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Family & Juvenile Law

SS SCS HCS HB 73 & 47 – Temporary Assistance Benefits for Needy Families Program (See Poverty Law)

SS#2 SCS HCS HB 111 – Judicial procedures (See Judicial Administration)

*HB 260 – Uniform Interstate Family Support Act. Repeals the provisions regarding the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act and re-enacts them to be consistent with the changes adopted by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws; and extends the provisions of the act to the establishment, enforcement, or modification of a child or spousal support order that involves a foreign country that is a party to the Hague Convention on the International Recovery of Child Support and Other Forms of Family Maintenance.

Whenever more than one state is involved in establishing, enforcing, or modifying a child or spousal support order, the act specifies the jurisdiction and power of the courts in the different states and establishes which state’s law will be applied in the proceeding.  The act establishes rules requiring every state to defer to the child support order entered by the court of the child’s home state.  The place where the order was originally entered holds continuing exclusive jurisdiction; and only the law of that state can be applied to a request to modify the order of child support, unless the original tribunal loses the continuing exclusive jurisdiction.  Various direct interstate enforcement mechanisms are specified in the bill.

The bill becomes effective upon ratification by the United States Congress.  (Drafted by The Missouri Bar’s Family Law Committee) (Signed 6/30/11)

SS SCS HCS HB 555 – Healthcare (See Health & Hospital Law)

SS SCS HCS HB 604 – Parental rights (See also SS SCS HCS HB 431) Creates the Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund; establishes a task force on foster care recruitment, licensing, and retention; changes the laws regarding parental rights of individuals with disabilities, foster care placement, and sibling placement; and establishes the Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board.

FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTIVE PARENTS RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION FUND Beginning January 1, 2011, the bill authorizes an individual or corporation to designate at least $1 on a Missouri individual income tax return or at least $2 on a combined return of his or her tax refund amount to the newly created Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund. The fund is to be administered by the newly established Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund Board.  Upon appropriation, moneys in the fund must be distributed by the Department of Social Services and used to grant awards to licensed community-based foster care and adoption recruitment programs.

TASK FORCE ON FOSTER CARE RECRUITMENT, LICENSING, AND RETENTION The Children’s Division within the Department of Social Services must convene a task force to review the recruitment, licensing, and retention of foster and adoptive parents statewide.  The task force must study the extent to which changes in the system of recruiting, licensing, and retaining foster and adoptive parents would enhance the effectiveness of the system statewide and must report its findings with recommendations by December 1, 2011, to the General Assembly and the Governor.

PARENTAL RIGHTS OF INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES  Specifies that the disability or disease of an individual cannot be the basis for a determination to refuse to issue, suspend, or revoke a foster care license; to remove a child from a parent’s custody or that a child is in need of care; to terminate parental rights; or to rule that an individual is unfit or not suitable to be an adoptive parent or a foster parent without a specific showing that there is a causal relationship between the disability or disease and harm to the child.

FOSTER CARE PLACEMENT  Establishes the following order or preference for the placement of a child in foster care:  grandparents and relatives, a trusted adult who has a pre-existing relationship with the child, and any foster parent who is currently licensed and capable of accepting placement of the child.  Any person receiving a preference may be licensed in an expedited manner if a child is placed under the person’s care.

SIBLING PLACEMENT  The division is required to make reasonable efforts to place siblings in the same foster care, kinship, guardianship, or adoptive placement unless doing so would be contrary to the safety or well-being of any of the siblings.  If siblings are not placed together, the division must make reasonable efforts to provide frequent visitation or other ongoing interaction between the siblings unless this interaction would be contrary to a sibling’s safety or well-being.

MISSOURI STATE FOSTER CARE AND ADOPTION BOARD The Missouri State Foster Care and Adoption Board is established to provide consultation and assistance to the Department of Social Services.  The board must draft and provide an independent review of the policies and procedures of the Children’s Division related to the provision of foster care and adoption in Missouri. The board must also determine the nature and content of in-service training which must be provided to foster and adoptive parents in order to improve these services to children statewide. Additional duties of the Children’s Division of the board are specified.

The provisions regarding the Foster Care and Adoptive Parents Recruitment and Retention Fund will expire six years from the effective date.  In scope, support concept of non-discrimination based on disability, share comment. (Signed 7/12/11)

SS #2 HB 648 –Individuals with disabilities (See Health & Hospital Law)

SB 237 – Guardian ad litem standards (See Judicial Administration)

SS#2 SCS SB 320 – Domestic violence (See Criminal Law)

HCS SS SCS SB 351 – Adoption records Changes the laws regarding adoption records.  In its main provisions, the bill:

(1) Allows non-identifying biological parent or sibling information regarding an adoptee to be furnished by the child-placing agency or the juvenile court upon written request to the adopted adult’s lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased;

(2) Revises the provisions regarding an adopted adult obtaining identifying information of his or her undisclosed biological parents by making a request to the circuit court having original jurisdiction by allowing the identifying information to also be disclosed to the adopted adult’s lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased;

(3) Requires the court to disclose the identifying information as to a biological parent to the adopted adult or the adopted adult’s lineal descendants if the adopted adult is deceased or under certain specified conditions if the biological parent is found to be deceased;

(4) Requires only the biological parents to be notified about a request for identifying information.  Currently, the adopted adult must make a request and follow a specified procedure for obtaining consent from both the adoptive and biological parents if prior consent has not been given through the child-placing agency or juvenile court personnel; and

(5) Allows an adopted adult to obtain identifying information on adult siblings with the sibling’s consent without the court having to find that the information is necessary for health-related purposes. Not in scope. (Signed 7/5/11)