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Substitute House Bill No. 5813

PUBLIC ACT NO. 96-130

AN ACT CONCERNING A TECHNICAL REVISION OF THE ADOPTION STATUTES.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Section 45a-604 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

As used in sections 45a-603 to 45a-622, inclusive: (1) "Mother" means (A) a woman who can show proof by means of a birth certificate or other sufficient evidence of having given birth to a child and (B) an adoptive mother as shown by a decree of a court of competent jurisdiction or otherwise; (2) "Father" means (A) a man who is a father under the law of this state; and (B) a man determined to be a father under chapter 815y; (3) "Parent" means a mother as defined in subdivision (1) of this section or a "father" as defined in subdivision (2) of this section; (4) "Minor" or "minor child" means a person under the age of eighteen; (5) "Guardianship" means guardianship of the person of a minor, and includes: (A) The obligation of care and control; and (B) the authority to make major decisions affecting the minor's welfare, including, but not limited to, consent determinations regarding marriage, enlistment in the armed forces and major medical, psychiatric or surgical treatment; (6) "Guardian" means one who has the authority and obligations of "guardianship" as defined in subdivision (5) of this section (7) "TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS" MEANS THE COMPLETE SEVERANCE BY COURT ORDER OF THE LEGAL RELATIONSHIP, WITH ALL ITS RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES, BETWEEN THE CHILD AND THE CHILD'S PARENT OR PARENTS SO THAT THE CHILD IS FREE FOR ADOPTION, EXCEPT THAT IT SHALL NOT AFFECT THE RIGHT OF INHERITANCE OF THE CHILD OR THE RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OF THE CHILD.

Sec. 2. Section 45a-706 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: The provisions of sections [17a-91, 17a-112, 17a-148, 45a-606,] 45a-706 to 45a-709, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 2 TO 4, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 5 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, 45a-724 to 45a-734, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 8 TO 20, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, 45a-736, 45a-737 and 52-231a shall be liberally construed in the best interests of any child for whom a petition has been filed under said sections.

Sec. 3. Section 45a-707 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-349, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

As used in sections [17a-91, 17a-112, 17a-113, 17a-148,] 45a-187, [45a-606, 45a-607,] 45a-706 to 45a-709, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 2 TO 4, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 5 TO 7, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, AND 45a-724 to 45a-737, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 8 TO 20, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT:[and 52-231a:] [(a)] (1) "Adoption" means the establishment by court order of the legal relationship of parent and child; [(b)] (2) "Child care facility" means a congregate residential setting for the out-of-home placement of children or youth under eighteen years of age, licensed by the Department of Children and Families; [(c)] (3) "Child-placing agency" means any agency within or without the state of Connecticut licensed or approved by the Commissioner of Children and Families in accordance with sections 17a-149 and 17a-151, and in accordance with standards established by regulations of the Commissioner of Children and Families; [(d)] (4) "Guardianship" means guardianship, unless otherwise specified, of the person of a minor and refers to the obligation of care and control, the right to custody and the duty and authority to make major decisions affecting the minor's welfare, including, but not limited to, consent determinations regarding marriage, enlistment in the armed forces and major medical, psychiatric or surgical treatment; [(e)] (5) "Parent" means a [natural] BIOLOGICAL or adoptive parent; (6) "RELATIVE" MEANS ANY PERSON DESCENDED FROM A COMMON ANCESTOR, WHETHER BY BLOOD OR ADOPTION, NOT MORE THAN THREE GENERATIONS REMOVED FROM THE CHILD; [(f)] (7) "Statutory parent" means the Commissioner of Children and Families or the child-placing agency appointed by the court for the purpose of giving a minor child or minor children in adoption; [(g)] (8) "Termination of parental rights" means the complete severance by court order of the legal relationship, with all its rights and responsibilities, between the child and [his] THE CHILD'S parent or parents so that the child is free for adoption except it shall not affect the right of inheritance of the child or the religious affiliation of the child.

Sec. 4. Section 45a-708 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) When, with respect to any petition FOR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS filed under section 17a-112, section 45a-715, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5 OF THIS ACT, or section 45a-716, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THIS ACT, it appears that either parent of the child is a minor or incompetent, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem for such parent. The guardian ad litem shall be an attorney-at-law authorized to practice law in Connecticut or any duly authorized officer of a child-placing agency if the CHILD-PLACING agency is not the petitioner.

