O
hio Legislative Service Commission
122nd House Bill Analysis
Sub. H.B. 484
122nd General Assembly
(As Re-reported by S. Judiciary)


Requires a court to consider whether it is in the best interests of a child to return the child to the child's parents when the court is asked to modify or terminate: (1) an initial dispositional order for an adjudicated abused, dependent, or neglected child, (2) a dispositional order issued for such a child following a period of time under an order granting temporary custody of the child to a public children's services agency or a private child placing agency, or (3) a dispositional order issued for such a child following a periodic review of the child's placement or custody arrangement.
Requires a court to give notice of the filing of a petition to adopt a child and of the time and place of the hearing on the adoption petition to any guardian, custodian, or other party who has temporary custody or permanent custody of the child.
Specifies that consent to an adoption is not required of any guardian, custodian, or other party who has temporary custody of the child.
Requires that the child's health and safety be considered paramount when a court determines whether a public children services agency (PCSA) or private child placing agency (PCPA) has made reasonable efforts to reunify a family.
Requires a juvenile court to determine in certain circumstances that a PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification.
Requires a court that determines that reasonable efforts at reunification are not required to issue written findings of fact setting forth the reasons for its determination.
Generally permits a court to return a child home even if the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification.
Requires a court that returns a child home when reasonable efforts at reunification are not required to issue written findings of fact setting for the reasons supporting its determination.
Requires a court to hold a review hearing within 30 days when it has determined that reasonable efforts at reunification are not required and to determine a permanency plan for the child and make corresponding changes to the child's case plan.
Adds the duty to make reasonable efforts at reunification, except where not required by law, to the duties of a PCSA.
Requires that a court consider the circumstances surrounding the removal of the child from the home and the best interest of the child whenever a motion to modify or terminate legal custody and return the child home is filed.
Requires a PCSA or PCPA that has temporary custody of a child under one or more orders of disposition for 12 months out of a 22-month period to file a motion requesting permanent custody of the child.
Requires a PCSA or PCPA that has temporary custody of a child to file a motion requesting permanent custody of the child when the court has determined that the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make "reasonable efforts" at reunification.
Provides that a child is abandoned when the parents of the child have not visited or contacted the child for more than 90 days, regardless of intent or subsequent attempts to visit or contact the child.
Prohibits a PCSA or PCPA from filing a motion for permanent custody if there is a compelling reason that permanent custody is not in the best interest of the child if the PCSA or PCPA did not provide services required by the case plan, or if other specified circumstances apply.
Permits a court to grant permanent custody to a PCSA or PCPA when it is in the best interest of the child and the child has been in the temporary custody of the PCSA or PCPA for 12 or more months of a consecutive 22-month period.
Requires a court to grant permanent custody of a child to a PCSA or PCPA when the child is in the temporary custody of the PCSA or PCPA, the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification, the court determines that the child cannot be placed with the parents, and it is in the best interest of the child that permanent custody be awarded to the PCSA or PCPA.
Changes the term "long-term foster care" to "planned permanent living arrangement."
Requires the court to hold a hearing within 30 days after the PCSA or PCPA files its motion to issue a dispositional order and permanency plan for the child.
Requires a court, at a review hearing, to approve a permanency plan for the child, including whether the child should be returned home or placed for adoption, enhanced legal custody, or in a planned permanent living arrangement, and make corresponding changes to the child's case plan.
Prohibits a permanency plan for a child for whom reasonable efforts at reunification are not required from including a provision requiring that the child be returned home.
Clarifies when written findings of fact must be made in child custody situations.
Provides for boards of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services to give a priority to services to parents of children at imminent risk of becoming abused or neglected due to drug or alcohol addiction.
Provides for referrals of parents, guardians, or custodians, and the child, if necessary, to a certified alcohol and drug addiction program for assessment and treatment, etc., upon determinations by a PCSA or a juvenile court, in specified circumstances.
Requires the Departments of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services and Human Services to establish a joint plan to improve accessibility and timeliness of alcohol and drug addiction services for certain persons identified by public children services agencies.
Authorizes the Department of Human Services to join the Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance.
Brings Ohio into compliance with federal standards regarding the giving of preference to adult relatives over nonrelative foster parents in certain adoption contexts.
Extends to October 1, 1999, the deadline for the State Criminal Sentencing Commission's report of a comprehensive juvenile justice plan to the General Assembly.
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Returning a child to the child's parents--best interest of the child

Notice to grandparents in adoption proceedings Reasonable efforts at reunification Case plan--efforts at reunification and permanency Duties of a PCSA Modification or termination of legal custody Permanent custody Hearing on termination of temporary custody Administrative review Review hearing Court determinations and written findings of fact when a child is taken into custody Alcohol and drug addiction programs and services Alcohol and drug addiction services programs Notice of hearing to foster caregiver, relative, or prospective adoptive parent
Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services program
Adoption assistance/foster care maintenance payments
Adoption placement notification
Ohio Works First
State Criminal Sentencing Commission's report of a comprehensive juvenile justice plan
Disposition of an abused, neglected, or dependent child CONTENT AND OPERATION

Returning a child to the child's parents--best interest of the child

Existing law

Original dispositional order for an abused, dependent, or neglected child. Under existing section 2151.353, if a child is adjudicated an abused, neglected, or dependent child, the court may make any of the following orders of disposition (sec. 2151.353(A)): (1) place the child in protective supervision, (2) commit the child to the temporary custody of a public children services agency (a PCSA), a private child placing agency (a PCPA), either parent, a relative residing within or outside the state, or a probation officer for placement in a certified family foster home or in any other home approved by the court, (3) award legal custody of the child to either parent or to any other person who, prior to the dispositional hearing, files a motion requesting legal custody of the child, (4) commit the child to the permanent custody of a public children services agency or private child placing agency, if the court makes certain required findings and also determines in accordance with section 2151.414 that the permanent commitment is in the best interest of the child, (5) place the child in long-term family foster care with a public children services agency or private child placing agency if either agency requests such a placement and the court finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that long-term foster care is in the best interest of the child and that one of three statutory-specified sets of circumstances exists, or (6) order the removal from the child's home until further order of the court of the person who committed abuse against the child, caused or allowed the child to suffer neglect, or is the parent, guardian, or custodian of a child who is adjudicated a dependent child and order any person not to have contact with the child or the child's siblings.

As part of its dispositional order, the court must journalize a case plan for the child (sec. 2151.353(D)). Any temporary custody order issued under section 2151.353 (see prior paragraph) terminates one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care, except that, if a motion is filed under section 2151.415 (see "Hearing and disposition of an abused, dependent, or neglected child after specified period of time in temporary custody," below), the temporary custody order does not terminate until the court issues a dispositional order under that section (sec. 2151.353(F)).

