260C.301 TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.
Subdivision 1. Voluntary and involuntary.
The juvenile court may upon petition, terminate
all rights of a parent to a child:
(a) with the written consent of a parent who for good cause desires to terminate parental
(b) if it finds that one or more of the following conditions exist:
(1) that the parent has abandoned the child;
(2) that the parent has substantially, continuously, or repeatedly refused or neglected to
comply with the duties imposed upon that parent by the parent and child relationship, including
but not limited to providing the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, education, and other
care and control necessary for the child's physical, mental, or emotional health and development,
if the parent is physically and financially able, and either reasonable efforts by the social services
agency have failed to correct the conditions that formed the basis of the petition or reasonable
efforts would be futile and therefore unreasonable;
(3) that a parent has been ordered to contribute to the support of the child or financially aid in
the child's birth and has continuously failed to do so without good cause. This clause shall not
be construed to state a grounds for termination of parental rights of a noncustodial parent if
that parent has not been ordered to or cannot financially contribute to the support of the child
or aid in the child's birth;
(4) that a parent is palpably unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationship because of a
consistent pattern of specific conduct before the child or of specific conditions directly relating to
the parent and child relationship either of which are determined by the court to be of a duration or
nature that renders the parent unable, for the reasonably foreseeable future, to care appropriately
for the ongoing physical, mental, or emotional needs of the child. It is presumed that a parent is
palpably unfit to be a party to the parent and child relationship upon a showing that the parent's
parental rights to one or more other children were involuntarily terminated or that the parent's
custodial rights to another child have been involuntarily transferred to a relative under section
260C.201, subdivision 11
, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction;
(5) that following the child's placement out of the home, reasonable efforts, under the
direction of the court, have failed to correct the conditions leading to the child's placement. It is
presumed that reasonable efforts under this clause have failed upon a showing that:
(i) a child has resided out of the parental home under court order for a cumulative period
of 12 months within the preceding 22 months. In the case of a child under age eight at the time
the petition was filed alleging the child to be in need of protection or services, the presumption
arises when the child has resided out of the parental home under court order for six months
unless the parent has maintained regular contact with the child and the parent is complying
with the out-of-home placement plan;
(ii) the court has approved the out-of-home placement plan required under section
and filed with the court under section
(iii) conditions leading to the out-of-home placement have not been corrected. It is presumed
that conditions leading to a child's out-of-home placement have not been corrected upon a
showing that the parent or parents have not substantially complied with the court's orders and a
reasonable case plan; and
(iv) reasonable efforts have been made by the social services agency to rehabilitate the
parent and reunite the family.
This clause does not prohibit the termination of parental rights prior to one year, or in the
case of a child under age eight, prior to six months after a child has been placed out of the home.
It is also presumed that reasonable efforts have failed under this clause upon a showing that:
(A) the parent has been diagnosed as chemically dependent by a professional certified to
make the diagnosis;
(B) the parent has been required by a case plan to participate in a chemical dependency
(C) the treatment programs offered to the parent were culturally, linguistically, and clinically
(D) the parent has either failed two or more times to successfully complete a treatment
program or has refused at two or more separate meetings with a caseworker to participate in
a treatment program; and
(E) the parent continues to abuse chemicals.
(6) that a child has experienced egregious harm in the parent's care which is of a nature,
duration, or chronicity that indicates a lack of regard for the child's well-being, such that a
reasonable person would believe it contrary to the best interest of the child or of any child to be
in the parent's care;
(7) that in the case of a child born to a mother who was not married to the child's father
when the child was conceived nor when the child was born the person is not entitled to notice
of an adoption hearing under section
and the person has not registered with the fathers'
adoption registry under section
(8) that the child is neglected and in foster care; or
(9) that the parent has been convicted of a crime listed in section
260.012, paragraph (b)
clauses (1) to (3).
In an action involving an American Indian child, sections
and the Indian
Child Welfare Act, United States Code, title 25, sections 1901 to 1923, control to the extent that
the provisions of this section are inconsistent with those laws.
Subd. 2. Evidence of abandonment.
For purposes of subdivision 1, clause (b), item (1):
(a) Abandonment is presumed when:
(1) the parent has had no contact with the child on a regular basis and not demonstrated
consistent interest in the child's well-being for six months and the social services agency has made
reasonable efforts to facilitate contact, unless the parent establishes that an extreme financial or
physical hardship or treatment for mental disability or chemical dependency or other good cause
prevented the parent from making contact with the child. This presumption does not apply to
children whose custody has been determined under chapter 257 or 518; or
(2) the child is an infant under two years of age and has been deserted by the parent under
circumstances that show an intent not to return to care for the child.