(b) The guardian ad litem may be allowed reasonable compensation by the court appointing him which shall be assessed against the petitioner.

(c) If the court finds the petitioner is unable to pay the compensation, the reasonable compensation shall, in the case of the Superior Court, be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department and, in the case of a court of probate, be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

Sec. 5. Section 45a-715 of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 95-349, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any of the following persons may petition the Court of Probate to terminate parental rights of all persons who may have parental rights regarding any minor child or for the termination of parental rights of only one parent provided the application so states: (1) Either or both parents, including a parent who is a minor; (2) the guardian of the child; (3) the selectmen of any town having charge of any foundling child; (4) a duly authorized officer of any child care facility or child-placing agency or organization or any children's home or similar institution approved by the Commissioner of Children and Families; (5) a [blood relative of the child, descended from a common ancestor not more than three generations removed from the child,] RELATIVE OF THE CHILD if the parent or parents have abandoned or deserted the child; (6) the Commissioner of Children and Families, provided the custodial parent of such minor child has consented to the termination of parental rights and the child has not been committed to the commissioner, and no application for commitment has been made; provided in any case hereunder where the [minor] child with respect to whom the petition is brought has attained the age of twelve, the [minor] child shall join in the petition.

(b) A petition for termination of parental rights shall be entitled "In the interest of .... (Name of child), a person under the age of eighteen years", and shall set forth with specificity: (1) The name, sex, date and place of birth, and present address of the child; (2) the name and address of the petitioner, and the nature of the relationship between the petitioner and the child; (3) the names, dates of birth and addresses of the parents of the child, if known, including the name of any putative father named by the mother, and the tribe and reservation of an American Indian parent; (4) if the parent of the child is a minor, the names and addresses of the parents or guardian of the person of such minor; (5) the names and addresses of: (A) The guardian of the person of the child; (B) any guardians ad litem appointed in a prior proceeding; (C) the tribe and reservation of an American Indian child; and (D) the CHILD-PLACING agency which placed the child in his current placement; (6) the facts upon which termination is sought, the legal grounds authorizing termination, the effects of a termination decree and the basis for the jurisdiction of the court; (7) the name of the persons or agencies which have agreed to accept custody or guardianship of the child's person upon disposition.

(c) If the information required under subdivisions (2) and (6) of subsection (b) of this section is not stated, the petition shall be dismissed. If any other facts required under subdivision (1), (3), (4), (5) or (7) of subsection (b) of this section are not known or cannot be ascertained by the petitioner, he shall so state in the petition. If the whereabouts of either parent or the putative father named under subdivision (3) of subsection (b) of this section are unknown, the petitioner shall diligently search for any such parent or putative father. The petitioner shall file an affidavit with the petition indicating the efforts used to locate the parent or putative father.

(d) If a petition indicates that either or both parents consent to the termination of their parental rights, or if any time following the filing of a petition and before the entry of a decree, a parent consents to the termination of his parental rights, each consenting parent shall acknowledge such consent on a form promulgated by the Office of the Chief Court Administrator evidencing to the satisfaction of the court that the parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to the termination of his parental rights. No consent to termination by a mother shall be executed within forty-eight hours immediately after the birth of her child. A parent who is a minor shall have the right to consent to termination of parental rights and such consent shall not be voidable by reason of such minority. A guardian ad litem shall be appointed by the court to assure that such minor parent is giving an informed and voluntary consent.

(e) A petition under this section shall be filed in the court of probate for the district in which the petitioner or the child resides or, in the case of a minor who is under the guardianship of any child care facility or child-placing agency, in the court of probate for the district in which the main office or any local office of the agency is located. If the petition is filed with respect to a child born out of wedlock, the petition shall state whether there is a putative father to whom notice shall be given under subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 45a-716, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THIS ACT.

(f) If any petitioner under subsection (a) is a minor or incompetent, the guardian ad litem, appointed by the court in accordance with section 45a-708, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 4 OF THIS ACT, must approve the [application] PETITION in writing, before action by the court.