Hearing and disposition of an abused, dependent, or neglected child after specified period of time in temporary custody. Section 2151.415 requires any public children services agency or private child placing agency that has been given temporary custody of a child under an original dispositional order for an abused, dependent, or neglected child to file a motion with the court that issued the order of disposition requesting that any of the following orders of disposition of the child be issued by the court (sec. 2151.415(A)):

(1) An order that the child be returned home and the custody of the child's parents, guardian, or custodian without any restrictions;

(2) An order for protective supervision;

(3) An order that the child be placed in the legal custody of a relative or other interested individual;

(4) An order permanently terminating the parental rights of the child's parents;

(5) An order that the child be placed in long-term foster care;

(6) An order for the extension of temporary custody.

The motion must be filed not later than 30 days prior to the earlier of the date for the termination of the custody order (one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care) or the date set at the dispositional hearing for the hearing to be held pursuant to this section (sec. 2151.415(A)).

Upon the filing of the motion, the court must hold a dispositional hearing, with notice to all parties to the action in accordance with the Juvenile Rules. After the dispositional hearing or at a date after the dispositional hearing that is not later than one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care, the court, in accordance with the best interest of the child as supported by the evidence presented at the dispositional hearing, must issue one of the orders of disposition set forth in paragraphs (1) through (6), above (sec. 2151.415(B)). The court cannot place a child in long-term foster care unless it finds, by clear and convincing evidence, that long-term foster care is in the best interest of the child and that one of three statutory sets of conditions exists. Upon the request of the agency with temporary custody of a child, the court can extend the temporary custody order of the child for up to six months if it determines at a hearing on the request, by clear and convincing evidence, that the extension is in the best interest of the child and that certain other conditions exist. The court, on its own motion or the motion of the agency or person with legal custody of the child, the child's guardian ad litem, or any other party to the action, may conduct a hearing to determine if any order issued under section 2151.415 should be modified or terminated or any other order listed in (1) through (5), above, should be issued. The court, in the best interest of the child, may modify or terminate the order or issue a new order under (1) through (5), above. (Sec. 2151.415(C), (D), and (F).)

Hearing and dispositional order for an abused, dependent, or neglected child following periodic review of the child's placement or custody arrangement or case plan. Section 2151.417 authorizes any court that issues a dispositional order pursuant to section 2151.353 (see "Original dispositional order for abused, dependent, or neglected child," above), 2151.414 (which authorizes the court to issue an order committing the child to the permanent custody of a public children services agency or private child placing agency), or 2151.415 (see "Hearing and disposition of an abused, dependent, or neglected child after specified period of time in temporary custody," above) to review at any time the child's placement or custody arrangement, the case plan prepared for the child, the actions of the public children services agency or private child placing agency in implementing that case plan, and any other aspects of the child's placement or custody arrangement. In conducting the review, the court must determine the appropriateness of any agency actions, the appropriateness of continuing the child's placement or custody arrangement, and whether any changes should be made with respect to the child's placement or custody arrangement or with respect to the actions of the agency under the child's placement or custody arrangement. Based upon the evidence presented at a hearing held after notice to all parties and the guardian ad litem of the child, the court may require the agency, the parents, guardian, or custodian of the child, and the physical custodians of the child to take any reasonable action that the court determines is necessary and in the best interest of the child or to discontinue any action that it determines is not in the best interest of the child.

Section 2151.417 also requires any court that issues a dispositional order pursuant to section 2151.353, 2151.414, or 2151.415 to hold a review hearing one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care to review the case plan and to review the child's placement or custody arrangement. The court must hold a similar review hearing no later than every 12 months after the initial review hearing until the child is adopted, returned to the parents, or the court otherwise terminates the child's placement or custody arrangement, except that the dispositional hearing held pursuant to section 2151.415 (see "Hearing and disposition of an abused, dependent, or neglected child after specified period of time in temporary custody," above) takes the place of the first review hearing to be held under section 2151.417. (Sec. 2151.417(B) and (C).)

After the review hearing, the court must take the following actions based upon the evidence presented (sec. 2151.417(F)):

(1) Determine whether the conclusions of the administrative review are supported by a preponderance of the evidence and approve or modify the case plan based upon that evidence;

(2) If the child is in temporary custody, do all of the following: (a) determine whether the child can and should be returned home with or without an order for protective supervision, (b) if the child can and should be returned home with or without an order for protective supervision, terminate the order for temporary custody, and (c) if the child cannot or should not be returned home with an order for protective supervision, determine whether the agency currently with custody of the child should retain custody or whether another public children services agency, private child placing agency, or an individual should be given custody of the child.

(3) If the child is in permanent custody, determine what actions are required by the custodial agency and of any other organizations or persons in order to facilitate an adoption of the child and make any appropriate orders with respect to the custody arrangement or conditions of the child, including, but not limited to, a transfer of permanent custody to another public children services agency or private child placing agency;

(4) Journalize the terms of the updated case plan for the child.

Operation of the bill

The bill provides that the court, in determining whether to return the child to the child's parents, must consider whether it is in the best interest of the child at any hearing in which a court is asked to modify or terminate one of the following orders (sec. 2151.42(A)):

(1) An original order of disposition for an abused, dependent, or neglected child under section 2151.353;

(2) An order of disposition issued for such a child after the child has been in the temporary custody of a public children services agency or a private child placing agency for a specified period of time under section 2151.415;

(3) An order of disposition issued for such a child following a periodic review of the child's case plan or placement or custody arrangement under section 2151.417.

If the order of disposition that is the subject of a hearing as described above, involves a grievous award of legal custody under section 2151.353 and is governed by section 3109.04(E), relative to the modification of a child custody decree, the court must comply with section 3109.04(E) in its modification or termination of the disposition order (sec. 2151.42(A)).

Additionally, the bill specifies that an order of disposition issued in one of the circumstances described above granting legal custody of a child to a person is intended to be permanent in nature. A court cannot modify or terminate an order so issued granting legal custody of a child to a person unless it finds, based on facts that have arisen since the order was issued or that were unknown to the court at that time, that a change has occurred in the circumstances of the child, the child's parents, or the person, and that modification or termination is necessary to serve the child's best interest. (Sec. 2151.42(B).)

