Minnesota Office of the Revisor of Statutes
[*Add Subtitle/link: Office]

Menu

Revisor of Statutes Menu

Minnesota Session Laws

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

                            CHAPTER 631-S.F.No. 2129 
                  An act relating to adoption; regulating certain 
                  advertising and payments in connection with adoption; 
                  regulating agencies; providing for direct adoptive 
                  placement; providing for the enforceability of 
                  postadoption contact agreements; providing penalties; 
                  amending Minnesota Statutes 1992, sections 144.227, 
                  subdivision 1, and by adding a subdivision; 245A.03, 
                  subdivision 1; 245A.04, by adding a subdivision; 
                  245A.07, by adding a subdivision; 259.21, by adding 
                  subdivisions; 259.22, subdivisions 1, 2, and by adding 
                  a subdivision; 259.24, by adding a subdivision; 
                  259.27, subdivisions 1, 2, 5, and by adding a 
                  subdivision; 259.31; and 317A.907, subdivision 6; 
                  Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 245A.03, 
                  subdivision 2; 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 1992, section 144.227, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [FALSE STATEMENTS.] Whoever intentionally 
        makes any false statement in a certificate, record, or report 
        required to be filed under sections 144.211 to 144.214 or 
        144.216 to 144.227, or in an application for an amendment 
        thereof, or in an application for a certified copy of a vital 
        record, or who supplies false information intending that the 
        information be used in the preparation of any report, record, 
        certificate, or amendment thereof, is guilty of a misdemeanor. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 144.227, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [BIRTH REGISTRATION.] Whoever intentionally makes 
        a false statement in a registration required under section 
        144.215 or in an application for an amendment to such a 
        registration, or intentionally supplies false information 
        intending that the information be used in the preparation of a 
        registration under section 144.215 is guilty of a gross 
        misdemeanor.  This offense shall be prosecuted by the county 
        attorney. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 245A.03, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [LICENSE REQUIRED.] Unless licensed by the 
        commissioner, an individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary 
        association, other organization, or controlling individual must 
        not: 
           (1) operate a residential or a nonresidential program; 
           (2) receive a child or adult for care, supervision, or 
        placement in foster care or adoption; 
           (3) help plan the placement of a child or adult in foster 
        care or adoption or engage in placement activities as defined in 
        section 259.21, subdivision 9, in this state, whether or not the 
        adoption occurs in this state; or 
           (4) advertise a residential or nonresidential program. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 
        245A.03, subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [EXCLUSION FROM LICENSURE.] Sections 245A.01 to 
        245A.16 do not apply to: 
           (1) residential or nonresidential programs that are 
        provided to a person by an individual who is related, except as 
        provided in subdivision 2a; 
           (2) nonresidential programs that are provided by an 
        unrelated individual to persons from a single related family; 
           (3) residential or nonresidential programs that are 
        provided to adults who do not abuse chemicals or who do not have 
        a chemical dependency, a mental illness, mental retardation or a 
        related condition, a functional impairment, or a physical 
        handicap; 
           (4) sheltered workshops or work activity programs that are 
        certified by the commissioner of jobs and training; 
           (5) programs for children enrolled in kindergarten to the 
        12th grade and prekindergarten special education in a school as 
        defined in section 120.101, subdivision 4, and programs serving 
        children in combined special education and regular 
        prekindergarten programs that are operated or assisted by the 
        commissioner of education; 
           (6) nonresidential programs primarily for children that 
        provide care or supervision, without charge for ten or fewer 
        days a year, and for periods of less than three hours a day 
        while the child's parent or legal guardian is in the same 
        building as the nonresidential program or present within another 
        building that is directly contiguous to the building in which 
        the nonresidential program is located; 
           (7) nursing homes or hospitals licensed by the commissioner 
        of health except as specified under section 245A.02; 
           (8) board and lodge facilities licensed by the commissioner 
        of health that provide services for five or more persons whose 
        primary diagnosis is mental illness who have refused an 
        appropriate residential program offered by a county agency.  
        This exclusion expires on July 1, 1990; 
           (9) homes providing programs for persons placed there by a 
        licensed agency for legal adoption, unless the adoption is not 
        completed within two years; 
           (10) programs licensed by the commissioner of corrections; 
           (11) recreation programs for children or adults that 
        operate for fewer than 40 calendar days in a calendar year; 
           (12) programs whose primary purpose is to provide, for 
        adults or school-age children, including children who will be 
        eligible to enter kindergarten within not more than four months, 
        social and recreational activities, such as scouting, boys 
        clubs, girls clubs, sports, or the arts; except that a program 
        operating in a school building is not excluded unless it is 
        approved by the district's school board; 
           (13) head start nonresidential programs which operate for 
        less than 31 days in each calendar year; 
           (14) noncertified boarding care homes unless they provide 
        services for five or more persons whose primary diagnosis is 
        mental illness or mental retardation; 
           (15) nonresidential programs for nonhandicapped children 
        provided for a cumulative total of less than 30 days in any 
        12-month period; 
           (16) residential programs for persons with mental illness, 
        that are located in hospitals, until the commissioner adopts 
        appropriate rules; 
           (17) the religious instruction of school-age children; 
        Sabbath or Sunday schools; or the congregate care of children by 
        a church, congregation, or religious society during the period 
        used by the church, congregation, or religious society for its 
        regular worship; 
           (18) camps licensed by the commissioner of health under 
        Minnesota Rules, chapter 4630; 
           (19) mental health outpatient services for adults with 
        mental illness or children with emotional disturbance; 
           (20) residential programs serving school-age children whose 
        sole purpose is cultural or educational exchange, until the 
        commissioner adopts appropriate rules; 
           (21) unrelated individuals who provide out-of-home respite 
        care services to persons with mental retardation or related 
        conditions from a single related family for no more than 90 days 
        in a 12-month period and the respite care services are for the 
        temporary relief of the person's family or legal representative; 
           (22) respite care services provided as a home and 
        community-based service to a person with mental retardation or a 
        related condition, in the person's primary residence; or 
           (23) community support services programs as defined in 
        section 245.462, subdivision 6, and family community support 
        services as defined in section 245.4871, subdivision 17; or 
           (24) the placement of a child by a birth parent or legal 
        guardian in a preadoptive home for purposes of adoption as 
        authorized by section 259.2591. 
