2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.417 Petition for termination of parental rights; when required.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.417 (2017)

48.417 Petition for termination of parental rights; when required.

(1)Filing or joining in petition; when required. Subject to sub. (2), an agency or the district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official designated under s. 48.09 shall file a petition under s. 48.42 (1) to terminate the parental rights of a parent or the parents of a child, or, if a petition under s. 48.42 (1) to terminate those parental rights has already been filed, the agency, district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official shall join in the petition, if any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) The child has been placed outside of his or her home, as described in s. 48.365 (1) or 938.365 (1), in a foster home, group home, nonsecured residential care center for children and youth, or shelter care facility for 15 of the most recent 22 months, not including any period during which the child was a runaway from the out-of-home placement or was residing in a trial reunification home. If the circumstances specified in this paragraph apply, the petition shall be filed or joined in by the last day of the 15th month, as described in this paragraph, for which the child was placed outside of his or her home.

(b) A court of competent jurisdiction has found under s. 48.13 (2) or under a law of any other state or a federal law that is comparable to s. 48.13 (2) that the child was abandoned when he or she was under one year of age or has found that the parent abandoned the child when the child was under one year of age in violation of s. 948.20 or in violation of the law of any other state or federal law, if that violation would be a violation of s. 948.20 if committed in this state. If the circumstances specified in this paragraph apply, the petition shall be filed or joined in within 60 days after the date on which the court of competent jurisdiction found that the child was abandoned as described in this paragraph.

(c) A court of competent jurisdiction has found that the parent has committed, has aided or abetted the commission of, or has solicited, conspired, or attempted to commit, a violation of s. 940.01, 940.02, 940.03, or 940.05 or a violation of the law of any other state or federal law, if that violation would be a violation of s. 940.01, 940.02, 940.03, or 940.05 if committed in this state, and that the victim of that violation is a child of the parent. If the circumstances specified in this paragraph apply, the petition shall be filed or joined in within 60 days after the date on which the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter determines, based on a finding that a circumstance specified in this paragraph applies, that reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return safely to his or her home are not required.

(d) A court of competent jurisdiction has found that the parent has committed a violation of s. 940.19 (3), 1999 stats., a violation of s. 940.19 (2), (4), or (5), 940.225 (1) or (2), 948.02 (1) or (2), 948.025, 948.03 (2) (a), (3) (a), or (5) (a) 1., 2., or 3., 948.051, or 948.085, a violation of s. 940.302 (2) if s. 940.302 (2) (a) 1. b. applies, or a violation of the law of any other state or federal law, if that violation would be a violation listed under this paragraph if committed in this state, and that the violation resulted in great bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (14), or in substantial bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (38), to the child or another child of the parent. If the circumstances specified in this paragraph apply, the petition shall be filed or joined in within 60 days after the date on which the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter determines, based on a finding that a circumstance specified in this paragraph applies, that reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return safely to his or her home are not required.

(2)Filing or joining in petition; when not required. Notwithstanding that any of the circumstances specified in sub. (1) (a), (b), (c) or (d) may apply, an agency or the district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official designated under s. 48.09 need not file a petition under s. 48.42 (1) to terminate the parental rights of a parent or the parents of a child, or, if a petition under s. 48.42 (1) to terminate those parental rights has already been filed, the agency, district attorney, corporation counsel or other appropriate official need not join in the petition, if any of the following circumstances apply:

(a) The child is being cared for by a fit and willing relative of the child.

(b) The child's permanency plan indicates and provides documentation that termination of parental rights to the child is not in the best interests of the child.

(c) The agency primarily responsible for providing services to the family under a court order, if required under s. 48.355 (2) (b) 6. to make reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return safely to his or her home, has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with the time period in the child's permanency plan, the services necessary for the safe return of the child to his or her home.

(cm) In the case of an Indian child, the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the Indian child and the family under a court order, if required under s. 48.355 (2) (b) 6v. to make active efforts under s. 48.028 (4) (d) 2. to prevent the breakup of the Indian child's family, has not provided to the Indian child's family, consistent with the child's permanency plan, the services necessary to prevent the breakup of the Indian child's family.

(d) Grounds for an involuntary termination of parental rights under s. 48.415 do not exist.

(3)Concurrent adoption efforts required. If a petition is filed or joined in as required under sub. (1), the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order shall, during the pendency of the proceeding on the petition, work with the agency identified in the report under s. 48.425 (1) (f) that would be responsible for accomplishing the adoption of the child in processing and approving a qualified family for the adoption of the child.

(4)Notice to department. If a petition is filed or joined in as required under sub. (1), the person who filed or joined in the petition shall notify the department of that filing or joinder.

History: 1997 a. 237; 2001 a. 109; 2005 a. 277; 2007 a. 20, 116; 2009 a. 79, 94; 2011 a. 181; 2015 a. 366.

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