The court is not prohibited from finding abandonment in the absence of the presumptions in
clauses (1) and (2).
(b) The following are prima facie evidence of abandonment where there has been a showing
that the person was not entitled to notice of an adoption proceeding under section
(1) failure to register with the fathers' adoption registry under section
(2) if the person registered with the fathers' adoption registry under section
(i) filing a denial of paternity within 30 days of receipt of notice under section
(ii) failing to timely file an intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form
within 30 days of receipt of notice under section
259.52, subdivision 10
(iii) timely filing an intent to claim parental rights with entry of appearance form within 30
days of receipt of notice under section
259.52, subdivision 10
, but failing to initiate a paternity
action within 30 days of receiving the fathers' adoption registry notice where there has been no
showing of good cause for the delay.
Subd. 3. Required termination of parental rights.
(a) The county attorney shall file a
termination of parental rights petition within 30 days of the responsible social services agency
determining that a child has been subjected to egregious harm as defined in section
, is determined to be the sibling of another child of the parent who was subjected to
egregious harm, or is an abandoned infant as defined in subdivision 2, paragraph (a), clause (2), or
the parent has lost parental rights to another child through an order involuntarily terminating the
parent's rights, or another child of the parent is the subject of an order involuntarily transferring
permanent legal and physical custody of the child to a relative under section
, paragraph (e), clause (1), or a similar law of another jurisdiction. The responsible
social services agency shall concurrently identify, recruit, process, and approve an adoptive
family for the child. If a termination of parental rights petition has been filed by another party, the
responsible social services agency shall be joined as a party to the petition. If criminal charges
have been filed against a parent arising out of the conduct alleged to constitute egregious harm,
the county attorney shall determine which matter should proceed to trial first, consistent with the
best interests of the child and subject to the defendant's right to a speedy trial.
(b) This requirement does not apply if the county attorney determines and files with the court:
(1) a petition for transfer of permanent legal and physical custody to a relative under section
260C.201, subdivision 11
, including a determination that the transfer is in the best interests
of the child; or
(2) a petition alleging the child, and where appropriate, the child's siblings, to be in need of
protection or services accompanied by a case plan prepared by the responsible social services
agency documenting a compelling reason why filing a termination of parental rights petition
would not be in the best interests of the child.
Subd. 4. Current foster care children.
Except for cases where the child is in placement due
solely to the child's developmental disability or emotional disturbance, where custody has not been
transferred to the responsible social services agency, and where the court finds compelling reasons
to continue placement, the county attorney shall file a termination of parental rights petition or a
petition to transfer permanent legal and physical custody to a relative under section
, for all children who have been in out-of-home care for 15 of the most recent 22
months. This requirement does not apply if there is a compelling reason approved by the court for
determining that filing a termination of parental rights petition or other permanency petition would
not be in the best interests of the child or if the responsible social services agency has not provided
reasonable efforts necessary for the safe return of the child, if reasonable efforts are required.
Subd. 5. Adoptive parent.
For purposes of subdivision 1, clause (a), an adoptive parent may
not terminate parental rights to an adopted child for a reason that would not apply to a birth parent
seeking termination of parental rights to a child under subdivision 1, clause (a).
Subd. 6. When prior finding required.
For purposes of subdivision 1, clause (b), no prior
judicial finding of need for protection or services, or neglected and in foster care is required,
except as provided in subdivision 1, clause (b), item (5).
Subd. 7. Best interests of child paramount.
In any proceeding under this section, the
best interests of the child must be the paramount consideration, provided that the conditions in
subdivision 1, clause (a), or at least one condition in subdivision 1, clause (b), are found by
the court. In proceedings involving an American Indian child, as defined in section
, the best interests of the child must be determined consistent with the Indian Child
Welfare Act of 1978, United States Code, title 25, section 1901, et seq. Where the interests of
parent and child conflict, the interests of the child are paramount.
Subd. 8. Findings regarding reasonable efforts.
In any proceeding under this section, the
court shall make specific findings:
(1) that reasonable efforts to prevent the placement and to reunify the child and the parent
were made including individualized and explicit findings regarding the nature and extent of efforts
made by the social services agency to rehabilitate the parent and reunite the family; or
(2) that reasonable efforts at reunification are not required as provided under section
History: 1999 c 139 art 3 s 29; art 4 s 2; 1999 c 245 art 8 s 59-64; 2001 c 178 art 1 s
33-36,44; 1Sp2001 c 9 art 11 s 5; 2002 c 379 art 1 s 113