2013 North Dakota Century Code
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As used in this chapter, unless the context or subject matter otherwise requires:
1. "Child-placing agency" means any person undertaking to place children in family
homes for temporary or permanent care.
2. "Placement" means the transfer of physical custody of a child from a birth parent for
foster or adoptive care until an adoption is finalized.
50-12-02. Child-placing agency licensed - Rules.
Every child-placing agency shall secure a license from the department of human services.
The department shall adopt rules establishing the requirements for licensure as a child-placing
50-12-02.1. Out-of-state child-placing agency license requirements.
1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, a child-placing agency that does not
maintain an office in this state may apply for and receive a license under the same
terms and conditions as a resident child-placing agency.
2. A child-placing agency that does not maintain an office in this state shall name on its
license application at least one resident child-placing agency. Resident child-placing
agencies named on the application shall certify their willingness to:
a. Receive service of process for papers to be served on the out-of-state
b. Assist when requested by the department of human services in the supervision
and visitation of children placed in either temporary or permanent homes by the
out-of-state child-placing agency; and
c. Provide at the request of the department of human services all other facts,
information, and reports to be made on behalf of the out-of-state child-placing
3. An out-of-state child-placing agency that complies with the licensing requirements of
this chapter may not be required to maintain an office in this state.
50-12-03. Requirements for licensure and employment - Term - Moral or religious
conviction not bar to licensure or employment.
The department of human services shall issue licenses for the conduct of child-placing
agencies upon application. A child-placing agency shall require a criminal history record
investigation on the owner and each employee of a child-placing agency who has direct contact
with families, with children, or with both. The department of human services shall consider any
criminal history record information available about the owner at the time a licensing decision is
made and about an employee prior to the owner or the employee having direct contact with
families, with children, or with both. Licenses must be granted for a period not exceeding two
years. Licenses must be issued to reputable and responsible applicants upon a showing that
they, and their agents, are equipped properly by training and experience to find and select
suitable temporary or permanent homes for children and to supervise the homes when children
are placed in them, to the end that the health, morality, and general well-being of children
placed by them will be properly safeguarded. The department of human services may not deny
a license because of the applicant's objection to performing, assisting, counseling,
recommending, facilitating, referring, or participating in a placement that violates the applicant's
written religious or moral convictions or policies.
50-12-03.1. Conviction not bar to licensure or employment - Exceptions.
Conviction of an offense does not disqualify a person from licensure or employment under
this chapter unless the department of human services determines that the offense has a direct
bearing upon a person's ability to serve the public as the owner or employee of a child-placing
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agency, or that, following the person's conviction of any offense, the person is not sufficiently
rehabilitated under section 12.1-33-02.1.
50-12-03.2. Criminal history record investigation required.
1. A child-placing agency shall include, in any adoptive home study report, the results of
a criminal history record investigation made under this section. If the results reveal a
conviction of a crime described in chapter 50-11.3 or determined by the department to
have a direct bearing upon the person's ability to provide a suitable home for
placement of any child, or the department determines, following conviction of any other
offense, the person is not sufficiently rehabilitated under section 12.1-33-02.1, the
home study report must include a determination that a home provided by the
prospective adoptive parent is not a suitable home for the placement of any child and
a recommendation that the petition for adoption be denied. A child-placing agency
shall consider any criminal history record information available when making a
recommendation in a home study report.
2. A child-placing agency shall secure, from a law enforcement agency or any other
agency authorized to take fingerprints, two sets of fingerprints and shall provide all
other information necessary to secure state criminal history record information and a
nationwide background check under federal law from any prospective adoptive parent
and any adult living in the prospective adoptive parent's household. Upon a request of
a child-placing agency, a law enforcement agency shall take fingerprints of any
prospective adoptive parent and any adult living in the prospective adoptive parent's
household for purposes of this section. An agency that takes fingerprints as provided
under this section may charge a reasonable fee to offset the cost of fingerprinting.
3. The child-placing agency shall assure that information obtained under subsection 2 is
provided to the department of human services and shall arrange payment to the
bureau of criminal investigation sufficient to defray the cost of securing criminal history
record information under this section.