The bill also specifically requires the court to comply with the above requirements when it: (1) holds a hearing on a motion to modify or terminate an original dispositional order for an abused, dependent, or neglected child (sec. 2151.353(E)(2)), (2) issues an order of disposition following an abused, dependent, or neglected child being in the temporary custody of a public children services agency or private child placing agency for a specified period of time, determines whether to extend the temporary custody of such a child with such an agency or to grant an additional extension of such an order, or determines whether to modify or terminate a dispositional order issued after such a child has been in the temporary custody of such an agency for a specified period of time (sec. 2151.415(B), (D)(1), (D)(2), (D)(3), and (F)), or (3) amends any dispositional order of an abused, dependent, or neglected child following a periodic review of the child's case plan or custody arrangement or when it approves or modifies a case plan of such a child following a periodic review of such a child's case plan (sec. 2151.417(B) and (G)(3)).

Notice to grandparents in adoption proceedings

Existing law

Under existing law, before a minor may be adopted, certain persons generally are required to consent to the adoption (see COMMENT 1). In addition, the Revised Code specifically describes persons whose consent is not required before an adult or a minor may be adopted (see COMMENT 2). After a petition to adopt an adult or a minor is filed, the court empowered to grant the petition for adoption must fix a time and place for hearing the petition. (Secs. 3107.06, 3107.07, and 3107.11(A).) At least 20 days before the date of the hearing, the court must give notice of the filing of the petition and of the time and place of the hearing to all of the following (sec. 3107.11(A)):

(1) The Department of Human Services;

(2) Any juvenile court, agency, or person whose consent to the adoption is required by the Adoption Laws but who has not consented;

(3) Specified persons whose consent is not required in the Adoption Laws and who have not consented (see COMMENT 3).

All of the preceding notices must be given as specified in the Civil Rules. Proof of the giving of notice must be filed with the court before the petition is heard. (Sec. 3107.11(B).)

Operation of the bill

The bill requires that, in addition to the persons and entities to which notice must be provided under existing law, the court give notice of the filing of the adoption petition and of the time and place of the hearing to any guardian, custodian, or other party who has temporary custody or permanent custody of the child. The bill also specifies that consent to the adoption is not required of any guardian, custodian, or other party who has temporary custody of the child. (Secs. 3107.07(L) and 3107.11(A)(4).)

Reasonable efforts at reunification

Existing law

Under existing law, a juvenile court cannot remove a child from home or continue the removal of a child from home unless the court determines that reasonable efforts have been made by the PCSA or PCPA to prevent removal of the child from home, to return the child home, or to make the return of the child home possible. The agency has the burden of proving that it has made those reasonable efforts. This determination must be made by the court whenever it holds an adjudicatory hearing, The adjudicatory hearing is the hearing in which the court determines whether the child is an abused, neglected, or dependent child. a hearing to determine whether there is probable cause to issue an ex parte emergency order authorizing taking a child into custody, a hearing to determine whether detention or shelter care is required for a child, a hearing to determine whether to grant a temporary dispositional order or temporary custody order for a child prior to the final disposition of the case, or a dispositional hearing.

The goal of family reunification is required by the Social Security Act. In order for a state to be eligible for federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance, the state must have a plan that provides that reasonable efforts will be made prior to the placement of a child in foster care to prevent the need for removal of a child from home and to make it possible for the child to return home. The Social Security Act was recently amended by the "Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997" to require that the state plan provide that, in determining reasonable efforts, the child's health and safety must be the paramount concern. In addition, the Act was amended to provide that reasonable efforts are not required in certain circumstances. (Sec. 2151.419.)

Operation of the bill

The bill requires that the child's health and safety Throughout the bill, existing law has been amended to reflect the new federal requirement that the goal of the case plan and subsequent reviews of the case plan not merely be to return the child home, but to return the child safely home. be considered paramount when a court determines whether a PCSA or PCPA has made reasonable efforts to prevent removal of the child from home, to return the child home, or to make the child's return home possible. A court is required to determine that a PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts of that nature if any of the following apply:

The parent from whom the child was removed has been convicted of or plead guilty to certain specified offenses. The offenses are (1) aggravated murder, murder, or voluntary manslaughter of a sibling of the child or another child who lived in the parent's household, or a substantially equivalent offense, (2) felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, rape, sexual battery, corruption of a minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, or child endangering by reason of torture or cruel abuse of the child, a sibling of the child, or another child in the household, or a substantially equivalent offense, or (3) conspiring, attempting to commit, or complicity in committing an offense described in clause (1) or (2).
The parent from whom the child was removed has repeatedly withheld medical treatment The bill contains an exception if medical treatment was withheld in order to treat the child by spiritual means through prayer alone in accordance with the tenets of a recognized religious body. or food from the child, despite having the means to provide them.
The parent from whom the child was removed has placed the child at substantial risk of harm at least twice due to alcohol or drug abuse and has rejected treatment or refused to participate in further treatment at least twice, despite the fact that the case plan or another court order requires such treatment.
The parent from whom the child was removed has abandoned The bill provides that a child is abandoned when the child's parents have failed to visit or maintain contact with the child for more than 90 days, regardless of whether the parent intended to abandon the child or resumes contact with the child after 90 days (sec. 2151.011(C)). the child.
The parent from whom the child was removed has had parental rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the child. (Sec. 2151.419(A).)
If the court determines that reasonable efforts are not required, it must issue written findings of fact containing the reasons supporting its determination and must hold a review hearing within 30 days to determine a permanency plan for the child (see "Permanency plan" below). In cases where the court determines that reasonable efforts are not required, the bill permits the court to issue an order returning the child home, unless it determines that doing so would endanger the child's health and safety; the court must issue written findings of fact supporting its decision to return the child home. (Sec. 2151.419(B) and (C).)

Case plan--efforts at reunification and permanency

Existing law

Each PCSA and PCPA is required to prepare and maintain a case plan for each child to whom the agency is providing services and with regard to whom any of the following applies:

(1) The agency filed a complaint alleging that the child is abused, neglected, or dependent;

(2) The agency has temporary or permanent custody of the child;

(3) The child is living at home subject to an order for protective supervision;

(4) The child is in long-term foster care.

If the child is adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent, the court must journalize the case plan as part of the dispositional order. The purpose of the case plan is to direct how care for the child will be provided and how the problems that led to the allegation or adjudication that the child is an abused, neglected, or dependent child or that led to the child being removed from his home will be remedied.