(g) Before a hearing on the merits in any case in which a petition for termination of parental rights is contested in a court of probate, the Court of Probate shall, on the motion of any legal party except the petitioner or may on its own motion or that of the petitioner, under rules adopted by the judges of the Supreme Court, transfer the case to the Superior Court. Upon transfer, the clerk of the Court of Probate shall transmit to the clerk of the Superior Court the original files and papers in the case. The Superior Court, upon hearing after notice as provided in sections 45a-716 and 45a-717, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 6 AND 7 OF THIS ACT, may grant the petition as provided in section 45a-717m, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT.

Sec. 6. Section 45a-716 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Upon receipt of a petition for termination of parental rights, the court of probate or the Superior Court, on a case transferred to it from the court of probate in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) of section 45a-715, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5 OF THIS ACT, shall set a time and place for hearing the petition. The time for hearing shall be not more than thirty days after the filing of the petition.

(b) The court shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the following persons as applicable: (1) The parent or parents of the minor child, including any parent who has been removed as guardian on or after October 1, 1973, under section 45a-606; (2) the father of any minor child born out of wedlock, provided at the time of the filing of the petition (A) he has been adjudicated the father of such child by a court of competent jurisdiction, or (B) he has acknowledged in writing to be the father of such child, or (C) he has contributed regularly to the support of such child, or (D) his name appears on the birth certificate, or (E) he has filed a claim for paternity as provided under section 46b-172a, or (F) he has been named in the petition as the father of the [minor] child by the mother; (3) the guardian or any other person whom the court shall deem appropriate; (4) the Commissioner of Children and Families. If the recipient of the notice is a person described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection or is any other person whose parental rights are sought to be terminated in the petition, the notice shall contain a statement that the respondent has the right to be represented by counsel and that if [he] THE RESPONDENT is unable to pay for counsel, counsel will be appointed for [him] THE RESPONDENT. The reasonable compensation for such counsel shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department or, in the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(c) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition, certified by the petitioner, [his] THE PETITIONER'S agent or attorney, or the court clerk, shall be served at least ten days before the date for the hearing by personal service on the persons enumerated in subsection (b) of this section who are within the state, and by certified mail, return receipt requested, on the Commissioner of Children and Families. If the address of any person entitled to personal service is unknown, or if personal service cannot be reasonably effected within the state or if any person enumerated in subsection (b) of this section is out of the state, a judge or clerk of the court shall order notice to be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by publication at least ten days before the date of the hearing. Any publication shall be in a newspaper of general circulation in the place of the last-known address of the person to be notified, whether within or without this state, or if no such address is known, in the place where the termination petition has been filed.

(d) In any proceeding pending in the court of probate, in lieu of personal service on a parent or the father of a child born out of wedlock who is either a petitioner or who signs under oath a written waiver of personal service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by certified mail, return receipt requested, deliverable to addressee only and at least ten days prior to the date of the hearing. If such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, or if the whereabouts of the parents is unknown, then notice shall be ordered to be given by publication, as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

Sec. 7. Section 45a-717 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-238 and section 8 of public act 95-316, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) At the hearing held on any petition for the termination of parental rights filed in the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5 OF THIS ACT, or filed in the Superior Court under section 17a-112, or transferred to the Superior Court from the Court of Probate under section 45a-715, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 5 OF THIS ACT, any party to whom notice was given shall have the right to appear and be heard with respect to the petition. If [the] A parent who is consenting to the termination of [his] SUCH PARENT'S parental rights appears at the hearing on the petition for termination of parental rights, the court shall explain to the parent the meaning and consequences of termination of parental rights. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to require the appearance of a consenting parent at the hearing regarding the termination of [his] SUCH PARENT'S parental rights except as otherwise provided by court order.

(b) If a party appears without counsel, the court shall inform [him] SUCH PARTY of [his] THE PARTY'S right [thereto] TO COUNSEL and upon request, if he OR SHE is unable to pay for counsel, shall appoint counsel to represent [him] SUCH PARTY. No party may waive counsel unless the court has first explained the nature and meaning of a petition for the termination of parental rights. Unless the appointment of counsel is required under section 46b-136, the court may appoint counsel to represent or appear on behalf of any child in a hearing held under this section to speak on behalf of the best interests of the child. If the respondent parent is unable to pay for [his] SUCH RESPONDENT'S own counsel or if the child or the parent or guardian of the child is unable to pay for the child's counsel, in the case of a Superior Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department and, in the case of a Probate Court matter, the reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the respondent parent or the child shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(c) The court shall, if a claim for paternity has been filed in accordance with section 46b-172a, continue the hearing under the provisions of this section until the claim for paternity is adjudicated, provided the court may combine the hearing on the claim for paternity with the hearing on the termination of parental rights petition.

