HB343 - ADOPTION - Kelly, Glenda
HB343 ALLOWS ADOPTION FACILITATORS TO PROVIDE CERTAIN INFORMATION TO PROSPECTIVE ADOPTIVE PARENTS.
Sponsor: Kelly, Glenda (27) Effective Date:00/00/00
CoSponsor: LR Number:1071-01
Last Action: 07/07/97 - Approved by Governor (G)
07/07/97 - Delivered to Secretary of State
SS SCS HB 343
Next Hearing:Hearing not scheduled
Calendar:Bill currently not on calendar
ACTIONS HEARINGS CALENDAR
BILL SUMMARIES BILL TEXT FISCAL NOTES
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Available Bill Summaries for HB343
| Truly Agreed | Senate Committee Substitute | Perfected | Committee | Introduced |


Available Bill Text for HB343
| Truly Agreed | Senate Substitute | Senate Committee Substitute | Perfected | Committee | Introduced |

Available Fiscal Notes for HB343
| Senate Substitute | Senate Committee Substitute | Introduced |

BILL SUMMARIES

TRULY AGREED

SS SCS HB 343 -- ADOPTION

The bill changes the law relating to adoption.  In its major
provisions, the bill:

(1)  Requires putative fathers to use a form developed by the
State Registrar of Vital Statistics in the Department of Health
which meets the requirements of the U.S. Department of Health
and Human Services.  The Department of Health is required to
distribute information about the putative father registry and
the consequences of acknowledging paternity;

(2)  Authorizes the Department of Health to issue without court
action a birth certificate upon proof that a person has been
adopted in another country by a Missouri resident;

(3)  Authorizes the Division of Family Services to establish a
child protection system in 8 areas of the state;

(4)  Authorizes the Division of Family Services and the
prosecuting attorney to seek injunctive relief against foster
homes, residential care facilities, or child placing agencies
for statutory violations.  The injunctive relief may include
removing the children from the facility, overseeing the
facility's operation, or closing the facility;

(5)  Allows juvenile courts to terminate parental rights if the
parent is guilty of a felony sex offense when the child or a
child in the family was the victim.  Parental rights may also be
terminated if the parent is unfit because of a consistent
pattern of abuse or conduct rendering the parent unable to care
for the needs of the child.  A biological father's parental
rights to a child may be terminated when the child was born as a
result of forcible rape;

(6)  Requires the Division of Family Services to recruit
adoptive homes that reflect the ethnic and racial diversity of
the children for whom adoptive homes are sought;

(7)  Specifies where a petition for adoption may be filed;

(8)  Authorizes the Department of Social Services and the
Department of Health to issue rules concerning the placement of
minors for adoption;

(9)  Allows the court to appoint an attorney to represent a
birth parent if the parent requests representation and the court
finds that hiring an attorney would cause an undue financial
hardship for the parent. The court may order the prospective
adoptive parents to pay the attorneys fees;

(10)  Requires the person placing a child for adoption to
provide the court and the prospective adoptive parents with a
report regarding the child.  The Division of Family Services is
authorized to issue rules that specify the requirements for the
report;

(11)  Specifies consent requirements for adoptions;

(12)  Requires pre-placement and post-placement assessments of
the adoptive parents before the adoption may occur.  The
Division of Family Services is required to issue rules
concerning the content of the assessments;

(13)  Specifies the criteria a court must use to determine
whether an adoption should be made final; and

(14)  Specifies that the court does not have authority to deny
continuing contact between the birth parent and the adopted
person or an adoptive parent.  The court may not prohibit the
exchange of identifying information between birth parents and
the adoptive parents.  After the adoption is final, further
contact among the parties may occur only at the discretion of
the adoptive parents.


PERFECTED

HB 343 -- ADOPTION (Kelly, 27)

The bill allows contact between the adopted person and the birth
family during the 9-month period when the adopted parent has
custody of the child but the adoption is not final. This contact
is at the discretion of the adoptive parents. Currently, the
court can prohibit this contact unless the child was in foster
care and has a distinct memory of the child's biological parents.