Case plans for children in temporary custody "Temporary custody" means legal custody of a child who is removed from home that may be terminated at any time at the discretion of the court, or, if granted in an agreement, by the person who executed the agreement. must have the following general goals: (1) consistent with the best interest and special needs of the child, to achieve an out-of-home placement in the least restrictive, most family-like setting available and in close proximity to the home from which the child is removed or the home in which the child will be permanently placed, and (2) to eliminate the need for the out-of-home placement so that the child can return home or, if the child's return home is not imminent and desirable, to develop and implement an alternative permanent living arrangement for the child. (R.C. 2151.412.)

Operation of the bill

The bill modifies the first goal to refer to a "safe" out-of-home placement, and modifies the second to refer to the child "safely" returning home and to eliminate the language pertaining to the child's return home not being imminent and desirable (sec. 2151.412(F)).

Duties of a PCSA

Existing law

Each county has a PCSA, which is a children services board, a county department of human services that has assumed the administration of the children services function, or a private or government entity that has been designated as such by the board of county commissioners. A PCSA has a number of existing duties with respect to children whom the PCSA considers to be in need of public care or protective services, which are to be performed in accordance with rules adopted by the Ohio Department of Human Services (ODHS). Among these duties are the duty to investigate any allegation that a child is an abused, neglected, or dependent child, to enter into agreements with respect to the custody, care, or placement of any child, or with respect to any matter in the interests of the child, to accept custody of children committed to the PCSA by a juvenile court, and to provide care that the PCSA considers to be in the best interest of a child adjudicated to be abused, neglected, or dependent.

Operation of the bill

The bill adds to the duties of a PCSA the duty to make reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of an alleged or adjudicated abused, neglected, or dependent child from the child's home, eliminate the continued removal of the child from the child's home, or make it possible for the child to return home safely, except that a PCSA is not required to make such reasonable efforts when a court has determined that reasonable efforts are not required (see "Reasonable efforts at reunification"--"Operation of the bill," above).

The bill also adds to the duties of a PCSA the duty to make reasonable efforts to place the child in a timely manner in accordance with the permanency plan approved under sec. 2151.417, and to complete whatever steps are necessary to finalize the permanent placement of the child. (Sec. 5153.16(A)(18) and (19).)

Modification or termination of legal custody

Existing law

As described above, a juvenile court that adjudicates a child to be abused, neglected, or dependent may issue a number of dispositional orders concerning the child, including awarding legal custody "Legal custody" means a legal status that vests in the custodian the right to have physical care and control of the child and to determine where and with whom the child is to live, and the right and duty to protect, train, and discipline the child and to provide the child with food, shelter, education, and medical care, all subject to any residual parental rights, privileges, and responsibilities. "Residual parental rights, privileges, and responsibilities" are those that remain with the natural parents after the transfer of legal custody and include reasonable visitation, consent to adoption, the privilege to determine the child's religious affiliation, and the responsibility of support. of the child to either parent or any person who requests legal custody prior to the dispositional hearing. After issuing a dispositional order, the court retains jurisdiction over the child until the child reaches age 18 (or age 21 if the child is mentally retarded, developmentally disabled, or physically impaired) or the child is adopted and a final decree of adoption is issued. The court, at any time, may amend any order of disposition it issues. On motion of a PCSA, PCPA, ODHS, or a party, the court may modify or terminate an order of disposition. (Secs. 2151.353, 2151.415, and 2151.417.)

Operation of the bill

The bill provides that at any hearing in which a court is asked to modify or terminate an order of disposition placing the child in the legal custody of a relative, the court, in determining whether to return the child to the child's parents, must consider the facts and circumstances that led to the removal of the child from the home and whether returning the child home is in the child's best interest. The bill further provides that if the order of disposition that is the subject of the hearing involves a previous award of legal custody under section 2151.353(A)(3) and is governed by section 3109.04(E), the court must comply with section 3109.04(E) (best interest of the child plus additional considerations). (Secs. 2151.353(E), 2151.415(B), (D)(1) to (3), and (E), 2151.417(B), and 2151.42(A).)

Permanent custody

Requirement that PCSA or PCPA file motion for permanent custody

Existing law. Under current law, a PCSA or PCPA that is granted temporary custody of a child or places a child in long-term foster care pursuant to a dispositional order may file a motion requesting permanent custody "Permanent custody" means a legal status that vests in a PCSA or PCPA all parental rights, duties, and obligations, including the right to consent to adoption, and divests the natural parents or adoptive parents of all parental rights, privileges, and obligations, including all residual rights and obligations. of the child. For the state to remain eligible for federal funds, federal law, as amended by the Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, requires that such a motion be filed in certain circumstances.

Operation of the bill. The bill generally requires a PCSA or PCPA that has temporary custody of a child to file a motion in the court that made the disposition of the child requesting permanent custody of the child in either of the following circumstances (sec. 2151.413(D)):

(1) The PCSA or PCPA has had temporary custody of the child under one or more separate orders of disposition for at least 12 months of a consecutive 22-month period that ends on or after the effective date of the bill.

(2) The court has made a determination that a PCSA or PCPA is not required to make "reasonable efforts," in the circumstances described above under "Reasonable efforts at unification"--"Operation of the bill."

A PCSA or PCPA is prohibited from filing a motion for permanent custody in the above circumstances if there is a compelling reason that permanent custody is not in the best interest of the child, if the PCSA or PCPA is required to make reasonable efforts at reunification and did not provide services required by the case plan to ensure the safe return of the child home, if the agency has been granted permanent custody of the child, or if the child has been returned home pursuant to court order under section 2151.419(A)(3).

The Department of Human Services may adopt rules pursuant to R.C. Chapter 119. that set forth the time frames for case reviews and for filing a motion requesting permanent custody. (Sec. 2151.413(D) and (F).)

Hearing permanent custody motion; grant of permanent custody

Existing law. Existing law requires the court to conduct a hearing on a motion for permanent custody. The court may grant permanent custody of a child to a PCSA or PCPA if the court determines by clear and convincing evidence that (1) it is in the best interest of the child to grant permanent custody of the child to the PCSA or PCPA and (2) the child cannot be placed with either parent within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either parent, the child is abandoned and the parents cannot be located, or the child is orphaned and there are no relatives able to take permanent custody. (Sec. 2151.414(B).)

Operation of the bill. The bill further permits the court to grant permanent custody to a PCSA or PCPA if it determines by clear and convincing evidence that permanent custody is in the best interest of the child and the child has been in the temporary custody of the PCSA or PCPA for 12 or more months of a 22-month period ending on or after the effective date of the bill. It also removes the restriction that an abandoned child's parents cannot be located, so that a court may grant a motion for permanent custody that is in the child's best interest even if the abandoned child's parents are located. (Sec. 2151.414(B)(1).)

