lieu of personal service, service may be 
        made as follows: 
           (a) The person requesting notice shall pay to the court 
        administrator a mailing fee plus the cost of United States 
        postage for certified or registered mail and furnish to the 
        court administrator an original and one copy of the putative 
        fathers' adoption registry notice, the intent to claim parental 
        rights with entry of appearance form, and the denial of 
        paternity with entry of appearance and consent to adoption form 
        together with an affidavit setting forth the putative father's 
        last known address.  The original putative fathers' adoption 
        registry notice, the intent to claim parental rights with entry 
        of appearance form, and the denial of paternity with entry of 
        appearance and consent to adoption form must be retained by the 
        court administrator. 
           (b) The court administrator The interested party or that 
        party's attorney shall mail to the putative father, at the 
        address appearing in the affidavit provided to the registry, the 
        copy of the putative fathers' adoption registry notice to 
        registered putative father, the intent to claim parental 
        rights with entry of appearance form, and the denial of 
        paternity with entry of appearance form, and the consent to 
        adoption form by certified mail, return receipt requested.  The 
        envelope and return receipt must bear the return address of the 
        court administrator.  The receipt for certified mail must state 
        the name and address of the addressee and the date of mailing 
        and must be attached to the original notice. 
           (c) (b) The return receipt, when returned to the court 
        administrator filed with the court, must be attached to the 
        original putative fathers' adoption registry notice to 
        registered putative father, the intent to claim parental 
        rights with entry of appearance form, and the denial of 
        paternity with entry of appearance form, and the consent to 
        adoption form and constitutes proof of service. 
           (d) (c) The court administrator shall note the fact of 
        service in a permanent record. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [RESPONSE TO PUTATIVE FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY 
        NOTICE TO REGISTERED PUTATIVE FATHER; LIMITATION OF RIGHTS FOR 
        FAILURE TO RESPOND AND UPON FILING OF DISCLAIMER DENIAL OF 
        PATERNITY.] Within 30 days of receipt of the putative fathers' 
        adoption registry notice to registered putative father, the 
        intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form, 
        and the denial of paternity with entry of appearance form, and 
        the consent to adoption form, the putative father must file a 
        completed intent to claim parental rights with entry of 
        appearance form with the court administrator stating that he 
        intends to initiate a paternity action within 30 days of receipt 
        of the putative fathers' adoption registry notice to registered 
        putative father in order to preserve the right to maintain an 
        interest in the child and receive notice during the pending 
        adoption proceeding.  Failure to initiate a paternity action 
        within 30 days of receipt of the putative fathers' adoption 
        registry notice to registered putative father does not act as a 
        bar to receiving notice under section 259.49.  If good cause is 
        shown, the putative father must be allowed more time to initiate 
        the paternity action.  A putative father who files a completed 
        denial of paternity with entry of appearance form and consent to 
        adoption form or who fails to timely file an intent to claim 
        parental rights with entry of appearance form with the court: 
           (1) is barred from later bringing or maintaining an action 
        to assert any interest in the child during the pending adoption 
        proceeding concerning the child; 
           (2) is considered to have waived and surrendered a right to 
        notice of a hearing in any judicial proceeding for adoption of 
        the child, and consent of that person to the adoption of the 
        child is not required; and 
           (3) is considered to have abandoned the child.  
        Failure to register is prima facie evidence of sufficient 
        grounds to support termination of the putative father's parental 
        rights. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [PUTATIVE FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY NOTICE; 
        INTENT TO CLAIM PARENTAL RIGHTS WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE FORM; 
        DENIAL OF PATERNITY WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE; AND CONSENT TO 
        ADOPTION FORM FORMS.] (a) The putative father's adoption 
        registry notice sent under subdivision 9 must be substantially 
        as follows: 
           "IN THE MATTER OF NOTICE TO .........., REGISTERED PUTATIVE 
        FATHER. 
           You have signed the putative fathers' adoption registry 
        indicating that you are the father of a child born on the 
        .......... day of .........., ...., (or expected to be born on 
        or about the ....... day of .........., ....). 
           The mother of the child is ........... 
           The mother has indicated that she intends to place the 
        child for adoption. 