The bill allows a person arranging a placement of a child for
adoption (facilitator) to give the adoptive parents a written
report containing information about: the child's medical status;
the biological parents' or child's medical and social history;
any information necessary to decide the child's eligibility for
governmental benefits; and the legal history and status of the
child and parents.

The bill also:

(1) Allows the facilitator to supplement the report in writing
if relevant information later becomes available;

(2) Prohibits the facilitator from disclosing the identity of
individuals giving the facilitator information unless the
facilitator obtains the person's consent in writing;

(3) Gives the facilitator immunity from liability for incorrect
information provided by others or for unintentional errors; and

(4) Requires the facilitator to file the report with the court
having jurisdiction of the adoption and with the guardian ad
litem.

FISCAL NOTE:  No impact on state funds.


COMMITTEE

HB 343 -- ADOPTION

SPONSOR:  Kelly (27)

COMMITTEE ACTION:  Voted "do pass by consent" by the Committee
on  Children, Youth, & Families by a vote of 15 to 0.

The bill allows contact between the adopted person and the birth
family during the 9-month period when the adopted parent has
custody of the child but the adoption is not final. This contact
is at the discretion of the adoptive parents. Currently, the
court can prohibit this contact unless the child was in foster
care and has a distinct memory of the child's biological parents.

The bill allows a person arranging a placement of a child for
adoption (facilitator) to give the adoptive parents a written
report containing information about: the child's medical status;
the biological parents' or child's medical and social history;
any information necessary to decide the child's eligibility for
governmental benefits; and the legal history and status of the
child and parents.

The bill also:

(1) Allows the facilitator to supplement the report in writing
if relevant information later becomes available;

(2) Prohibits the facilitator from disclosing the identity of
individuals giving the facilitator information unless the
facilitator obtains the person's consent in writing;

(3) Gives the facilitator immunity from liability for incorrect
information provided by others or for unintentional errors; and

(4) Requires the facilitator to file the report with the court
having jurisdiction of the adoption and with the guardian ad
litem.

FISCAL NOTE:  No impact on state funds.

PROPONENTS:  Supporters say that allowing more information to be
exchanged between birth mothers and adoptive parents will
encourage more people to adopt.  More children would be
available for adoption because birth mothers tend to favor open
adoptions over closed adoptions.  Many Missouri birth mothers
complete adoptions in states that allow open adoptions.  The
exchange of information helps to ease the grieving process for
birth parents and grandparents.

Testifying for the bill were Representative Kelly; Catholic
Charities; and Sister Crystal Minor.

OPPONENTS:  There was no opposition voiced to the committee.

Katharine Hickel, Research Analyst


INTRODUCED

HB 343 -- Adoption

Sponsor:  Kelly

The bill allows contact between the adopted person and the birth
family during the 9-month period when the adopted parent has
custody of the child but the adoption is not final. This contact
is at the discretion of the adoptive parents. Currently, the
court can prohibit this contact unless the child was in foster
care and has a distinct memory of the child's biological parents.

The bill allows a person arranging a placement of a child for
adoption (facilitator) to give the adoptive parents a written
report containing information about: the child's medical status;
the biological parents' or child's medical and social history;
any information necessary to decide the child's eligibility for
governmental benefits; and the legal history and status of the
child and parents.

The bill also:

(1) Allows the facilitator to supplement the report in writing
if relevant information later becomes available;

(2) Prohibits the facilitator from disclosing the identity of
individuals giving the facilitator information unless the
facilitator obtains the person's consent in writing;

(3) Gives the facilitator immunity from liability for incorrect
information provided by others or for unintentional errors; and

(4) Requires the facilitator to file the report with the court
having jurisdiction of the adoption and with the guardian ad
litem.


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Last Updated August 11, 1997 at 4:12 pm