It specifies that, if a motion is made as described in paragraph (2) of "Operation of law" under the preceding part of the analysis, the court must grant permanent custody to the movant if it determines in accordance with law that the child cannot be placed with one of the child's parents within a reasonable time or should not be place with either parent and determines that permanent custody is in the child's best interest (sec. 2151.414(B)(2)).

It also specifies that, if a motion is made as described in paragraph (2) of "Operation of law" under the preceding part of the analysis and no dispositional hearing has been held in the case, the court may hear the motion in the dispositional hearing. If the court issues an order at the dispositional hearing that grants permanent custody of the child to the agency, the court immediately must dismiss the motion. (Sec. 2151.414(A)(2).)

Best interest of the child

Existing law. In determining the best interest of the child, current law requires the court to consider a number of factors, including (1) the interaction and interrelationship of the child with the child's parents, siblings, relatives, foster parents, out-of-home providers, and any other person who may significantly affect the child, (2) the wishes of the child, (3) the custodial history of the child, and (4) the child's need for a legally secure permanent placement and whether that type of placement can be achieved without a grant of permanent custody to the agency (sec. 2151.414(D)).

Operation of the bill. The bill requires the court to consider, in addition, whether the parent has abandoned the child or been convicted of or plead guilty to certain criminal offenses. The criminal offenses are those offenses that require a PCSA or PCPA to file a motion requesting permanent custody under the bill (see "Requirement that PCSA or PCPA file motion for permanent custody" above). In considering the custodial history of the child, the court must consider whether the child has been in the temporary custody of a PCSA or PCPA for 12 or more months of a consecutive 22-month period ending on or after the bill's effective date (sec. 2151.414(D)).

Placement with parent within a reasonable time

Existing law. Under existing law, the court must enter a finding that the child cannot be placed with the parents within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either parent if the court determines, by clear and convincing evidence, that, among other possible circumstances, the child's parents (1) are incarcerated for a specified offense committed against the child or a sibling of the child, or (2) failed continuously and repeatedly to remedy substantially the conditions causing the child to be placed outside the home notwithstanding reasonable case planning and diligent efforts by the PCSA or PCPA to remedy the problems in the home. (Sec. 2151.413(E).)

In addition to the criminal offenses listed in existing law, the bill requires that the court enter a finding that the child cannot be placed with the parents within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either parent if the parent has committed (1) aggravated murder, murder, or voluntary manslaughter of a sibling of the child or another child who lived in the parent's household, or a substantially equivalent offense, regardless of whether the parent poses an ongoing danger to the child or a sibling of the child (2) felonious assault, aggravated assault, assault, rape, sexual battery, corruption of a minor, gross sexual imposition, sexual imposition, or child endangering by reason of torture or cruel abuse of the child, a sibling of the child, or another child in the household, or a substantially equivalent offense, regardless of whether the parent poses an ongoing danger, or (3) conspiracy or attempt to commit, or complicity in committing any of those offenses. It also requires such a finding for repeated withholding of medical treatment or food, placement at a substantial risk of harm due to alcohol or drug abuse, abandonment, or termination of parental rights, in the same circumstances as described above in "Reasonable efforts at reunification"--"Operation of the bill." In addition, the bill requires the court to consider whether the child has been in the temporary custody of the PCSA or PCPA for 12 or more months of a consecutive 22-month period. (Sec. 2151.414(B)(2) and (E).)

Hearing on termination of temporary custody

Existing law

An order of temporary custody must terminate one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed in shelter care. Existing law requires a PCSA or PCPA granted temporary custody of a child to file a motion with the court before the temporary custody order expires asking the court to issue a dispositional order that does one of the following: (1) returns the child home and restores custody of the child to the parents, guardians, or custodians without restrictions, (2) provides protective supervision, (3) places the child in the legal custody of a relative or other interested individual, (4) permanently terminates the parents' parental rights, (5) places the child in long-term foster care, or (6) extends the temporary custody order. The court is required to hold a new dispositional hearing on the motion. (Sec. 2151.415.)

Operation of the bill

At the hearing, the bill requires the court to approve the permanency plan for the child (see "Permanency plan" below). Further, the bill provides that a PCSA or PCPA is not required to file such a motion if it is required to file a motion requesting permanent custody of the child (see "Requirement that PCSA or PCPA file motion for permanent custody" above). (Sec. 2151.415(A) and (H).)

Administrative review

Existing law

PCSAs and PCPAs are required to conduct administrative reviews of each case plan they prepare and prepare a written summary of each review. The summary must specify, among other conclusions, (1) the extent to which each party is complying with the case plan, and (2) the progress that has been made toward alleviating the circumstances that required the PCSA or PCPA to assume temporary custody of the child. (Sec. 2151.416.)

Operation of the bill

The bill requires a PCSA or PCPA conducting such reviews to make the child's health and safety the paramount concern. In addition to making conclusions regarding the appropriateness of the placement, the bill requires the PCSA or PCPA to include in its written summary conclusions regarding the safety of the placement. (Sec. 2151.416.)

Review hearing

Permissive review

Under existing law, the court is permitted to review at any time the child's placement or custody arrangement, the case plan, and the actions of the PCSA or PCPA in implementing the case plan. The bill also permits the court to review the child's permanency plan at any time, if such a plan has been determined, to determine whether any changes should be made and to review the safety of the child's placement or custody arrangement. (Sec. 2151.417(A).)

Mandatory review

Under existing law, the court, or a referee or citizens' review board appointed by the court, must hold a review hearing one year after the earlier of the date on which the complaint in the case was filed or the child was first placed into shelter care. The dispositional hearing held on the expiration of a temporary custody order, or a hearing held when a PCSA or PCPA is required to file a motion for permanent custody, takes the place of the first court review hearing. Subsequent review hearings must be held no later than every 12 months thereafter until the child is adopted, returned to the parents, or the court otherwise terminates the child's placement or custody arrangement, and each subsequent review hearing must be scheduled by the court at the conclusion of the immediately preceding review hearing. The bill requires the court to conduct a review hearing no later than 30 days after the court determines that a PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification to determine a permanency plan for the child and, if appropriate, make changes to the child's case plan and custody arrangement consistent with the permanency plan (see "Reasonable efforts"--"Operation of the bill" above). (Sec. 2151.417(E) and (G).)

Permanency plan

Under existing law, at a review hearing, the case plan and the child's placement and custody arrangement must be reviewed. The bill requires the court to review or determine the child's permanency plan and to make changes to the case plan and placement and custody arrangement consistent with the permanency plan. (Sec. 2151.417(C) and (G).)

