[As Further Amended by Senate Committee of the Whole]

As Amended by Senate Committee
Session of 1999
By Committee on Judiciary

11             AN  ACT concerning the Kansas code for care of children; relating to
12             post-termination dispositional alternatives following voluntary relin-
13             quishment of parental rights.
15       Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:
16             Section  1. The purpose of this section is to provide stability in the
17       life of a child who must be removed from the home of a parent or parents
18       pursuant to the Kansas code for care of children, in those particular
19       situations in which the child's parent or parents have voluntarily relin-
20       quished their parental rights and in which the court approved case plan
21       provides: (1) That the child will be or is placed in an identified preadop-
22       tive home; and (2) that continued contact with the relinquishing parent
23       or parents is in the best interests of the child, while recognizing that the
24       relinquishing parent or parents are unable, by reason of conduct or con-
25       dition, to care properly for a child and the conduct or condition is unlikely
26       to change in the foreseeable future. This section also acknowledges that
27       time perception of a child differs from that of an adult and that the on-
28       going physical, mental and emotional needs of the child are decisive con-
29       siderations in proceeding under this section. The primary goal for all
30       children whose parent or parents have voluntarily relinquished their pa-
31       rental rights, within the Kansas code for care of children, is placement
32       in a permanent family setting.
33             (b) When a child's parent or parents have voluntarily and condition-
34       ally consented to an adoption or have voluntarily and conditionally relin-
35       quished their parental rights to the secretary of social and rehabilitation
36       services, or other licensed child placement agency, pursuant to this
37       section, the court shall may enter an order granting custody of the child
38       to the proposed adoptive parents, pursuant to the following: (1) The court
39       shall on the record inform the relinquishing parent or parents of the
40       consequences of a conditional consent to adoption or a conditional relin-
41       quishment, and shall make a finding regarding the voluntariness of the
42       conditional consent to adoption or conditional relinquishment.

SB 119--Am. by SCW


  1             (2) The relinquishing parent or parents and the proposed adoptive
  2       parents, and the child, if over 14 years of age and of sound intellect, have
  3       agreed, in either a separate written agreement, signed by all interested
  4       parties, which is to be submitted to the guardian ad litem and the court
  5       at least 14 days prior to the hearing, or in a court approved case plan, to
  6       oral or written communication, or both, between the child and the relin-
  7       quishing parent or parents, or contact between the child and relatives of
  8       the relinquishing parent or parents. The communication may also include
  9       exchange of information or visitation between the relinquishing parent or
10       parents or their relatives, or both, and the adoptive parents, or visitation
11       between the relinquishing parent or parents, their relatives, or both, and
12       the child. The guardian ad litem shall have the opportunity to state ob-
13       jections or recommendations to the court within seven calendar days from
14       receipt of the proposed agreement. In making any determination regard-
15       ing communication agreements as provided in this subsection, the court
16       shall make such determination which is in the best interests of the child.
17             (3) Every written agreement of or case plan entered into pursuant
18       to provisions of this section shall contain a clause stating that the parties
19       agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court and that any disagreement
20       or litigation regarding the terms of the agreement after the entry of the
21       decree of adoption shall not be grounds for setting aside an adoption
22       decree or for the revocation of the voluntary relinquishment of parental
23       rights or written consent to the adoption after the court has accepted the
24       voluntary relinquishment or consent, or both.
25             (4) On approval by the court, the terms of the case plan or open
26       adoption agreement shall be incorporated into the decree of adoption.
27             (5) The court hearing the action as filed pursuant to the Kansas
28       code for care of children shall exercise jurisdiction to consider en-
29       tering a decree of adoption and if a decree of adoption is entered,
30       the court shall retain jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered
31       for purposes of hearing motions brought to enforce or modify an agree-
32       ment entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section. The terms
33       of the adoption decree may be enforced by motions based on the decree
34       of adoption. The prevailing party in that action may be awarded, as part
35       of the costs of the action, a reasonable amount to be fixed by the court
36       as attorney fees.
37             (6) The court shall not modify an agreed order unless it finds that
38       modification is necessary to serve the best interests of the child, and that:
39       (A) The modification is agreed to by the relinquishing parent or parents
40       and the adoptive parents and the child, if the child is over 14 years of age
41       and of sound intellect; or (B) exceptional circumstances have arisen since
42       the agreed order was entered that justify modification of the order. When
43       the parties are not in agreement regarding a proposed modification, the

SB 119--Am. by SCW


  1       court shall not hear a contested motion under this section unless it finds
  2       that the parties have made a good faith effort to mediate the contested
  3       issues. If the child is over 14 years of age and of sound intellect, the child
  4       shall also participate in the mediation if such child desires to do so. If the
  5       court determines that a guardian ad litem should be appointed under this
  6       subsection, the guardian ad litem shall conduct an independent investi-
  7       gation of the basis for the proposed modification and shall prepare rec-
  8       ommendations to the court. The costs of the guardian ad litem shall be
  9       assessed by the court.
10             (7) All interested parties shall agree that the court granting the adop-
11       tion shall retain jurisdiction of the case until the child reaches majority,
12       and this agreement shall be made part of the order of the court.
13             (C) The provisions of this section shall be part of and supplemental
14       to the Kansas code for care of children.
15        Sec.  2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
16       publication in the statute book.