Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

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

                            CHAPTER 122-S.F.No. 834 
                  An act relating to adoption; changing requirements and 
                  procedures for the putative fathers' adoption 
                  registry, communication or contact agreements, and 
                  postadoption reports; amending Minnesota Statutes 
                  1998, sections 259.52, subdivisions 1, 4, 7, 9, 10, 
                  and 11; 259.58; and 259.60, by adding a subdivision. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [ESTABLISHMENT OF REGISTRY; PURPOSE; FEES.] 
        (a) The commissioner of health shall establish a 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 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, which is the date the 
        registration is postmarked or the date it was delivered by means 
        other than mail to the address on the registration form; 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 
        father's 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 fathers' adoption registry. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 4, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [CLASSIFICATION OF REGISTRY DATA.] Data in the 
        fathers' adoption registry, including all data provided in 
        requesting the search of the registry, are private data on 
        individuals, as defined in section 13.02, subdivision 2, and are 
        nonpublic data with respect to data not on individuals, as 
        defined in section 13.02, subdivision 9.  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; 
           (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; or 
           (4) an attorney who has signed an affidavit from the 
        commissioner of health attesting that the attorney represents 
        the birth mother or the prospective adoptive parents. 
           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 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 7, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 7.  [WHEN AND HOW TO REGISTER.] A putative father may 
        register with the department of health before the birth of the 
        child but must register no later than 30 days after the birth of 
        the child.  Registrations must be in writing and signed by the 
        putative father.  A registration is timely if the date the 
        registration is postmarked or the date it was delivered by means 
        other than mail to the address specified on the registration 
        form is not later than 30 days after the birth of the child. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 9, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [NOTICE AND SERVICE FOR THOSE ON 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 serve by 
        certified mail a notice to registered putative father, an intent 
        to claim parental rights form, a denial of paternity 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 interested party or that party's attorney shall 
        mail to the putative father, at the address provided to the 
        registry, the copy of the notice to registered putative father, 
        the intent to claim parental rights form, the denial of 
        paternity form, and the consent to adoption form by certified 
        mail, return receipt requested, and shall provide notice of the 
        jurisdiction in which the adoption petition will be filed.  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. 
           (b) The return receipt, when filed with the court, must be 
        attached to the original notice to registered putative father, 
        the intent to claim parental rights form, the denial of 
        paternity form, and the consent to adoption form and constitutes 
        proof of service. 
           (c) The court administrator shall note the fact of service 
        in a permanent record. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 10, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [RESPONSE TO NOTICE TO REGISTERED PUTATIVE 
        FATHER; LIMITATION OF RIGHTS FOR FAILURE TO RESPOND AND UPON 
        FILING OF DENIAL OF PATERNITY.] Within 30 days of receipt of the 
        notice to registered putative father, the intent to claim 
        parental rights form, the denial of paternity 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 in the county in 
        which the adoption petition will be filed as provided by the 
        petitioner, stating that he intends to initiate a paternity 
        action within 30 days of receipt of the 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 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 form and 
        consent to adoption form or who fails to timely file an intent 
        to claim parental rights 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. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.52, 
        subdivision 11, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [FORMS.] 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; and 
           (5) notice to registered putative father of the county in 
        which the adoption petition will be filed. 
           Sec. 7.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.58, is 
        amended to read: 
           259.58 [COMMUNICATION OR CONTACT AGREEMENTS.] 
           Adoptive parents and a birth relative or foster parents may 
        enter an agreement regarding communication with or contact 
        between an adopted minor, adoptive parents, and a birth relative 
        or foster parents under this section.  An agreement may be 
        entered between: 
           (1) adoptive parents and a birth parent; 
           (2) adoptive parents and any other birth relative or foster 
        parent with whom the child resided before being adopted; or 
           (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, 
        adoption, 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 may be sought at the same any time 
        before a petition for decree of adoption is filed 
        granted.  The order must be issued within 30 days of being 
        submitted to the court or by the granting of the decree of 
        adoption, whichever is earlier.  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 
        or foster parent 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.  A birth parent 
        must approve in writing of an agreement between adoptive parents 
        and any other birth relative or foster parent, unless an action 
        has been filed against the birth parent by a county under 
        chapter 260.  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.  The court shall mail a certified copy of the 
        order to the parties to the agreement or their representatives 
        at the addresses provided by the petitioners. 
           (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 parties to the agreement; or 
           (2) exceptional circumstances have arisen since the agreed 
        order was entered that justify modification of the order. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1998, section 259.60, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [POSTADOPTION REPORT.] If a child is adopted by a 
        resident of this state under the laws of a foreign country or if 
        a resident of this state brings a child into the state under an 
        IR-3 or IR-4 visa issued for the child by the United States 
        Immigration and Naturalization Service, the postadoption 
        reporting requirements of the country in which the child was 
        adopted, applicable at the time of the child's adoption, must be 
        given full faith and credit by the courts of this state and 
        apply to the adoptive placement of that child. 
           Presented to the governor April 30, 1999 
           Signed by the governor May 4, 1999, 11:24 a.m.