If a review hearing is held because one year has passed since the complaint was filed or the child was first placed in shelter care or the court has determined that the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification with respect to the child, the court must determine a permanency plan for the child. The permanency plan, to be developed by the involved PCSA or PCPA, must include whether and, if applicable, when the child will be safely returned home or placed for adoption or enhanced legal custody. If the PCSA or PCPA documents a compelling reason that returning the child home or placing the child for adoption or enhanced legal custody is not in the best interest of the child, the plan must provide that the child be placed in a planned permanent living arrangement. A permanency plan issued after a court has determined that the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts at reunification with respect to the child may not include any provision requiring that the child be returned home. (Sec. 2151.417(K).)

Other required court action subsequent to review hearing

After a review hearing regarding a child in temporary custody, the court must determine whether the child can and should be returned home with or without an order for protective supervision. The bill provides an exception to this requirement. The court must issue an order committing the child to the permanent custody of the PCSA or PCPA if a court has determined that the PCSA or PCPA is not required to make reasonable efforts with respect to the child, the child cannot be placed with either parent within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either parent, and permanent custody is in the child's best interest.

If the review hearing takes the place of an administrative review, the court must make several determinations regarding the child's placement and case plan, including projecting a likely date by which the child may be returned home or placed for adoption or legal guardianship and determining the future status of the child. The bill modifies these provisions to require the court to determine a likely date by which the child may be "safely" returned home or placed for adoption or legal custody and, because the child's permanency plan restricts the types of disposition available to the court, removes the court's general authority to determine the future status of the child. (Sec. 2151.417(J).)

Court determinations and written findings of fact when a child is taken into custody

Existing law

Under existing law, at any hearing held pursuant to section 2151.28(B) (adjudicatory hearing for alleged abused, neglected, or dependent child), 2151.31(E) (probable cause hearing for an ex parte emergency order for taking a child into custody), 2151.314 (hearing when a child is brought before the court or delivered to a place of detention or shelter), or 2151.33 (temporary orders to protect the best interest of the child for the taking of the child into custody pursuant to R.C. 2151.31 pending the outcome of the adjudicatory and dispositional hearings) where the court removes a child from his home or continues the removal of a child from his home, the court must determine whether the public children services agency or private child placing agency that filed the complaint in the case, removed the child from his home, has custody of the child, or will be given custody of the child has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from his home, to eliminate the continued removal of the child from his home, or to make it possible for the child to return home. The court must issue written finding of facts setting forth its determination. In its written finding of facts, the court must briefly describe the relevant services provided by the agency to the family of the child and why those services did not prevent the removal of the child from his home or enable the child to return home. (Secs. 2151.28, 2151.31, 2151.314, 2151.33, and 2151.419.)

Operation of the bill

The bill removes the above mentioned requirement that a court must issue written finding of facts setting forth its determination in hearings under sections 2151.31, 2151.314, and 2151.33 (secs. 2151.31(E)(3), 2151.314(B)(3), 2151.33(C)(3), and 2151.419(A)).

Alcohol and drug addiction programs and services

County board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services

Existing law. Under existing law, a county board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services serves as the planning agency for alcohol and drug addiction services for the county or counties in its service district. The board operates in accordance with procedures and guidelines established by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. (Sec. 340.033.)

Operation of the bill. The bill requires a board of alcohol, drug addiction, and mental health services to consult with the county commissioners within the service district when the board sets priorities and develops plans for the operation of alcohol and drug addiction program services described in "Public children services agency referrals" and "Juvenile court referrals," below. The county boards must give priority to those services, except that they may not take priority over the services provided to pregnant women. A plan developed by the board must identify funds the board and public children services agencies have available to jointly fund the services. (Sec. 340.033(H).)

Alcohol and drug addiction services programs

Public children services agency referrals

The bill requires that a PCSA that identifies a child by a risk assessment as being at imminent risk of being abused or neglected because of the addiction of the parent, guardian, or custodian of the child to refer the child's parent, guardian, or custodian to an ODADAS-certified alcohol and drug addiction program. If the agency determines that the child needs alcohol or drug addiction services, the agency must refer the child to an ODADAS-certified alcohol and drug addiction program. If the agency receives a court order under section 2151.3514, the agency must refer the addicted parent or other caregiver that is the subject of the court order to an ODADAS-certified alcohol and drug addiction program.

The alcohol and drug addiction program must provide the following services, to the extent funding identified under the alcohol and drug addiction services plan (sec. 340.033) is available: (1) if it is determined pursuant to an initial screening to be needed, assessment and appropriate treatment, (2) documentation of progress in accordance with a treatment plan developed for the addicted parent, guardian, custodian, caregiver, or child, and (3) if the referral is based on a court order issued pursuant to section 2151.3514(B) and the order requires the specified parent or other caregiver of the child to submit to alcohol or other drug testing during, after, or both during and after, treatment, testing in accordance with the court order. These services have a priority as provided in the alcohol and drug addiction services plan established pursuant to section 340.033. Once a referral has been received, the public children services agency and the alcohol or drug addiction program must, in accordance with 42 C.F.R. Part 2, share with each other any information concerning the persons and services described in that division that the agency and program determine are necessary to share. If the referral is based on a court order issued pursuant to section 2151.3514(B), the results and recommendations of the alcohol and drug addiction program also must be provided and used. Information obtained or maintained by the agency or program pursuant to this program or service that could enable the identification of any person receiving the services is not a public record subject to inspection or copying. (Sec. 340.15.)

Juvenile court referrals to alcohol and drug addiction programs

The bill provides that if the juvenile court issues an order of temporary custody or protective supervision under section 2151.353(A) with respect to a child adjudicated to be an abused, neglected, or dependent child and the alcohol or other drug addiction of a parent or other caregiver of the child was the basis for the adjudication of abuse, neglect, or dependency, the court must issue an order requiring the parent or other caregiver to submit to an assessment and, if needed, treatment from an alcohol and drug addiction program certified by the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services. The court may order the parent or other caregiver to submit to alcohol or other drug testing during, after, or both during and after, the treatment. The court must send any order issued pursuant to this division to the public children services agency that serves the county in which the court is located for use as described in section 340.15.

The bill further specifies that any order requiring alcohol or other drug testing that is issued require one alcohol or other drug test to be conducted each month during a period of 12 consecutive months beginning the month immediately following the month in which the order for alcohol or other drug testing is issued. Arrangements for administering the alcohol or other drug tests, as well as funding the costs of the tests, must be locally determined in accordance with sections 340.033 and 340.15. If a parent or other caregiver required to submit to alcohol or other drug tests under this section is not a recipient of Medicaid, the agency that refers the parent or caregiver for the tests may require the parent or caregiver to reimburse the agency for the cost of conducting the tests.

