PA 16-156—sSB 74

Committee on Children

Judiciary Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING SECOND PARENT ADOPTION

SUMMARY: This act generally requires the probate court to waive investigation and reporting requirements in adoption proceedings in which the person seeking to adopt shares parental responsibility with the child's 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 in cases in which a stepparent seeks to adopt. However, as in stepparent adoptions, the court may order an investigation and report by DCF or a child-placing agency if it finds good cause to do so.

The act also makes a technical change.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2016

BACKGROUND

Adoption Investigations and Reports

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

DCF or the adoption agency must 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 of the child, and may reach a conclusion on whether the adoption is in the child's best interests. The investigator must submit the written report to the court within 60 days after receiving the probate court's request.

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 person sharing parental responsibility 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)).

OLR Tracking: PF; MK; VR; tjo