           For purposes of clause (6), a building is directly 
        contiguous to a building in which a nonresidential program is 
        located if it shares a common wall with the building in which 
        the nonresidential program is located or is attached to that 
        building by skyway, tunnel, atrium, or common roof. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 245A.04, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [ADOPTION AGENCY; ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS.] In 
        addition to the other requirements of this section, an 
        individual, corporation, partnership, voluntary association, 
        other organization, or controlling individual applying for a 
        license to place children for adoption must: 
           (1) incorporate as a nonprofit corporation under chapter 
        317A; 
           (2) file with the application for licensure a copy of the 
        disclosure form required under section 259.258, subdivision 2; 
           (3) provide evidence that a bond has been obtained and will 
        be continuously maintained in favor of the commissioner 
        throughout the entire operating period of the agency, to cover 
        the cost of transfer and storage of records if the agency 
        voluntarily or involuntarily ceases operation and fails to 
        provide for proper transfer of the records in order to comply 
        with the requirements of section 259.46; and 
           (4) submit a certified audit to the commissioner each year 
        the license is renewed as required under section 245A.03, 
        subdivision 1. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 245A.07, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [ADOPTION AGENCY VIOLATIONS.] If a license holder 
        licensed to place children for adoption fails to provide 
        services as described in the disclosure form required by section 
        259.258, subdivision 2, the sanctions under this section may be 
        imposed. 
           Sec. 7.  [259.20] [POLICY.] 
           Subdivision 1.  The policy of the state of Minnesota and 
        the purpose of sections 259.20 to 259.406 is to ensure: 
           (1) that the best interests of children are met in the 
        planning and granting of adoptions; and 
           (2) that laws and practices governing adoption recognize 
        the diversity of Minnesota's population and the diverse needs of 
        persons affected by adoption. 
           Subd. 2.  Portions of chapters 245A, 257, 260, and 317A may 
        also affect the adoption of a particular child. 
           Sec. 8.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.21, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 8.  [PLACEMENT.] "Placement" means the transfer of 
        physical custody of a child from a birth parent or legal 
        guardian to a prospective adoptive home. 
           Sec. 9.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.21, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 9.  [PLACEMENT ACTIVITIES.] "Placement activities" 
        means any of the following: 
           (1) placement; 
           (2) arranging or providing short-term foster care pending 
        an adoptive placement; 
           (3) facilitating placement by maintaining a list in any 
        form of birth parents or prospective adoptive parents; 
           (4) collecting health and social histories of a birth 
        family; 
           (5) conducting an adoption study; 
           (6) witnessing consents to an adoption; or 
           (7) engaging in any activity listed in clauses (1) to (6) 
        for purposes of fulfilling any requirements of the interstate 
        compact on the placement of children. 
           Sec. 10.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.21, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 10.  [DIRECT ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT.] "Direct adoptive 
        placement" means the placement of a child by a birth parent or 
        legal guardian other than an agency under the procedure for 
        adoption authorized by section 259.2591. 
           Sec. 11.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.21, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 11.  [WORKING DAY.] "Working day" means Monday 
        through Friday, excluding any holiday as defined under section 
        645.44, subdivision 5. 
           Sec. 12.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.22, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  Any person who has resided in the state for 
        one year or more may petition to adopt a child or an adult, and 
        the same petitioner may petition for the adoption of two or more 
        persons in one petition.  The provisions as to length of 
        residence in the state may be waived reduced to 30 days by the 
        court whenever it appears to be for the best interest of the 
        child.  
           The court may waive any residence requirement of this 
        section if the petitioner is an individual who is related, as 
        defined in section 245A.02, subdivision 13, or a member of a 
        child's extended family or important friends with whom the child 
        has resided or had significant contact. 
           Sec. 13.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.22, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  No petition for adoption shall be filed unless 
        the child sought to be adopted has been placed by the 
        commissioner of human services, the commissioner's agent, or a 
        licensed child-placing agency.  The provisions of this 
        subdivision shall not apply if 
           (a) the child is over 14 years of age; 
           (b) the child is sought to be adopted by a stepparent; 
           (c) the child is sought to be adopted by a relative related 
        by blood or marriage within the third degree; 
           (d) the child has been lawfully placed under the laws of 
        another state while the child and petitioner resided in that 
        other state; or 
           (e) the court waives the requirement of placement this 
        subdivision in the best interests of the child or petitioners, 
        provided that the adoption does not involve a placement as 
        defined in section 259.21, subdivision 8; or 
           (f) the child has been lawfully placed under section 
        259.2591. 