           As the alleged father of the child by virtue of signing the 
        putative fathers' adoption registry, you have certain legal 
        rights with respect to the child, including the right to notice 
        of the filing of proceedings instituted for the adoption of the 
        child.  If you wish to retain your rights with respect to the 
        child, you must file with the court administrator, Court of 
        .......... County, Minnesota, whose address is .........., 
        Minnesota, within 30 days after the date of receipt of this 
        notice, the enclosed intent to claim parental rights with entry 
        of appearance form stating that you are, in fact, the father of 
        the child and that you intend to retain your legal rights with 
        respect to the child by initiating a paternity action within 30 
        days of receipt of the putative fathers' adoption registry 
        notice. 
           If you do not file an intent to claim parental rights with 
        entry of appearance form or a request for notice, then whatever 
        legal rights you have with respect to the child, including the 
        right to notice of any future proceedings for the adoption of 
        the child, may be terminated without any further notice to you.  
        When your legal rights with respect to the child are so 
        terminated, you will not be entitled to notice of any proceeding 
        instituted for the adoption of the child. 
           If you are not the father of the child, you may file with 
        the court administrator the denial of paternity with entry of 
        appearance and consent to adoption form enclosed herewith and 
        you will receive no further notice with respect to the child." 
           (b) The intent to claim parental rights with entry of 
        appearance form sent under subdivision 9 must be substantially 
        as follows: 
          "INTENT TO CLAIM PARENTAL RIGHTS WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE
        I, .........., state as follows: 
           (1) That I am ..... years of age; and I reside at 
        .......... in the County of .........., State of ........... 
           (2) That I have been advised that .......... is the mother 
        of a .......... male/female child named .......... born or 
        expected to be born on or about .......... and that such mother 
        has stated that I am the father of this child. 
           (3) I declare that I am the father of this child. 
           (4) I understand that the mother of this child wishes to 
        consent to the adoption of this child.  I do not consent to the 
        adoption of this child, and I understand that I must return this 
        intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form to 
        the court administrator of .......... County, located at 
        .........., within 30 days of receipt of this notice. 
           (5) I further understand that I am also obligated to 
        initiate a paternity action under the Parentage Act (Minnesota 
        Statutes, sections 257.51 to 257.74) within 30 days of my 
        receiving the putative fathers' adoption registry notice, or, if 
        the child is not yet born, within 30 days after the birth of the 
        child, unless for good cause shown I am unable to do so.  That 
        proceeding is separate and distinct from the above mailing of 
        intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form; 
        in the paternity action, I must state that I am, in fact, the 
        father of said child for one or more of the reasons stated in 
        Minnesota Statutes, section 257.55, subdivision 1, and that I 
        intend to retain my legal rights with respect to said child, and 
        request to be notified of any further proceedings with respect 
        to custody or adoption of the child. 
           (6) I hereby enter my appearance in the above entitled 
        cause. 
                                     OATH
           I have been duly sworn and I say under oath that I have 
        read and understand this intent to claim parental rights with 
        entry of appearance form.  The facts that it contains are true 
        and correct to the best of my knowledge, and I understand that 
        by signing this document I admit my paternity.  I have signed 
        this document as my free and voluntary act. 
                                           ...........
                                           (Signature)
        Dated this .......... day of .........., ..... 
        Signed and Sworn Before Me This ....... day of .........., ..... 
                                           ...........
                                           (notary public)"
           (c) The denial of paternity with entry of appearance and 
        consent to adoption form sent under subdivision 9 must be 
        substantially as follows: 
              "DENIAL OF PATERNITY WITH ENTRY OF APPEARANCE AND
                             CONSENT TO ADOPTION
        I, .........., state as follows: 
           (1) That I am ..... years of age; and I reside at 
        .......... in the County of .........., State of ........... 
           (2) That I have been advised that .......... is the mother 
        of a .......... male/female child named .......... born or 
        expected to be born on or about .......... and that I have 
        registered with the putative fathers' adoption registry stating 
        that I am the father of this child. 
           (3) I now deny that I am the father of this child.  My 
        denial at this time will not subject me to any criminal 
        liability. 
           (4) I further understand that the mother of this child 
        wishes to consent to the adoption of the child.  I hereby 
        consent to the adoption of this child, and waive any rights, 
        remedies, and defenses that I may have now or in the future.  
        This consent is being given in order to facilitate the adoption 
        of the child and so that the court may terminate what rights I 
        may have to the child.  This consent is not in any manner an 
        admission of paternity. 
           (5) I hereby enter my appearance in the above entitled 
        cause and waive service of summons and other pleading. 
