2018 Colorado Revised Statutes
Title 19 - Children's Code
Article 5 - Relinquishment and Adoption
Part 2 - Adoption
§ 19-5-207.5. Legislative declaration - standardized home studies - adoptive family resource registry - rules

  • (1) Legislative declaration. (a) (I) The general assembly finds that there are a growing number of children in the legal custody of the county departments of human or social services who are the victims of physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or abandonment and who are awaiting permanent placement in safe, loving, and nurturing adoptive homes. The general assembly further finds that with the expedited permanency procedures that have been established and with the enactment of legislation implementing the federal "Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997", Pub.L. 105-89, it is anticipated that the number of children available for adoption will continue to increase dramatically and that there will be a corresponding increased need to identify statewide those families that are willing and qualified to adopt these needy children.

    • (II) The general assembly finds that, although the county departments of human or social services have made admirable efforts in assessing and reporting on the qualifications of families interested in adopting, there is a need to make the valuable resource of such qualified families more available and accessible to all counties in the state in order to satisfy the growing need for suitable adoptive families.

      • (b) Accordingly, the general assembly determines that it is appropriate and desirable for the state department to aid the county departments of human or social services in their efforts to achieve permanency for children in their legal custody who are available for adoption by making accessible to such county departments a statewide adoptive family resource registry of families who are qualified for and desirous of adopting children with special needs. Toward that end, the general assembly further determines that it would be beneficial to such children and families for the state department to develop an approved vendor list of qualified home study providers by region, standardized investigation criteria, and minimum uniform adoptive home study report standards in order to achieve more timely adoptive placements, to reduce the burden associated with the adoption process, and to avert the possibility of failed adoptions.

  • (2) Approved vendor lists for home studies. (a) In order to achieve greater access to qualified families seeking to adopt children, to expedite permanency placement for children available for adoption, and to obtain reliable, high-quality assessments of families that can result in permanent and healthy placements, the state department shall develop an approved vendor list of county departments, individuals, and child placement agencies qualified to prepare the home study reports in public adoptions as required by section 19-5-207 (2).

    • (b)

      • (I) On or before January 1, 2000, the state department shall issue a public request for applications from county departments of human or social services, individuals, and child placement agencies desirous of conducting investigations and preparing written home study reports for prospective public adoptions in specified counties or geographic regions. The state department shall review the applications it receives and shall determine which applicants meet the qualifying criteria identified by the state board of human services pursuant to subsection (2)(b)(II) of this section. Each county department of human or social services, individual, or child placement agency that meets thequalifying criteria must be placed on the approved vendor list of home study report providers.

      • (II) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the qualifying criteria that county departments of human or social services, individuals, and child placement agencies must meet in order to qualify as an approved vendor pursuant to this subsection (2)(b) for the purpose of conducting adoptive investigations and preparing home study reports. All county departments of human or social services, qualified individuals, and child placement agencies that submit applications to the state department and that meet the qualifying criteria must be selected to perform home studies and, once such county departments, individuals, or agencies have been approved by the state department pursuant to this subsection (2)(b), they shall be available to perform home studies in the specified county or region.

    • (c) All qualified county departments of human or social services, individuals, and child placement agencies approved by the state department to conduct home studies pursuant to subsection (2)(b) of this section shall prepare their home study reports in compliance with the minimum uniform standards prescribed by rule of the state board as described in subsection (3) of this section and any other additional criteria and standards established by a particular county pursuant to subsection (3)(b) of this section.

    • (d) Each qualified county department of human or social services, individual, or child placement agency approved by the state department may promote the adoption of available children through a public information campaign directed at educating and informing the public about the need for safe and healthy adoptive families. Regional educational campaigns are encouraged.

    • (e) All qualified county departments of human or social services, individuals, and child placement agencies approved by the state department pursuant to this subsection (2) may participate in the statewide training provided by the state department.