           Sec. 14.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.22, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 4.  [TIME FOR FILING PETITION.] A petition shall be 
        filed not later than 24 months after a child is placed in a 
        prospective adoptive home.  If a petition is not filed by that 
        time, the agency that placed the child, or, in a direct adoptive 
        placement, the agency that prepared the postplacement adoptive 
        study shall file with the district court in the county where the 
        prospective adoptive parent resides a motion for an order and a 
        report recommending one of the following: 
           (1) that the time for filing a petition be extended because 
        of the child's special needs as defined under title IV-E of the 
        Social Security Act, United States Code, title 42, section 673; 
        or 
           (2) that the child be removed from the prospective adoptive 
        home. 
           The prospective adoptive parent must reimburse an agency 
        for the cost of preparing and filing the motion and report under 
        this section, unless the costs are reimbursed by the 
        commissioner under section 259.40 or 259.44. 
           Sec. 15.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.24, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [TIME OF CONSENT.] Not sooner than 72 hours 
        after the birth of a child and not later than 60 days after the 
        child's placement in a prospective adoptive home, a person whose 
        consent is required under this section shall execute a consent. 
           Sec. 16.  [259.256] [AGENCY PLACEMENT FACTORS.] 
           An agency shall document, in the records required to be 
        kept under section 259.46, the reasons for each child placement 
        decision. 
           Sec. 17.  [259.258] [AGENCY; FEE SCHEDULE; DISCLOSURE; 
        CIVIL ACTION.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [PAYMENT SCHEDULE.] An agency may only 
        require payment of fees in stages as services are performed.  An 
        agency engaged in placement activities must provide a 
        prospective adoptive parent with a schedule of fees and a 
        timeline indicating when each fee or portion of the total fees 
        for the agency services must be paid.  The agency must also 
        provide a fee schedule for prefinalization postplacement 
        services. 
           Subd. 2.  [DISCLOSURE TO BIRTH PARENTS AND ADOPTIVE 
        PARENTS.] An agency shall provide a disclosure statement written 
        in clear, plain language to be signed by the prospective 
        adoptive parents and birth parents, except that in inter-country 
        adoptions, the signatures of birth parents are not required.  
        The disclosure statement must contain the following information: 
           (1) fees charged to the adoptive parent, including any 
        policy on sliding scale fees or fee waivers and an itemization 
        of the amount that will be charged for the adoption study, 
        counseling, postplacement services, family of origin searches, 
        birth parent expenses authorized under section 259.271, or any 
        other services; 
           (2) timeline for the adoptive parent to make fee payments; 
           (3) likelihood, given the circumstances of the prospective 
        adoptive parent and any specific program to which the 
        prospective adoptive parent is applying, that an adoptive 
        placement may be made and the estimated length of time for 
        making an adoptive placement.  These estimates must be based on 
        adoptive placements made with prospective parents in similar 
        circumstances applying to a similar program with the agency 
        during the immediately preceding three to five years.  If an 
        agency has not been in operation for at least three years, it 
        must provide summary data based on whatever adoptive placements 
        it has made and may include a statement about the kind of 
        efforts it will make to achieve an adoptive placement, including 
        a timetable it will follow in seeking a child.  The estimates 
        must include a statement that the agency cannot guarantee 
        placement of a child or a time by which a child will be placed; 
           (4) a statement of the services the agency will provide the 
        birth and adoptive parents; 
           (5) a statement prepared by the commissioner under section 
        259.2585 that explains the child placement and adoption process 
        and the respective legal rights and responsibilities of the 
        birth parent and prospective adoptive parent during the process 
        including a statement that the prospective adoptive parent is 
        responsible for filing an adoption petition not later than 24 
        months after the child is placed in the prospective adoptive 
        home; 
           (6) a statement regarding any information the agency may 
        have about attorney referral services, or about obtaining 
        assistance with completing legal requirements for an adoption; 
        and 
           (7) an acknowledgment to be signed by the birth parent and 
        prospective adoptive parent that they have received, read, and 
        had the opportunity to ask questions of the agency about the 
        contents of the disclosure statement. 
           Subd. 3.  [CIVIL ACTION.] An action for damages, including 
        punitive damages, may be brought by a birth parent or 
        prospective adoptive parent aggrieved by: 
           (1) a violation of subdivision 1; 
           (2) the failure of an agency to provide services listed in 
        the disclosure form under subdivision 2, clause (4); or 
           (3) deceptive practices or misrepresentations made by an 
        agency about its services or ability to place children for 
        adoption.  
           Sec. 18.  [259.2585] [COMMISSIONER'S STATEMENT.] 
           The commissioner shall prepare and make available to all 
        agencies, prospective adoptive parents, and birth parents a 
        short, plain description of the legal adoption process and the 
        rights and responsibilities of agencies, birth parents, and 
        prospective adoptive parents in the process. 
           Sec. 19.  [259.2586] [ADOPTION STUDY.] 
           An adoption study and written report must be completed 
        before the child is placed in a prospective adoptive home under 
        this chapter and the study must be completed and filed with the 
        court at the time the adoption petition is filed.  In a direct 
        adoptive placement, the report must be filed with the court in 
        support of a motion for temporary preadoptive custody under 
        section 259.2591, subdivision 3.  The study and report shall be 
        completed by a licensed child-placing agency and must be 
        thorough and comprehensive.  The study and report shall be paid 
        for by the prospective adoptive parent, except as otherwise 
        required under section 259.40 or 259.44.  
           A step-parent adoption is not subject to this section. 
