|LAWS OF THE 2001 REGULAR SESSION
OF THE SEVENTY-NINTH
GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF IOWA
Section 1. NEW SECTION. 232.158A LEGAL RISK PLACEMENT.
1. Notwithstanding any provision of the interstate compact on the placement of children to the contrary, the department of human services shall permit the legal risk placement of a child under the interstate compact on the placement of children, if the prospective adoptive parent provides a legal risk statement, in writing, acknowledging all of the following:
a. That the placement is a legal risk placement.
b. That the court of the party state of the sending agency retains jurisdiction over the child for purposes of the termination of the parental rights of the biological parents.
c. That if termination of parental rights cannot be accomplished in accordance with applicable laws, the child shall be promptly returned to the party state of the sending agency to be returned to the child's biological parent or placed as deemed appropriate by a court of the party state of the sending agency.
d. That the prospective adoptive parent assumes full legal, financial, and other risks associated with the legal risk placement and that the prospective adoptive parent agrees to hold the department of human services harmless for any disruption or failure of the placement.
e. That the prospective adoptive parent shall provide support and medical and other appropriate care to the child pending the termination of parental rights of the biological parents and shall assume liability for all costs associated with the return of the child to the party state of the sending agency if the placement is disrupted or fails.
2. Any written legal risk statement utilized in establishing a legal risk placement shall, at a minimum, state all of the information required under subsection 1, shall be signed by any prospective adoptive parent, and shall be notarized. The legal risk statement shall also contain the following notice printed in clearly legible type: If termination of parental rights is not accomplished and return of the child to the biological parent is required, the prospective adoptive parents are encouraged to seek mental health counseling to address any resulting psychological or family problems.
3. For the purposes of this section, "legal risk placement" means the placement of a child, who is to be adopted, with a prospective adoptive parent prior to the termination of parental rights of the biological parents, under which the prospective adoptive parent assumes the risk that, if the parental rights of the biological parents are not terminated, the child shall be returned to the biological parents or placed as deemed appropriate by a court of the party state of the sending agency, and under which the prospective adoptive parent assumes other risks and liabilities specified in a written agreement.
Sec. 2. Section 600.3, subsection 2, Code 2001, is amended by adding the following new paragraph:
NEW PARAGRAPH. c. A termination of parental rights order is not required prior to the filing of an adoption petition if the adoption is a standby adoption as defined in section 600.14A.
Sec. 3. Section 600.6, Code 2001, is amended by adding the following new subsection:
NEW SUBSECTION. 5. In the case of a standby adoption as defined in section 600.14A, a form completed by the terminally ill parent consenting to termination of parental rights and adoption of the child by a person or persons specified in the consent form, effective at a future date when the terminally ill parent of the child has died or requests that a final adoption decree be issued.
Sec. 4. Section 600.13, subsection 1, Code 2001, is amended by adding the following new paragraph after paragraph b and relettering the subsequent paragraph:
NEW PARAGRAPH. bb. Issue a standby adoption decree pursuant to section 600.14A.
Sec. 5. NEW SECTION. 600.14A STANDBY ADOPTION.
1. As used in this section:
a. "Standby adoption" means an adoption in which a terminally ill parent consents to termination of parental rights and the issuance of a final adoption decree effective upon the occurrence of a future event, which is either the death of the terminally ill parent or the request of the parent for the issuance of a final adoption decree.
b. "Terminally ill parent" means an individual who has a medical prognosis by a licensed physician that the individual has an incurable and irreversible condition which will lead to death.
2. A terminally ill parent may consent to termination of parental rights and adoption of a child under a standby adoption if the other parent of the child is not living or the other parent has previously had the parent's parental rights terminated.
3. A person who meets the qualifications to file an adoption petition pursuant to section 600.4 may file a petition for standby adoption. A standby adoption shall comply with the requirements of sections 600.7 through 600.12. However, the court may order that the completion of placement investigations and reports be expedited based on the circumstances of a particular case. The court may waive the minimum residence period requirement pursuant to section 600.10 to expedite the standby adoption if necessary.
4. If a consent to a standby adoption is attached to an adoption petition pursuant to section 600.6, the court determines that the requirements of this chapter relative to a standby adoption are met, and the court determines that the standby adoption is in the best interest of the child to be adopted, the court shall issue a standby adoption decree or a final adoption decree. However, the terminally ill parent's parental rights shall not be terminated and the standby adoption shall not be finalized until the death of the terminally ill parent or the request of the terminally ill parent for issuance of the final adoption decree.
5. A standby adoption decree shall become final upon notice of the death of the terminally ill parent or upon the terminally ill parent's request that a final adoption decree be issued. If the court determines at the time of the notice or request that the standby adoption is still in the best interest of the child, the court shall issue a final adoption decree.
Approved April 20, 2001
Updated: 25-Oct-2001 04:29 PM