4. Upon receipt of all fingerprints and necessary information relating to a criminal history
record investigation, the department of human services shall submit those fingerprints
and that information to the bureau of criminal investigation.
5. The bureau of criminal investigation shall request a nationwide background check from
the federal bureau of investigation and, upon receipt of a response, provide the
response of the federal bureau of investigation to the department of human services.
The bureau of criminal investigation shall also provide any criminal history record
information that may lawfully be made available under chapter 12-60 to the
6. The department of human services shall provide the child-placing agency with any
information, received under this section from the bureau of criminal investigation, that
the department of human services is not prevented by federal law from disclosing to
the child-placing agency.
7. The department of human services may adopt emergency rules under this section
without the finding otherwise required under section 28-32-02.
8. A criminal history record investigation completed under this section may be used to
satisfy the criminal history record investigation requirements of sections 50-11-06.8
50-12-04. Contents of license.
The license to conduct a child-placing agency issued under the provisions of this chapter
must set forth:
1. The name and address of the licensee.
2. The number of children who may be placed by the licensee during the term for which
the license is issued.
3. Whether the licensee is authorized to find foster or adoptive homes for children, or
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50-12-05. Department may prescribe form of records - Make rules - Records open for
The department of human services may prescribe the forms for the registration and record
of children placed by a child-placing agency. The department shall make such reasonable rules
and regulations in connection with such placements as are necessary to carry out the purposes
of this chapter. All records must be open to the inspection of the department.
50-12-06. Placement contract.
Every child-placing agency upon placing a child in a foster or an adoptive home shall enter
a written agreement with the persons taking the child. The agreement must provide:
1. The placing agency has access at all reasonable times to such child and to the home
in which the child is living; and
2. For the return of the child to the placing agency whenever in the opinion of the agency,
or of the department of human services, the best interests of the child require the
50-12-07. Duties of licensee.
Every licensee shall:
1. Keep a full record and social history of each child received for placement and a similar
record and history of the licensee's family.
2. Report to the department of human services:
a. The name and address of each child to be placed in a foster or an adoptive
b. The name and address of the proposed foster or adoptive parents; and
c. Any other facts and information as requested by the department.
3. Visit the proposed foster or adoptive home at frequent intervals and make all
necessary inquiries and investigations as may be necessary to determine whether the
child will become properly adjusted in the home.
4. Continue to visit and supervise each placement as often as may be required by the
department and report in writing to the department the conditions as ascertained by a
50-12-07.1. Objection to placement for religious or moral convictions or policies Effect.
A child-placing agency is not required to perform, assist, counsel, recommend, facilitate,
refer, or participate in a placement that violates the agency's written religious or moral
convictions or policies. A state or local government entity may not deny a child-placing agency
any grant, contract, or participation in a government program because of the child-placing
agency's objection to performing, assisting, counseling, recommending, facilitating, referring, or
participating in a placement that violates the child-placing agency's written religious or moral
convictions or policies. Refusal by a child-placing agency to perform, assist, counsel,
recommend, facilitate, refer, or participate in a placement that violates the child-placing agency's
written religious or moral convictions or policies does not constitute a determination that the
proposed adoption is not in the best interest of the minor.
50-12-08. Child must be placed in suitable home - Department may remove child.
A child may not be placed in any foster or adoptive home until adequate investigation has
been made as to the suitability of the proposed foster or adoptive parents and their home
surroundings. When the department of human services is satisfied that a child has been placed
in an unsuitable home, the department shall order the child-placing agency, in writing, to remove
the child and place the child in a home that meets the approval of the department. If within a
reasonable period of time it appears that suitable arrangements have not been made for the
care of the child, the department shall refer the child to the county social service board of the
county in which the child has legal settlement. The county social service board shall make
immediate arrangements, subject to the approval of the department, for the care and support of
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the child. If the child has no legal settlement within the state, or in case of a dispute as to the
determination of the child's legal settlement or responsibility for the child's support, the child
must be brought before the juvenile court as a dependent child in the county in which the child is
found, as provided by law.
50-12-09. Compensation for child placing.