The certified alcohol and drug addiction program that conducts any alcohol or other drug tests ordered in accordance with this provision must send the results of the tests, along with the program's recommendations as to the benefits of continued treatment, to the court and to the public children services agency providing services to the involved family, according to federal regulations set forth in 42 C.F.R. Part 2, and section 340.15(B). The court must consider the results and the recommendations sent to it in any adjudication or review by the court.

Notice of hearing to foster caregiver, relative, or prospective adoptive parent

The bill provides that, if a child has been placed in a foster home or is in the custody of a relative other than a parent of the child, a court, prior to conducting any hearing under section 2151.412(E)(2) or (3), 2151.28, 2151.33, 2151.35, 2151.414, 2151.415, 2151.416, or 2151.417 with respect to the child, must notify the foster caregiver or relative of the date, time, and place of the hearing. At the hearing, the foster caregiver or relative may present evidence. The notice and opportunity to present evidence do not make the foster caregiver or relative a party in the action or proceeding pursuant to which the review or hearing is conducted.

The bill also provides that, if a public children services agency or private child placing agency has permanent custody of a child and a petition to adopt the child has been filed under Chapter 3107., the agency, prior to conducting a review under section 2151.416, or a court, prior to conducting a hearing under section 2151.412(E)(2) or (3), 2151.416, or 2151.417, must notify the prospective adoptive parent of the date, time, and place of the review or hearing. At the review or hearing, the prospective adoptive parent may present evidence. The notice and opportunity to present evidence do not make the prospective adoptive parent a party in the action or proceeding pursuant to which the review or hearing is conducted. (Sec. 2151.424.)

Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services program

The bill requires the Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, in conjunction with the Department of Human Services, to develop a joint state plan to improve the accessibility and timeliness of alcohol and drug addiction services for individuals identified by a public children services agency as in need of those services. The plan must address the fact that Ohio Works First participants may be among the persons receiving services under section 340.15 and must require the Department of Human Services to seek federal funds available under Title IV-A of the "Social Security Act," 49 Stat. 620 (1935), 42 U.S.C.A. 301, as amended, for the provision of the services to Ohio Works First participants who are receiving services under section 340.15. The plan will address the need and manner for sharing information and include a request for the General Assembly to appropriate an amount of funds specified in the report to be used by the Departments to pay for services under section 340.15. The Departments may review and amend the plan as necessary. Not later than the first day of July of each even-numbered year, the Departments must submit a report on the progress made under the joint state plan to the Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House of Representatives. The report will include information on treatment capacity, needs assessments, and number of individuals who received services pursuant to section 340.15. (Sec. 3793.051.)

Adoption assistance/foster care maintenance payments

Continuing law provides that ODHS must act as the single state agency to administer federal payments for foster care and adoption assistance made pursuant to Title IV-E of the "Social Security Act," 94 Stat. 501, 42 U.S.C.A. 670 (1980), as amended, and must adopt rules to implement that authority. The bill authorizes the Department, by and through its director, to develop, participate in the development of, negotiate, and enter into one or more interstate compacts on behalf of Ohio with agencies of any other states, for the provision of medical assistance and other social services to children to which all of the following apply: (1) they have special needs, (2) this state or another state that is a party to the interstate compact is providing adoption assistance on their behalf, and (3) they move into this state from another state or move out of this state to another state. (Sec. 5101.141.)

Adoption placement notification

Under existing law, if a private child placing agency or public children services agency has placed a child in a foster home or with a relative of the child, other than a parent of the child, the agency must notify the child's foster parent or relative if the agency seeks permanent custody of the child, or, if the agency already has permanent custody of the child, seeks to place the child for adoption. The bill modifies the notice provided to also inform the foster parent or relative that the foster parent or relative can be considered for adoption.

Existing law further provides that if the foster parent or relative informs the agency that the foster parent or relative wants to adopt the child, the agency must inform the foster parent or relative of the process for obtaining an application to adopt the child and that the child may be placed for adoption in another home even if the foster parent or relative submits the application. If the agency is given permanent custody of the child and the foster parent or relative has informed the agency of the foster parent's or relative's desire to adopt the child, the agency must give priority to the foster parent or relative when determining where to place the child for adoption, unless the agency determines that the placement is not in the child's best interest. The bill modifies this by deleting the priority given to the foster parent or relative and instead requiring the agency to consider giving preference to an adult relative over a nonrelative caregiver when determining an adoptive placement for the child, provided the adult relative satisfies all relevant child protection standards and that the placement is in the child's best interest.

Existing law states that section 5103.161 does not apply if the public children services agency or private child placing agency selected a prospective adoptive parent for the child prior to placing the child temporarily with the foster parent or relative. The bill deletes that provision. (Sec. 5103.161.)

Ohio Works First

Existing law provides that a county department of human services, at times it determines, may conduct assessments of assistance groups participating in Ohio Works First to determine whether any members of the group are in need of other assistance or services provided by the county department or other private or government entities. Assessments may include the following: (1) whether any member of the assistance group has a substance abuse problem, and (2) whether there are any other circumstances that may limit an assistance group member's employability. At the first assessment conducted by the county department, it must inquire as to whether any member of a group is the victim of domestic violence, including child abuse. The county department must provide this information to ODHS. ODHS must maintain the information for statistical analysis purposes.

Existing law also provides that the county department may refer an assistance group member to a private or government entity that provides assistance or services the county department determines the member needs. The entity may be a chapter of alcoholics anonymous, narcotics anonymous, or cocaine anonymous, or any other entity the county department considers appropriate. The bill modifies the entity to which a referral may be made to also include a public children services agency. (Sec. 5107.70.)

State Criminal Sentencing Commission's report of a comprehensive juvenile justice plan

Under existing law, in addition to its duties set forth in sections 181.23 to 181.25, the State Criminal Sentencing Commission must report to the General Assembly no later than September 1, 1998, a comprehensive plan containing recommendations based on the following: (1) a review of all statutes governing delinquent child, unruly child, and juvenile traffic offender dispositions in this state, and (2) a review of state and local resources, including facilities and programs, used for delinquent child, unruly child, and juvenile traffic offender dispositions and profile the populations of youthful offenders in the facilities and programs. The bill extends the deadline for the report to October 1, 1999. (Sec. 181.26.)