(d) Upon finding at the hearing or at any time during the pendency of the petition that reasonable cause exists to warrant an examination, the court, on its own motion or on motion by any party, may order the child to be examined at a suitable place by a physician, psychiatrist or licensed clinical psychologist appointed by the court. The court may also order examination of a parent or custodian whose competency or ability to care for a child before the court is at issue. The expenses of any examination if ordered by the court on its own motion shall be paid for by the petitioner or, if ordered on motion by a party, shall be paid for by the party moving for such an examination unless such party or petitioner is unable to pay such expenses in which case, in a Superior Court matter, they shall be paid for by funds appropriated to the Judicial Department and in a Probate Court matter, they shall be paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund. The court may consider the results of the examinations in ruling on the merits of the petition.

(e) (1) The court may, and in any contested case shall, request the Commissioner of Children and Families or any child-placing agency licensed by the commissioner to make an investigation and written report to it, within ninety days from the receipt of such request. The report shall indicate the physical, mental and emotional status of the child and shall contain such facts as may be relevant to [determine] THE COURT'S DETERMINATION OF whether the proposed termination of parental rights will be [for the welfare] IN THE BEST INTERESTS of the child, including the physical, mental, social and financial condition of the [natural] BIOLOGICAL parents, and any other factors which the commissioner or such CHILD-PLACING agency finds relevant to [determine] THE COURT'S DETERMINATION OF whether the proposed termination will be [for the welfare] IN THE BEST INTERESTS of the child. (2) If such a report has been requested, upon the expiration of such ninety-day period or upon receipt of the report, whichever is earlier, the court shall set a day for a hearing not more than thirty days thereafter. The court shall give reasonable notice of such adjourned hearing to all parties to the first hearing, including the child, if over fourteen years of age, and to such other persons as the court shall deem appropriate. (3) The report shall be admissible in evidence, subject to the right of any interested party to require that the person making it appear as a witness, if available, and subject himself to examination.

(f) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial hearing where no investigation and report has been requested, the court may approve the petition terminating the parental rights and may appoint a guardian of the person of the child, or if the petitioner requests, the court may appoint a statutory parent, if it finds, upon clear and convincing evidence that the termination is in the best interest of the child and that, with respect to any consenting parent, such parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of [his] THE PARENT'S parental rights with respect to such child or that, with respect to any non-consenting parent, over an extended period of time which, except as provided in subsection (g) of this section, shall not be less than one year: (1) The child has been abandoned by the parent in the sense that the parent has failed to maintain a reasonable degree of interest, concern or responsibility as to the welfare of the child; or (2) the child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, the care, guidance or control necessary for [his] THE CHILD'S physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Non-accidental or inadequately explained serious physical injury to a child shall constitute prima facie evidence of acts of parental commission or omission sufficient for the termination of parental rights; or (3) there is no ongoing parent-child relationship which is defined as the relationship that ordinarily develops as a result of a parent having met on a continuing, day-to-day basis the physical, emotional, moral and educational needs of the child and to allow further time for the establishment or reestablishment of the parent-child relationship would be detrimental to the best interests of the child; or (4) the parent of a child who has been found by the Superior Court to have been neglected or uncared for in a prior proceeding has failed to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child. If the court denies a petition for consent termination of parental rights, it may refer the matter to [an] A CHILD-PLACING agency to assess the needs of the child, the care the child is receiving and the plan of the parent for the child.

