OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 74

AN ACT CONCERNING SECOND PARENT ADOPTION.

SUMMARY:

This bill generally requires the Probate Court to waive investigation and report requirements in child adoption proceedings where the person seeking to adopt shares parental responsibility with a child's biological parent (“second-parent adoption”). It also allows the court to forgo notifying the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in such cases. These provisions already apply when a stepparent seeks to adopt. In either a second-parent or stepparent adoption, however, the court may order an investigation and report if it finds sufficient reason to do so.

It also makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Adoption Investigations

State law generally requires the Probate Court, when it receives an adoption application, to ask DCF or an adoption agency to conduct an investigation to ensure that the adoption is in the child's best interests (CGS 45a-727(b)).

DCF or the adoption agency must investigate and report on the child's physical and mental condition and other facts relevant to the proposed adoption, including the physical, mental, genetic, and educational history of the child and the physical, mental, social, and financial condition of the adopting and biological parents. The report also must include a history of any physical, sexual, or emotional abuse, and may reach a conclusion on whether the adoption is in the child's best interests. The investigator must submit a written report to the court within 60 days after being assigned the case.

Second-Parent Adoptions and Rights of Co-Parents

By law, the parent of a minor child may agree in writing with someone who shares parental responsibility for that child that the other person adopt or join in adopting the child. Such an adoption cannot take place unless the parental rights of the child's other parent have been terminated (CGS 45a-724(a)(3)). Such a second-parent adoption, also called a co-parent adoption, gives a co-parent full legal rights with regard to the child.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Committee on Children

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

11

Nay

0

(02/25/2016)