                                     OATH
           I have been duly sworn and I say under oath that I have 
        read and understood this denial of paternity with entry of 
        appearance and consent to adoption.  The facts it contains are 
        true and correct to the best of my knowledge, and I understand 
        that by signing this document I have not admitted paternity.  I 
        have signed this document as my free and voluntary act in order 
        to facilitate the adoption of the child. 
                                           ...........
                                           (Signature)
        Dated this .......... day of .........., ..... 
        Signed and Sworn Before Me This ....... day of .........., ..... 
                                           ...........
                                           (notary public)"
           [The names of adoptive parents must not be included in the 
        notice.] The office of the state court administrator shall 
        develop the following forms:  
           (1) notice to registered putative father; 
           (2) intent to claim parental rights; 
           (3) denial of paternity; and 
           (4) consent to adoption. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, subdivision 12, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 12.  [RIGHT TO COUNSEL AT PUBLIC EXPENSE.] Upon proof 
        of indigency, a putative father who has registered with the 
        fathers' adoption registry, has received a putative fathers' 
        adoption registry notice to registered putative father, and has 
        timely filed an intent to claim paternal rights with entry of 
        appearance form with the court administrator, must have counsel 
        appointed at public expense. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.52, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 15.  [INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS.] This section does not 
        apply to international adoptions. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1997 Supplement, section 
        259.58, is amended to read: 
           259.58 [COMMUNICATION OR CONTACT AGREEMENTS.] 
           Adoptive parents and a birth relative may enter an 
        agreement regarding communication with or contact between an 
        adopted minor, adoptive parents, and a birth relative under this 
        section.  An agreement may be entered between: 
           (1) adoptive parents and a birth parent; 
           (2) adoptive parents and a any other birth relative with 
        whom the child resided before being adopted; or 
           (2) (3) adoptive parents and any other birth relative if 
        the child is adopted by a birth relative upon the death of both 
        birth parents. 
           For purposes of this section, "birth relative" means a 
        parent, stepparent, grandparent, brother, sister, uncle, or aunt 
        of a minor adoptee.  This relationship may be by blood or 
        marriage.  For an Indian child, birth relative includes members 
        of the extended family as defined by the law or custom of the 
        Indian child's tribe or, in the absence of laws or custom, 
        nieces, nephews, or first or second cousins, as provided in the 
        Indian Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, section 
        1903.  
           (a) An agreement regarding communication with or contact 
        between minor adoptees, adoptive parents, and a birth relative 
        is not legally enforceable unless the terms of the agreement are 
        contained in a written court order entered in accordance with 
        this section.  An order must be sought at the same time a 
        petition for adoption is filed.  The court shall not enter a 
        proposed order unless the terms of the order have been approved 
        in writing by the prospective adoptive parents, a birth relative 
        who desires to be a party to the agreement, and, if the child is 
        in the custody of or under the guardianship of an agency, a 
        representative of the agency.  An agreement under this section 
        need not disclose the identity of the parties to be legally 
        enforceable.  The court shall not enter a proposed order unless 
        the court finds that the communication or contact between the 
        minor adoptee, the adoptive parents, and a birth relative as 
        agreed upon and contained in the proposed order would be in the 
        minor adoptee's best interests. 
           (b) Failure to comply with the terms of an agreed order 
        regarding communication or contact that has been entered by the 
        court under this section is not grounds for: 
           (1) setting aside an adoption decree; or 
           (2) revocation of a written consent to an adoption after 
        that consent has become irrevocable. 
           (c) An agreed order entered under this section may be 
        enforced by filing a petition or motion with the family court 
        that includes a certified copy of the order granting the 
        communication, contact, or visitation, but only if the petition 
        or motion is accompanied by an affidavit that the parties have 
        mediated or attempted to mediate any dispute under the agreement 
        or that the parties agree to a proposed modification.  The 
        prevailing party may be awarded reasonable attorney's fees and 
        costs.  The court shall not modify an agreed order under this 
        section unless it finds that the modification is necessary to 
        serve the best interests of the minor adoptee, and: 
           (1) the modification is agreed to by the adoptive parent 
        and the birth relative; or 
           (2) exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed 
        order was entered that justify modification of the order. 
           Sec. 9.  [EFFECTIVE DATE.] 
           Sections 1 to 7 are effective the day following final 
        enactment.  Section 8 is effective retroactive to July 1, 1997, 
        and applies to communication or contact agreements entered into 
        on or after that date. 
           Presented to the governor April 2, 1998 
           Signed by the governor April 3, 1998, 11:40 a.m.