  • (3) Standards for home studies. (a) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the criteria for the investigation and the minimum uniform standards for the home study reports with which the qualified county departments of human or social services, individuals, or child placement agencies approved by the state department must comply. The criteria must include, but are not limited to:

    • (I) The quality standards that the county department of human or social services, the individual, or the child placement agency must achieve;

    • (II) The time frames within which the county department of human or social services, the individual, or the child placement agency must complete the investigations and home study reports; and

    • (III) The capacity of the county department of human or social services, the individual, or the child placement agency to assess the abilities of prospective adoptive families to meet the needs of a child with special needs.

      • (b) Nothing in this section prohibits a county department of human or social services from establishing additional criteria and standards that a county department of human or social services, an individual, or a child placement agency must meet in preparing a home study report.

  • (4) Fees for investigations and home studies. (a) (I) Any person who, by his or her own request or by order of the court as provided in section 19-5-209, is the subject of a home study report and investigation conducted pursuant to section 19-5-207 by a county department of human or social services, an individual, or a child placement agency is required to pay, based on an ability to pay, the cost of such report and investigation.

    • (II) In public adoptions, the state board of human services shall promulgate rules establishing the maximum amount that a county department of human or social services, an individual, or a child placement agency may charge a prospective adoptive family for the investigation, fingerprint-based criminal history record checks, and home study report required pursuant to section 19-5-207.

    • (III) The county department of human or social services may waive the fee established pursuant to this subsection (4) if the fee poses a barrier to the adoption of a child for whom a county department of human or social services has financial responsibility.

      • (b)

        • (I) In addition to the fee specified in subsection (4)(a) of this section, if the county department of human or social services has not placed a child available for a public adoption with a family who is the subject of an investigation and home study report after six months, then the county shall refer the family and the home study report for such family to the adoptive family resource registry established pursuant to subsection (5) of this section if there is written consent pursuant to subsection (5)(c)(I) of this section. Prior to referral of a prospective adoptive family to the adoptive family resource registry, the prospective adoptive family must be assessed and shall pay a nonrefundable administrative fee in an amount to be determined by rule of the state board of human services. A family must not be assessed the fee described in this subsection (4)(b) if the family is not referred to the adoptive family resource registry.

        • (II) The department or the contractor selected by the department to administer the adoptive family resource registry shall collect the administrative fee established by rule of the state board of human services pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b) and apply the revenue from said fees to offset the costs incurred for the administration of the adoptive family resource registry.

        • (III) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall be construed to prevent a county from referring a family to the adoptive family resource registry before the six month period has lapsed.

  • (5) Adoptive family resource registry. (a) Subject to available funds as specified in subsection (5)(b)(III) of this section, the state department shall establish a statewide adoptive family resource registry that county departments of human or social services may access to determine the availability of qualified families seeking to adopt a child in the custody of a county department of human or social services. The state department is authorized to contract with a public or private entity for the provision of this service.

    • (b)

      • (I) The executive director of the department is authorized to accept and expend on behalf of the state any funds, grants, gifts, or donations from any private or public source for the purpose of establishing the statewide adoptive family resource registry; except that no gift, grant, or donation shall be accepted if the conditions attached thereto require the expenditure thereof in a manner contrary to law.

      • (II) The executive director of the department is authorized to apply for a federal waiver, if necessary, to authorize the use of federal grant moneys to implement this section.

      • (III) No general fund moneys shall be expended for the establishment of the adoptive family resource registry. The adoptive family resource registry shall be established only upon the receipt of sufficient grants, gifts, and donations pursuant to subparagraph (I) of this paragraph (b).

    • (c)

      • (I) No home study report, or any other information concerning a person interested in a public adoption shall be submitted to the adoptive family resource registry without such person's written consent.

      • (II) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules specifying the limited amount of nonidentifying data concerning a person interested in a public adoption that is available to county departments of human or social services on the internet through the adoptive family resource registry.

      • (III) The state board of human services shall promulgate rules identifying the standards and procedures with which the department or the contractor selected by the department to administer the adoptive family resource registry shall comply in order to preserve the confidentiality and privacy of the prospective adoptive family as much as possible.

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