           At a minimum, the study must include the following about 
        the prospective adoptive parent: 
           (1) a check of criminal conviction data, data on 
        substantiated maltreatment of a child under section 626.556, and 
        domestic violence data of each person over the age of 13 living 
        in the home.  The prospective adoptive parents, the bureau of 
        criminal apprehension, and other state, county, and local 
        agencies, after written notice to the subject of the study, 
        shall give the agency completing the adoption study 
        substantiated criminal conviction data and reports about 
        maltreatment of minors and vulnerable adults and domestic 
        violence.  The adoption study must also include a check of the 
        juvenile court records of each person over the age of 13 living 
        in the home.  Notwithstanding provisions of section 260.161 to 
        the contrary, the juvenile court shall release the requested 
        information to the agency completing the adoption study.  The 
        study must include an evaluation of the effect of a conviction 
        or finding of substantiated maltreatment on the ability to care 
        for a child; 
           (2) medical and social history and current health; 
           (3) assessment of potential parenting skills; 
           (4) ability to provide adequate financial support for a 
        child; and 
           (5) the level of knowledge and awareness of adoption issues 
        including where appropriate matters relating to interracial, 
        cross-cultural, and special needs adoptions. 
           The adoption study must include at least one in-home visit 
        with the prospective adoptive parent.  The adoption study is the 
        basis for completion of a written report.  The report must be in 
        a format specified by the commissioner and must contain 
        recommendations regarding the suitability of the subject of the 
        study to be an adoptive parent.  An adoption study report is 
        valid for 12 months following its date of completion. 
           A prospective adoptive parent seeking a study under this 
        section must authorize access by the agency to any private data 
        needed to complete the study, must disclose any names used 
        previously other than the name used at the time of the study, 
        and must provide a set of fingerprints, which shall be forwarded 
        to the bureau of criminal apprehension to facilitate the 
        criminal conviction background check required under clause (1). 
           Sec. 20.  [259.2587] [BIRTH PARENT HISTORY; COMMISSIONER'S 
        FORM.] 
           In any adoption under this chapter, except a stepparent 
        adoption, a birth parent or an agency shall provide a 
        prospective adoptive parent with a detailed social and medical 
        history of the birth families, if known after reasonable inquiry.
        Each birth family history must be provided on a form prepared by 
        the commissioner in a manner so that the completed form protects 
        the identities of all individuals described in it.  The 
        commissioner shall make the form available to agencies and court 
        administrators for public distribution.  The birth family 
        history must be filed with the court when the adoption petition 
        is filed, or, in a direct adoptive placement, with the motion 
        for temporary preadoptive custody. 
           Sec. 21.  [259.259] [STATE AUDIT OF ADOPTION AGENCY; CIVIL 
        ACTION.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUDIT.] If the commissioner or attorney 
        general has good cause to believe that a child-placing agency 
        has violated section 259.258, subdivision 1, 259.271, 317A.907, 
        or any other applicable law dealing with fees, payments, 
        accounts, or financial disclosure by a child-placing agency, the 
        commissioner or the attorney general may seek a court order 
        requiring a financial audit of the agency, at the agency's 
        expense, by an auditor chosen by the commissioner or attorney 
        general. 
           Subd. 2.  [CIVIL ACTION.] A court may grant equitable or 
        monetary relief that is just and reasonable in the circumstances 
        or may dissolve an adoption agency and liquidate its assets if 
        the assets of the agency are being misapplied or wasted.  The 
        attorney general or the commissioner may bring an action in 
        district court if the directors or those in control of the 
        agency have misapplied or wasted assets of the agency or have 
        acted fraudulently, illegally, or in a manner unfairly 
        prejudicial toward a client of the agency in the capacity of a 
        director or one in control of the agency. 
           Sec. 22.  [259.2591] [DIRECT ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [INTENT.] The intent of the provisions 
        governing direct adoptive placement is to safeguard the best 
        interests of the child by providing services and protections to 
        the child, birth parents, and adoptive parents which are 
        consistent with those available through an agency placement. 
           Subd. 2.  [ADOPTION STUDY.] In a direct adoptive placement, 
        an adoption study and report under section 259.2586 must be 
        completed and filed with the court as required by subdivision 3. 
           Subd. 3.  [PREADOPTIVE CUSTODY ORDER.] (a) Before a child 
        is placed in a prospective adoptive home by a birth parent or 
        legal guardian, other than an agency, the placement must be 
        approved by the district court in the county where the 
        prospective adoptive parent resides.  An order under this 
        subdivision or subdivision 6 shall state that the prospective 
        adoptive parent's right to custody of the child is subject to 
        the birth parent's right to custody until the consents to the 
        child's adoption become irrevocable.  At the time of placement, 
        prospective adoptive parents must have for the child qualifying 
        existing coverage as defined in section 62L.02, subdivision 24, 
        or other similar comprehensive health care coverage.  The 
        prospective adoptive parent must meet the residence requirements 
        of section 259.22, subdivision 1, and must file with the court 
        an affidavit of intent to remain a resident of the state for at 
        least three months after the child is placed in the prospective 
        adoptive home.  The prospective adoptive parent shall file with 
        the court a notice of intent to file an adoption petition and 
        submit a written motion seeking an order granting temporary 
        preadoptive custody.  The notice and motion required under this 
        subdivision may be considered by the court ex parte, without a 
        hearing.  The prospective adoptive parent shall serve a copy of 
        the notice and motion upon any parent whose consent is required 
        under section 259.24 or who is named in the affidavit required 
        under paragraph (b) of this subdivision if that person's mailing 
        address is known.  The motion may be filed up to 60 days before 
        the placement is to be made and must include:  
           (1) the adoption study required under section 259.2586; 
           (2) affidavits from the birth parents indicating their 
        support of the motion, or, if there is no affidavit from the 
        birth father, an affidavit from the birth mother under paragraph 
        (b); 
           (3) an itemized statement of expenses that have been paid 
        and an estimate of expenses that will be paid by the prospective 
        adoptive parents to the birth parents, any agency, attorney, or 
        other party in connection with the prospective adoption; 
           (4) the name of counsel for each party, if any; 
           (5) a statement that the birth parents: 
           (i) have provided the social and medical history required 
        under section 259.2587 to the prospective adoptive parent; 
           (ii) have received the written statement of their legal 
        rights and responsibilities under section 259.2585; and 
           (iii) have been notified of their right to receive 
        counseling under subdivision 4; and 
           (6) the name of the agency chosen by the adoptive parent to 
        supervise the adoptive placement and complete the postplacement 
        adoption study required by subdivision 9. 