Disposition of an abused, neglected, or dependent child

Existing law

Under current law, any person who knows of a child that appears to be abused, neglected, or dependent may file a complaint in the juvenile court of the county in which the child has a residence or legal settlement or in which the abuse, neglect, or dependency occurred. The court is required to hold a hearing on the complaint. If it finds by clear and convincing evidence that the child is abused, neglected, or dependent, the court must hold a dispositional hearing to determine the proper disposition of the child. At the dispositional hearing the court may (1) place the child in protective supervision, (2) commit the child to the temporary custody of a public children services agency (PCSA), private child placing agency (PCPA), either parent, a relative residing within or outside the state, or a probation officer for placement in a certified family foster home or in any other home approved by the court, (3) award legal custody of the child to either parent or to any other person who, prior to the dispositional hearing, files a motion requesting legal custody of the child, (4) commit the child to the permanent custody of a PCSA or PCPA, if the court determines that the child cannot be placed with one of the child's parents within a reasonable time or should not be placed with either parent and determines that permanent placement is in the child's best interest, (5) place the child in long-term foster care with a PCSA or PCPA, if certain conditions exist, or (6) order the parent, guardian, or custodian or another person to move out of the home and have no contact with the child or the child's siblings. (Secs. 2151.353, 2151.011, and various other sections.)

Operation of the bill

The bill changes all references to "long-term foster care" to "planned permanent living arrangement." A "planned permanent living arrangement" is an order of the court giving legal custody of a child to a PCSA or PCPA without the termination of parental rights under which the PCSA or PCPA is permitted to make an appropriate placement of the child and to enter into a written planned permanent living arrangement agreement with a foster care provider or with another person or agency with whom the child is placed. (Secs. 2151.353(A)(5) and (B), 2151.011(B)(18) and (27), 2151.27(C), 2151.28(D), 2151.412(A), (F), and (G), 2151.413(C), 2151.415(A)(5), (C), and (G).)

COMMENT

1. Generally, a petition to adopt a minor may be granted only if written consent to the adoption has been executed by all of the following persons and entities (sec. 3107.06):

(a) The mother of the minor;

(b) The father of the minor, if any of the following apply: (i) the minor was conceived or born while the father was married to the mother, (ii) the minor is his child by adoption, (iii) prior to the date the petition was filed, it was determined by a court proceeding or an administrative proceeding that he has a parent and child relationship with the minor, or (iv) he acknowledged paternity of the child and that acknowledgment has become final.

(c) The putative father of the minor;

(d) Any person or agency having permanent custody of the minor or authorized by court order to consent;

(e) The juvenile court that has jurisdiction to determine custody of the minor, if the legal guardian or custodian of the minor is not authorized by law or court order to consent to the adoption;

(f) The minor, if more than 12 years of age, unless the court, finding that it is in the best interest of the minor, determines that the minor's consent is not required.

2. Consent to adoption is not required of any of the following persons (sec. 3107.07):

(a) A parent of a minor, when it is alleged in the adoption petition and the court finds after proper service of notice and hearing, that the parent has failed without justifiable cause to communicate with the minor or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately preceding either the filing of the adoption petition or the placement of the minor in the home of the petitioner;

(b) The putative father of a minor if either of the following applies: (i) the putative father fails to register as the minor's putative father with the Putative Father Registry not later than 30 days after the minor's birth, or (ii) the court finds that the putative father is not the father of the minor, the putative father has willfully abandoned or failed to care for and support the minor, or the putative father has willfully abandoned the mother of the minor during her pregnancy and up to the time of her surrender of the minor, or the minor's placement in the home of the petitioner, whichever occurs first;

(c) A parent who has entered into a voluntary permanent custody surrender agreement under specified circumstances;

(d) A parent whose parental rights have been terminated by order of a juvenile court;

(e) A parent who is married to the petitioner and supports the adoption;

(f) The father, or putative father, of a minor if the minor is conceived as the result of the commission of rape by the father or putative father and the father or putative father is convicted of or pleads guilty to the commission of that offense;

(g) A legal guardian or guardian ad litem of a parent judicially declared incompetent in a separate court proceeding who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent, for a period of 30 days, or who, after examination of the written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably;

(h) Any legal guardian or lawful custodian of the person to be adopted, other than a parent, who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent, for a period of 30 days, or who, after examination of the written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably;

(i) The spouse of the person to be adopted, if the failure of the spouse to consent to the adoption is found by the court to be by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult to obtain the consent or refusal of the spouse;

(j) Any parent, legal guardian, or other lawful custodian in a foreign country, if the person to be adopted has been released for adoption pursuant to the laws of the country in which the person resides and the release of such person is in a form that satisfies the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the United States Department of Justice for purposes of immigration to the United States;

(k) Except as provided in paragraphs (g) and (h), above, a juvenile court, agency, or person given notice of the petition that fails to file an objection to the petition within 14 days after proof is filed that the notice was given.

3. The court must give notice of the filing of the petition and of the time and place of hearing to the following persons whose consent is not required and who have not consented to the adoption (secs. 3107.07(A), (G), (H), and (I) and 3107.11):

(a) A parent of a minor, when it is alleged in the adoption petition and the court finds after proper service of notice and hearing, that the parent has failed without justifiable cause to communicate with the minor or to provide for the maintenance and support of the minor as required by law or judicial decree for a period of at least one year immediately preceding either the filing of the adoption petition or the placement of the minor in the home of the petitioner;

(b) A legal guardian or guardian ad litem of a parent judicially declared incompetent in a separate court proceeding who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent, for a period of 30 days, or who, after examination of the written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably;

(c) Any legal guardian or lawful custodian of the person to be adopted, other than a parent, who has failed to respond in writing to a request for consent, for a period of 30 days, or who, after examination of the written reasons for withholding consent, is found by the court to be withholding consent unreasonably;

(d) The spouse of the person to be adopted, if the failure of the spouse to consent to the adoption is found by the court to be by reason of prolonged unexplained absence, unavailability, incapacity, or circumstances that make it impossible or unreasonably difficult to obtain the consent or refusal of the spouse.

4. On November 19, 1997, President Clinton signed into law H.R. 867, known as the "Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997." The act makes numerous changes to federal law mandating how states receiving federal funds for such purposes are to provide child protection and child welfare services and adoption assistance. A number of the changes to current law in this proposed version of H.B. 614 are responsive to the new federal requirements.

HISTORY

ACTION DATE JOURNAL ENTRY

Introduced 06-11-97 p. 1091
Reported, H. Family Services 03-11-98 p. 2252
Passed House (94-3) 03-18-98 pp. 2280-2281
Reported, S. Judiciary 05-28-98 p. 2011
Re-reported, S. Judiciary 11-18-98 p. 2307



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