FIRST REGULAR SESSION
93RD GENERAL ASSEMBLY
STEPHEN S. DAVIS, Chief Clerk
To repeal section 191.975, RSMo, and to enact in lieu thereof one new section relating to adoption awareness.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:
Section A. Section 191.975, RSMo, is repealed and one new section enacted in lieu thereof, to be known as section 191.975, to read as follows:
191.975. 1. This section shall be known and may be cited as the "Adoption Awareness Law".
2. To raise public awareness and to educate the public, the department of social services, with the assistance of the department of health and senior services, shall be responsible for:
(1) Collecting and distributing resource materials to educate the public about foster care and adoption;
(2) Developing and distributing educational materials, including but not limited to videos, brochures and other media as part of a comprehensive public relations campaign about the positive option of adoption and foster care. The materials shall include, but not be limited to, information about:
(a) The benefits of adoption and foster care;
(b) Adoption and foster care procedures;
(c) Means of financing the cost of adoption and foster care, including but not limited to adoption subsidies, foster care payments and special needs adoption tax credits;
(d) Options for birth parents in choosing adoptive parents;
(e) Protection for and rights of birth parents and adoptive parents prior to and following the adoption;
(f) Location of adoption and foster care agencies;
(g) Information regarding various state health and social service programs for pregnant women and children, including but not limited to medical assistance programs and temporary assistance for needy families (TANF); and
(h) Referrals to appropriate counseling services, including but not be limited to counseling services for parents who are considering retaining custody of their children, placing their children for adoption, or becoming foster or adoptive parents; but excluding any referrals for abortion or to abortion facilities;
(3) Making such educational materials available through state and local public health clinics, public hospitals, family planning clinics, abortion facilities as defined in section 188.015, RSMo, maternity homes as defined in section 135.600, RSMo, child-placing agencies licensed pursuant to sections 210.481 to 210.536, RSMo, attorneys whose practice involves private adoptions, in vitro fertilization clinics and private physicians for distribution to their patients who request such educational materials. Such materials shall also be available to the public through the department of social services' Internet web site; [and]
(4) Establishing a toll-free telephone number for information on adoption and foster care, and to answer questions and assist persons inquiring about becoming adoptive or foster parents.
3. In addition, the department may establish and implement an ongoing advertising campaign for the recruitment of adoptive and foster care families, with a special emphasis on the recruitment of qualified adoptive and foster care families for special needs children. Such advertising campaign may utilize, but shall not be limited to, the following media: television, radio, outdoor advertising, newspaper, magazines and other print media, web sites, and the Internet. The department may contract with professional advertising agencies or other professional entities to conduct such advertising campaign on behalf of the department.
[3.] 4. The provisions of this section shall be subject to appropriations.
[4.] 5. The department of social services shall promulgate rules for the implementation of this section in accordance with chapter 536, RSMo.