           The court shall review the expense statement submitted 
        under this subdivision to determine whether payments made or to 
        be made by the prospective adoptive parent are lawful and in 
        accordance with section 259.271, subdivision 1. 
           (b) If the birth mother submits the affidavit required in 
        paragraph (a), clause (2), but the birth father fails to do so, 
        the birth mother must submit an additional affidavit that 
        describes her good faith efforts or efforts made on her behalf 
        to identify and locate the birth father for purposes of securing 
        his consent.  In the following circumstances the birth mother 
        may instead submit an affidavit stating on which ground she is 
        exempt from making efforts to identify and locate the father: 
           (1) the child was conceived as the result of incest or 
        rape; 
           (2) efforts to locate the father by the affiant or anyone 
        acting on the affiant's behalf could reasonably result in 
        physical harm to the birth mother or child; or 
           (3) efforts to locate the father by the affiant or anyone 
        acting on the affiant's behalf could reasonably result in severe 
        emotional distress of the birth mother or child. 
           A court shall consider the motion for temporary preadoptive 
        custody within 30 days of receiving the motion or by the 
        anticipated placement date stated in the motion, whichever comes 
        sooner. 
           Subd. 4.  [BIRTH PARENT COUNSELING.] In a direct adoptive 
        placement the prospective adoptive parent must notify the birth 
        parent that the birth parent has a right to receive counseling 
        about adoption issues at the expense of the prospective adoptive 
        parent.  The prospective adoptive parent must bear the cost of 
        counseling upon the request of a birth parent at any time 
        between conception of child and six months after the birth of 
        the child or the placement in the adoptive home, whichever is 
        later.  The prospective adoptive parent shall not be responsible 
        for the cost of more than 35 hours of counseling under this 
        subdivision.  A birth parent may waive the right to receive 
        counseling under this subdivision. 
           Subd. 5.  [BIRTH PARENT LEGAL COUNSEL.] Upon the request of 
        a birth parent, separate legal counsel must be made available to 
        the birth parent at the expense of the prospective adoptive 
        parent for legal services provided in a direct adoptive 
        placement.  The prospective adoptive parent shall only be 
        required to provide legal counsel for one birth parent unless 
        the birth parents elect joint legal representation.  The right 
        to legal counsel under this subdivision shall continue until 
        consents become irrevocable, but not longer than 70 days after 
        placement.  If consents have not been executed within 60 days of 
        placement, the right to counsel under this subdivision shall end 
        at that time.  A birth parent may waive this right only by a 
        written waiver signed and submitted to the court at the time 
        consents are executed under subdivision 7.  Representation of a 
        birth parent and a prospective adoptive parent by the same 
        attorney is prohibited. 
           Subd. 6.  [EMERGENCY ORDER.] (a) A court may issue an 
        emergency order granting temporary preadoptive custody of a 
        child to a prospective adoptive parent for up to 14 days if the 
        following conditions are met: 
           (1) the motion is supported by: 
           (i) a completed adoption study which meets the requirements 
        of section 259.2586; or 
           (ii) affidavits from each prospective adoptive parent 
        stating whether they or any person residing in the household 
        have been convicted of a crime or are the subject of an open 
        investigation of, or have been the subject of a substantiated 
        allegation of, child or vulnerable-adult abuse within the past 
        ten years.  If so, a complete description of the crime, open 
        investigation, or substantiated abuse and a complete description 
        of any sentence, treatment, or disposition must be included.  
        If, at any time before the adoption is final, a court receives 
        evidence leading it to conclude that a prospective adoptive 
        parent knowingly gave false information in this affidavit, it 
        shall be presumed that the placement of the child with the 
        adoptive parent is not in the best interests of the child; and 
           (iii) the information required by section 259.2591, 
        subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (2), and clause (5), items 
        (ii) and (iii); and 
           (iv) affidavits from the prospective adoptive parent and 
        birth parent indicating that an emergency order is needed 
        because of the unexpected premature birth of the child or other 
        specifically described extraordinary circumstances which 
        prevented the completion of the requirements of section 
        259.2591; and 
           (2) the court concludes from the record submitted that the 
        emergency order will preserve the health and safety of the child.
           (b) An order granting or denying the motion shall be issued 
        under this section within 24 hours of the time it is brought.  