A child-placing agency in making an adoptive placement may be reimbursed by the
adoptive couple for the cost of making the adoptive study of the home and the supervision and
evaluation of any placement which may be made prior to the legal adoption. No couple may be
deprived of receiving a child for adoption on the basis of inability to pay any portion of such
50-12-10. Revocation of license - Grounds.
The department of human services may revoke the license of any child-placing agency
upon a proper showing of any of the following:
1. The licensee has violated any requirements under this chapter.
2. The license was issued upon fraudulent or untrue representations.
3. The licensee has violated any of the rules and regulations of the department.
4. The licensee has been guilty of an offense determined by the department to have a
direct bearing upon a person's ability to serve the public as a licensee, or the
department determines, following conviction of any offense, the person is not
sufficiently rehabilitated under section 12.1-33-02.1.
50-12-11. Revocation of license - False reports.
If any child-placing agency licensed under the provisions of this chapter makes any false or
misleading report to the department of human services, the license must be suspended
immediately. Upon hearing before the department, if such false or misleading reports are found
to have been made, the license forthwith must be revoked.
50-12-12. Denial or revocation of license - Hearing.
Before any application for a license under this chapter may be denied or before the
revocation of any license may take place, written charges as to the reasons therefor must be
served upon the applicant or licensee. The applicant or licensee has the right to an
administrative hearing as provided under chapter 28-32 if written request for the hearing is
made to the department within thirty days after service of the written charges.
50-12-13. Appeal from denial or revocation of license.
Repealed by S.L. 2003, ch. 417, § 13.
50-12-14. Foreign associations placing children in state - Consent of department
Repealed by S.L. 1975, ch. 445, § 3.
50-12-14.1. Conditions for placement of children in state - Consent of department
Any person undertaking to bring or to send a child into this state for placement in foster
care, as a preliminary to a possible adoption, or for guardianship shall furnish the department of
human services with written notice of the intention to send, bring, or place the child in the state
and shall obtain prior written consent from the department for each child to be so placed. The
notice must contain:
1. The name, date, and place of birth of the child;
2. The identity and address or addresses of the parent or legal guardian;
3. The name and address of the person, agency, or institution to or with which the child is
proposed to be placed;
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A full statement of the reasons for such proposed action and evidence of the authority
pursuant to which the placement is proposed to be made; and
5. Any supporting or additional information as the department determines necessary
under the circumstances.
This section does not apply to the sending or bringing of a child into this state by the child's
parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or the child's
guardian and leaving the child with any such relative or nonagency guardian in this state.
50-12-15. Resident may bring child into state for permanent care - Report.
Repealed by S.L. 1975, ch. 445, § 3.
50-12-16. Taking children from state for placement in family homes - Consent of
department - Report.
No person, partnership, voluntary association, corporation, or limited liability company may
take or send any child out of the state for placement in a family home in another state without
first securing the consent of the department of human services so to do and without first
reporting to the department:
1. The name and address of the child to be taken or sent;
2. The name and address of the family which is to receive the child; and
3. Such other information concerning the family and the child as the department may
This section does not apply to a parent who personally removes the parent's child from the
50-12-17. Licensure requirement - Registration requirement - Penalty.
A person may not place or cause to be placed any child in a family home for adoption
without a license to do so from the department of human services except that a parent, upon
giving written notice to the department, may place the parent's child in the home of the child's
parent, stepparent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, adult uncle or aunt, or guardian for
adoption by the person receiving the child. The child must be considered abandoned if
proceedings for the adoption or guardianship of the child are not initiated by such relative within
one year following the date of notice of placement. A person who willfully violates this chapter is
guilty of a class C felony. For purposes of this section, "to place or cause to be placed" means
to place a child for adoption; arrange or provide for short-term foster care for a child pending an
adoptive placement; facilitate placement of a child by maintaining a list in any form of birth
parents or prospective adoptive parents; or advertise in any public medium that the person
knows of a child who is available for adoption or is willing to accept a child for adoption or that
the person knows of prospective adoptive parents of a child.
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Title 50 Public Welfare
Chapter 50-12 Child-Placing Agency
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