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2016 Minnesota Statutes

260.761 SOCIAL SERVICES AGENCY AND PRIVATE LICENSED CHILD-PLACING AGENCY NOTICE TO TRIBES.

Subdivision 1.Inquiry of tribal lineage.

The local social services agency or private licensed child-placing agency shall inquire of the child, the child's parents and custodians, and other appropriate persons whether there is any reason to believe that a child brought to the agency's attention may have lineage to an Indian tribe. This inquiry shall occur at the time the child comes to the attention of the local social services agency.

Subd. 2.Agency and court notice to tribes.

(a) When a local social services agency has information that a family assessment or investigation being conducted may involve an Indian child, the local social services agency shall notify the Indian child's tribe of the family assessment or investigation according to section 626.556, subdivision 10, paragraph (a), clause (5). Initial notice shall be provided by telephone and by e-mail or facsimile. The local social services agency shall request that the tribe or a designated tribal representative participate in evaluating the family circumstances, identifying family and tribal community resources, and developing case plans.

(b) When a local social services agency has information that a child receiving services may be an Indian child, the local social services agency shall notify the tribe by telephone and by e-mail or facsimile of the child's full name and date of birth, the full names and dates of birth of the child's biological parents, and, if known, the full names and dates of birth of the child's grandparents and of the child's Indian custodian. This notification must be provided so the tribe can determine if the child is enrolled in the tribe or eligible for membership, and must be provided within seven days. If information regarding the child's grandparents or Indian custodian is not available within the seven-day period, the local social services agency shall continue to request this information and shall notify the tribe when it is received. Notice shall be provided to all tribes to which the child may have any tribal lineage. If the identity or location of the child's parent or Indian custodian and tribe cannot be determined, the local social services agency shall provide the notice required in this paragraph to the United States secretary of the interior.

(c) In accordance with sections 260C.151 and 260C.152, when a court has reason to believe that a child placed in emergency protective care is an Indian child, the court administrator or a designee shall, as soon as possible and before a hearing takes place, notify the tribal social services agency by telephone and by e-mail or facsimile of the date, time, and location of the emergency protective case hearing. The court shall make efforts to allow appearances by telephone for tribal representatives, parents, and Indian custodians.

(d) A local social services agency must provide the notices required under this subdivision at the earliest possible time to facilitate involvement of the Indian child's tribe. Nothing in this subdivision is intended to hinder the ability of the local social services agency and the court to respond to an emergency situation. Lack of participation by a tribe shall not prevent the tribe from intervening in services and proceedings at a later date. A tribe may participate at any time. At any stage of the local social services agency's involvement with an Indian child, the agency shall provide full cooperation to the tribal social services agency, including disclosure of all data concerning the Indian child. Nothing in this subdivision relieves the local social services agency of satisfying the notice requirements in the Indian Child Welfare Act.

Subd. 3.Notice of potential preadoptive or adoptive placement.

In any voluntary adoptive or preadoptive placement proceeding in which a local social services agency, private child-placing agency, petitioner in the adoption, or any other party has reason to believe that a child who is the subject of an adoptive or preadoptive placement proceeding is or may be an "Indian child," as defined in section 260.755, subdivision 8, and United States Code, title 25, section 1903(4), the agency or person shall notify the Indian child's tribal social services agency by registered mail with return receipt requested of the pending proceeding and of the right of intervention under subdivision 6. If the identity or location of the child's tribe cannot be determined, the notice must be given to the United States secretary of interior in like manner, who will have 15 days after receipt of the notice to provide the requisite notice to the tribe. No preadoptive or adoptive placement proceeding may be held until at least ten days after receipt of the notice by the tribe or secretary. Upon request, the tribe must be granted up to 20 additional days to prepare for the proceeding. The agency or notifying party shall include in the notice the identity of the birth parents and child absent written objection by the birth parents. The private child-placing agency shall inform the birth parents of the Indian child of any services available to the Indian child through the child's tribal social services agency, including child placement services, and shall additionally provide the birth parents of the Indian child with all information sent from the tribal social services agency in response to the notice.

Subd. 4.Unknown father.

If the local social services agency, private child-placing agency, the court, petitioner, or any other party has reason to believe that a child who is the subject of an adoptive placement proceeding is or may be an Indian child but the father of the child is unknown and has not registered with the fathers' adoption registry pursuant to section 259.52, the agency or person shall provide to the tribe believed to be the Indian child's tribe information sufficient to enable the tribe to determine the child's eligibility for membership in the tribe, including, but not limited to, the legal and maiden name of the birth mother, her date of birth, the names and dates of birth of her parents and grandparents, and, if available, information pertaining to the possible identity, tribal affiliation, or location of the birth father.

Subd. 5.Proof of service of notice upon tribe or secretary.

In cases where an agency or party to an adoptive placement knows or has reason to believe that a child is or may be an Indian child, proof of service upon the child's tribe or the secretary of interior must be filed with the adoption petition.

Subd. 6.Indian tribe's right of intervention.

In any state court proceeding for the voluntary adoptive or preadoptive placement of an Indian child, the Indian child's tribe shall have a right to intervene at any point in the proceeding.

Subd. 7.Identification of extended family members.

Any agency considering placement of an Indian child shall make active efforts to identify and locate extended family members.

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