        Notwithstanding section 259.23, any judge of district court may 
        consider a motion brought under this subdivision.  An order 
        granting the motion shall direct that an adoption study be 
        commenced immediately, if that has not occurred, and that the 
        agency conducting the study shall supervise the emergency 
        placement. 
           (c) An emergency order under this subdivision expires 14 
        days after it is issued.  If the requirements of subdivision 3 
        are completed and a preadoptive custody motion is filed on or 
        before the expiration of the emergency order, placement may 
        continue until the court rules on the motion.  The court shall 
        consider the preadoptive custody motion within seven days of 
        filing. 
           Subd. 7.  [CONSENT; TIME FRAME; HEARING; VENUE; 
        COMMISSIONER'S FORM.] Not sooner than 72 hours after the birth 
        of a child and not later than 60 days after the child's 
        placement in a prospective adoptive home under this section, a 
        person whose consent is required under section 259.24 shall 
        execute a consent.  A birth parent, whose consent is required 
        under section 259.24 and who has chosen not to receive 
        counseling through a licensed agency or a licensed social 
        services professional trained in adoption issues, shall appear 
        before a judge or judicial officer to sign the written consent 
        to the child's adoption by the prospective adoptive parent who 
        has temporary preadoptive custody of the child.  Notwithstanding 
        where the prospective adoptive parent resides, the consent 
        hearing may be held in any county in this state where the birth 
        parent is found.  If a birth parent has chosen to receive 
        counseling through a licensed agency or a licensed social 
        services professional trained in adoption issues, the birth 
        parent may choose to execute a written consent under section 
        259.24, subdivision 5.  A person whose consent is required under 
        section 259.24, subdivision 2, may choose to execute consent at 
        a judicial hearing as described in this section or under the 
        procedures in section 259.24, subdivision 5. 
           The consent becomes irrevocable on the tenth working day 
        after it is given, except that if the consent was obtained by 
        fraud, proceedings to determine the existence of fraud shall be 
        governed by section 259.24, subdivision 6a.  Until the consent 
        becomes irrevocable, the child shall be returned to the birth 
        parent upon request. 
           The written consent under this subdivision must state that: 
           (1) the birth parent has had the opportunity to consult 
        with independent legal counsel at the expense of the prospective 
        adoptive parent, unless the birth parent knowingly waived the 
        opportunity; 
           (2) the birth parent was notified of the right to receive 
        counseling at the expense of the prospective adoptive parent and 
        has chosen to exercise or waive that right; and 
           (3) the birth parent was informed that if the birth parent 
        withdraws consent, the prospective adoptive parent cannot 
        require the birth parent to reimburse any costs the prospective 
        adoptive parent has incurred in connection with the adoption, 
        including payments made to or on behalf of the birth parent. 
           If a birth parent has chosen to have legal counsel, the 
        attorney must be present at the execution of consents.  If a 
        birth parent waives counsel, the written waiver must be filed 
        with the consent under this subdivision. 
           The consent signed under this subdivision must be on a form 
        prepared by the commissioner and made available to agencies and 
        court administrators for public distribution. 
           Subd. 8.  [NOTICE AND CONSENT DEADLINE; CONSENT HEARING; 
        BIRTH PARENT NOT APPEARING.] (a) With the exception of a person 
        who receives notice under paragraph (b), if a birth parent whose 
        consent is required under section 259.24 does not appear at a 
        consent hearing under this section, the agency which is 
        supervising the placement shall notify the court and the court 
        shall issue an order regarding continued placement of the 
        child.  The court shall order the local social service agency to 
        determine whether to commence proceedings for termination of 
        parental rights on grounds of abandonment as defined in section 
        260.221.  The court may disregard the six and 12-month 
        requirements of section 260.221, paragraph (b), clause (1), item 
        (i), in finding abandonment if the birth parent has failed to 
        execute a consent within the time required under this section 
        and has made no effort to obtain custody of the child. 
           (b) A birth parent who intends to consent to the adoption 
        of a child shall notify the other birth parent of that fact if 
        the other birth parent's consent to the adoption is required 
        under section 259.24, subdivision 1, at the time of placement.  
        Notice shall be provided to the other birth parent by personal 
        service in the manner provided in the rules of civil procedure 
        for service of a summons and complaint within 72 hours of the 
        date on which the child is placed.  The notice shall inform the 
        birth parent of the notifying birth parent's intent regarding 
        consent to adoption and shall notify the receiving birth parent 
        that, not later than 60 days after the date of service, the 
        birth parent must either consent or refuse to consent to the 
        adoption.  On the sixty-first day following service of the 
        notice required under this subdivision, a birth parent who fails 
        to take either of these actions, is deemed to have consented to 
        the child's adoption regarding the child. 
           Subd. 9.  [POSTPLACEMENT ADOPTION STUDY AND REPORT.] The 
        agency designated by the prospective adoptive parent under 
        subdivision 3, paragraph (a), clause (6), shall complete a 
        postplacement adoption report and file it with the court with 
        which the adoption petition has been filed not later than 90 
        days after the filing of a petition for adoption.  
           At a minimum, the report must include the following 
        information: 
           (1) assessment of adaptation by the prospective adoptive 
        parents to parenting the child; 
           (2) assessment of the health and well-being of the child in 
        the prospective adoptive parents' home; 
           (3) analysis of the level of incorporation by the child 
        into the prospective adoptive parents' home, extended family and 
        community; and 
           (4) assessment of the level of incorporation of the child's 
        previous history into the prospective adoptive home, such as 
        cultural or ethnic practices, or contact with former foster 
        parents, or biological relatives. 
           If the consent hearing is held in a county other than where 
        the prospective adoptive parent resides, the court shall forward 
        a copy of its order to the district court in the county where 
        the prospective adoptive parent resides.  The report shall be 
        filed with the local social service agency in the county where 
        the prospective adoptive parent resides.  The local social 
        service agency may seek a court order to remove the child from 
        the prospective adoptive home, if the report so recommends and 
        the agency finds that continued placement in the adoptive home 
        endangers the physical or emotional health of the child.  A 
        postplacement adoption report is valid for 12 months after its 
        date of completion. 
           Subd. 10.  [RECORDS.] All records filed with the court in a 
        direct adoptive placement under this section must be permanently 
        maintained by the agency which completed the adoption study.  
        Notwithstanding the provisions of section 259.31, an agency 
        shall, upon request, be given any court records needed to 
        provide post-adoption services pursuant to section 259.47 at the 
        request of adoptive parents, birth parents, or adopted 
        individuals age 19 or older. 
           Subd. 11.  [PENALTY.] It is a gross misdemeanor for a 
        person, not being the commissioner or an agency, knowingly to 
        engage in placement activities as defined in section 259.21, 
        subdivision 9, without being licensed by the commissioner under 
        chapter 245A, except as authorized by section 245A.03, 
        subdivision 2. 
           This offense shall be prosecuted by the county attorney. 
           Sec. 23.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.27, 
        subdivision 1, is amended to read: 
           Subdivision 1.  [COMMISSIONER'S NOTICE TO COMMISSIONER; 
        COUNTY DUTIES.] Upon the filing of a petition for adoption of a 
        child the court administrator shall immediately transmit a copy 
        of the petition to the commissioner of human services.  The 
        commissioner and the local social services agency of the county 
        in which the prospective adoptive parent lives.  Except as 
        provided in subdivision 2, the local social services agency 
        shall verify the allegations of the petition, investigate the 
        conditions and antecedents of the child for the purpose of 
        ascertaining whether the child is a proper subject for adoption, 
        and make appropriate inquiry to ascertain whether the proposed 
        foster adoptive home and the child are suited to each other and 
        whether the proposed foster home adoption meets the preferences 
        described in section 259.28, subdivision 2.  The report of the 
        county welfare board submitted to the commissioner of human 
        services 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 of 
        them shall not be disclosed either directly or indirectly to any 
        person other than the commissioner of human services or a judge 
        of the court having jurisdiction of the matter.  Within 90 days 
        after the receipt of said the copy of the petition the 
        commissioner local social services agency shall submit to the 
        court and the commissioner a full report in writing with 
        recommendations as to the granting of the petition.  If such the 
        report is not returned within the 90 days, without fault of 
        petitioner, the court may hear the petition upon giving 
        the commissioner local social services agency five days notice 
        by mail of the time and place of the hearing.  If such the 
        report disapproves of the adoption of the child, 
        the commissioner local social services agency may recommend that 
        the court dismiss the petition.  
           Sec. 24.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, 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, or the child's direct adoptive 
        placement is being supervised by an agency pursuant to section 
        259.2591 the court, in its discretion, may shall refer the 
        adoption petition to such the agency, or, if the adopting parent 
        has a stepparent 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 the report disapproves of the adoption 
        of the child, the agency or county welfare department may 
        recommend that the court dismiss the petition.  In the case of a 
        direct adoptive placement under section 259.2591, a 
        postplacement adoption study completed under subdivision 9 of 
        that section shall be considered as meeting the requirement for 
        a report under this section. 
           Sec. 25.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.27, 
        subdivision 5, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 5.  [RESIDENCE AND INVESTIGATION WAIVED; STEPPARENT.] 
        Such The investigation and period of residence required by this 
        section may be waived by the court when the petition for 
        adoption is submitted by a stepparent or when, upon good cause 
        being shown, the court is satisfied that the proposed adoptive 
        home and the child are suited to each other, but in either event 
        at least ten working days notice of the hearing shall be given 
        to the commissioner local social services agency by certified 
        mail.  The reports of investigations shall be a part of the 
        court files in the case, unless otherwise ordered by the court. 
           Sec. 26.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.27, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [FEES AND PAYMENTS; FILING WITH ADOPTION 
        PETITION.] Upon the filing of a petition for adoption, an agency 
        shall file with the court a statement of expenses that have been 
        paid or are required to be paid by the prospective adoptive 
        parent in connection with the adoption.  In a direct adoptive 
        placement the statement of expenses shall be filed by the 
        prospective adoptive parent. 
           Sec. 27.  [259.271] [PAYMENT OF BIRTH PARENT EXPENSES; 
        PENALTY.] 
           Subdivision 1.  [AUTHORIZED PAYMENTS.] In any adoption 
        under this chapter, a prospective adoptive parent or anyone 
        acting in concert with, at the direction of, or on behalf of a 
        prospective adoptive parent may pay only the following expenses 
        of the birth parent: 
           (1) reasonable counseling, medical, and legal fees, which 
        shall be paid directly to the provider of the service; 
           (2) reasonable expenses for transportation, meals, and 
        lodging incurred for placement of the child; 
           (3) reasonable expenses for adoption services provided by 
        an agency at the request of the birth parent, which shall be 
        paid directly to the agency; and 
           (4)(i) reasonable living expenses of the birth mother which 
        are needed to maintain an adequate standard of living which the 
        birth mother is unable to otherwise maintain because of loss of 
        income or other support resulting from the pregnancy.  The 
        payments may cover expenses incurred during the 
        pregnancy-related incapacity but not for a period longer than 
        six weeks following delivery; 
           (ii) the payment shall not be contingent upon placement of 
        the child for adoption, consent to adoption, or cooperation in 
        the completion of the adoption; and 
           (iii) reasonable living expenses does not include expenses 
        for lost wages, gifts, educational expenses, or other similar 
        expenses of the birth mother. 
           Subd. 2.  [NO BIRTH PARENT REIMBURSEMENT TO ADOPTIVE 
        PARENT.] A contract purporting to require a birth parent to 
        reimburse a prospective adoptive parent for such payments under 
        any circumstances, including circumstances in which a birth 
        parent refuses to consent to adoption or withdraws consent to 
        adoption, is void as against public policy. 
           Subd. 3.  [PROHIBITED PAYMENTS; PENALTY.] (a) Except as 
        authorized under subdivision 1, it is a gross misdemeanor for an 
        individual to give, or for a birth parent to accept, money or 
        anything of value, or compensation for the placement of a child 
        for adoption. 
           (b) It is a gross misdemeanor for any person to give money 
        or anything of value to the birth parent of a child if the 
        person is engaged or has engaged in any placement activity, as 
        defined in section 259.21, subdivision 9, in connection with the 
        adoption of the child. 
           (c) An offense under this subdivision shall be prosecuted 
        by the county attorney. 
           Sec. 28.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 259.31, is 
        amended to read: 
           259.31 [HEARINGS, CONFIDENTIAL.] 
           All hearings held in proceedings under sections 259.21 to 
        259.32 shall be confidential and shall be held in closed court 
        without admittance of any persons other than the petitioners, 
        their witnesses, the commissioner of human services or an 
        agency, or their authorized representatives, attorneys, and 
        persons entitled to notice by sections 259.21 to 259.32, except 
        by order of the court.  The files and records of the court in 
        adoption proceedings shall not be open to inspection by any 
        person except the commissioner of human services or the 
        commissioner's representatives, an agency acting under section 
        259.2591, subdivision 10, or upon an order of the court 
        expressly so permitting pursuant to a petition setting forth the 
        reasons therefor.  
           Sec. 29.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 317A.907, 
        subdivision 6, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 6.  [EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT.] (a) An organization, 
        association, or society licensed by the commissioner of human 
        services may receive payment for expenses related to adoption 
        services in an amount that fairly reflects the agency's 
        reasonable and necessary expenses of: 
           (1) adoptive counseling, whether or not legal adoption is 
        completed; 
           (2) provision of services to children before adoptive 
        placement; or 
           (3) the supervision of children in the home until legal 
        adoption is completed; or 
           (4) expenses of a birth parent authorized under section 
        259.271 if paid to the agency to forward to the birth parent.  
           Only that part of the expenses may be requested that the 
        person seeking to adopt is financially able to meet.  No person 
        may be barred from receiving a child for adoption because of 
        inability to pay part of the expenses referred to in this 
        subdivision.  In addition to other reports as may be required, a 
        licensed agency shall file annually with the commissioner of 
        human services a full accounting of expense reimbursement 
        received under this subdivision, together with the record of the 
        services given for which the reimbursement was made.  If the 
        person returns the child to the corporation, the person may not 
        receive compensation for the care, clothing, or medical expenses 
        of the child.  This paragraph does not preclude voluntary 
        contributions by an individual or organization.  A pledge by an 
        adoption applicant to make a voluntary contribution is voidable 
        at the option of the person pledging. 
           (b) No organization, association, or society is eligible to 
        receive an expense reimbursement from a person who takes a child 
        into the person's home or who adopts a child during the first 12 
        months that the organization, association, or society is 
        licensed by the commissioner of human services. 
           Sec. 30.  [ADOPTION ADVISORY COMMITTEE REPORT.] 
           The commissioner of human services shall use an advisory 
        committee including birth parents, adoptive parents, adopted 
        adults, county agencies, private adoption agencies, consumer 
        advocates, representatives of the state councils of color, and 
        the legal community to make recommendations on further changes 
        needed in order to protect children placed for the purpose of 
        adoption, birth parents or guardians, and prospective adoptive 
        parents.  A report with recommendations for state law changes 
        must be made to the governor and the legislature no later than 
        February 1, 1995. 
           Sec. 31.  [INSTRUCTIONS TO THE REVISOR.] 
           (a) In the next and subsequent editions of Minnesota 
        Statutes, the revisor shall change the terms "natural parent" 
        and "genetic parent" to "birth parent" wherever they appear. 
           (b) In the next and subsequent editions of Minnesota 
        Statutes, the revisor shall change the terms "county welfare 
        board" and "county welfare department" to "local social services 
        agency" wherever they appear. 
           (c) In the next and subsequent editions of Minnesota 
        Statutes, the revisor shall renumber chapter 259 in order to 
        eliminate seven-digit section numbers and make more room for 
        future sections.  The revisor shall also correct all 
        cross-references in Minnesota Statutes and Minnesota Rules to 
        reflect the new section numbers in chapter 259. 
           Presented to the governor May 6, 1994 
           Signed by the governor May 10, 1994, 3:44 p.m.

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55155 ♦ Phone: (651) 296-2868 ♦ TTY: 1-800-627-3529 ♦ Fax: (651) 296-0569