(g) The court may waive the requirement that one year expire prior to the termination of parental rights if it finds: (1) From the totality of the circumstances surrounding the child that such a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child. Abandonment of a child under the age of six months shall constitute prima facie evidence that a waiver is necessary to promote the best interest of the child, provided (A) the parent has neither had nor initiated contact with the child or the guardian or caretaker of the child for at least sixty consecutive days and (B) the whereabouts of the parent are unknown, despite a diligent search for the parent by the Department of Children and Families. The department shall file an affidavit indicating the efforts used to locate the parent; or (2) the child is under seven years of age and has been in the custody and care of the Department of Children and Families for at least three months pursuant to a commitment under subsection (d) of section 46b-129, and the child will be at imminent risk of abuse or neglect if returned to the parent, provided (A) the parent has had parental rights terminated with respect to a sibling of the child or (B) a sibling of the child has suffered non-accidental or inadequately explained death as a result of parental acts of omission or commission.

(h) Except in the case where termination is based on consent, in determining whether to terminate parental rights under this section, the court shall consider and shall make written findings regarding: (1) The timeliness, nature and extent of services offered or provided to the parent and the child by [an] A CHILD-PLACING agency to facilitate the reunion of the child with the parent; (2) the terms of any applicable court order entered into and agreed upon by any individual or CHILD-PLACING agency and the parent, and the extent to which all parties have fulfilled their obligations under such order; (3) the feelings and emotional ties of the child with respect to [his] THE CHILD'S parents, any guardian of [his] THE CHILD'S person and any person who has exercised physical care, custody or control of the child for at least one year and with whom the child has developed significant emotional ties; (4) the age of the child; (5) the efforts the parent has made to adjust [his] SUCH PARENT'S circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it in the best interest of the child to return [him] THE CHILD to [his] THE PARENT'S home in the foreseeable future, including, but not limited to, (A) the extent to which the parent has maintained contact with the child as part of an effort to reunite the child with the parent, provided the court may give weight to incidental visitations, communications or contributions and (B) the maintenance of regular contact or communication with the guardian or other custodian of the child; and (6) the extent to which a parent has been prevented from maintaining a meaningful relationship with the child by the unreasonable act or conduct of the other parent of the child, or the unreasonable act of any other person or by the economic circumstances of the parent.

(i) If the parental rights of only one parent are being terminated, the remaining parent shall be sole parent and, unless otherwise provided by law, guardian of the person.

(j) Consent for termination of the parental rights of one parent does not diminish the parental rights of the other parent of the child, nor does it relieve the other parent of the duty to support the child.

(k) In the case where termination of parental rights is granted, the guardian of the person or statutory parent shall report to the court within ninety days of the date judgment is entered on a case plan, as defined by the federal Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, AS AMENDED FROM TIME TO TIME, for the child. At least every six months thereafter, such guardian or statutory parent shall make a report to the court on the implementation of the plan. The court shall convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the plan no more than fifteen months from the date judgment is entered and at least once a year thereafter until such time as any proposed adoption plan has become finalized.

Sec. 8. Section 45a-724 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The following persons may give a child in adoption: (1) A statutory parent appointed under the provisions of section 17a-112, section 45a-717, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT, or section 45a-718 may, by written agreement, subject to the approval of the court of probate as provided in section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT, give in adoption to any adult person any minor child of whom he is the statutory parent; provided, if the child has attained the age of twelve, the child shall consent to the agreement. (2) Subject to the approval of the court of probate as provided in section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT, any parent of a minor child may agree in writing with his or her spouse that the spouse shall adopt or join in the adoption of the child; if that parent is (A) the surviving parent if the other parent has died; (B) the mother of a child born out of wedlock, provided that if there is a putative father who has been notified under the provisions of section 45a-716, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 6 OF THIS ACT, the rights of the putative father have been terminated; (C) a former single person who adopted a child and thereafter married; or (D) the sole guardian of the person of the child, if the other parent's parental rights have been terminated or the other parent has been removed as guardian of the person before October 1, 1973. (3) Subject to the approval of the court of probate as provided in section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT, the guardian or guardians of the person of any minor child who is free for adoption in accordance with section 45a-725, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 9 OF THIS ACT, may agree in writing with a [blood relative descended from a common ancestor not more than three generations removed from the child] RELATIVE that the [blood] relative shall adopt the child. For the purposes of this subsection ["blood relative"] "RELATIVE" shall include, but not be limited to, A PERSON WHO HAS BEEN ADJUDGED BY A COURT OF COMPETENT JURISDICTION TO BE the father of [an illegitimate child who has been adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be the father of the child] A CHILD BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK, or who has acknowledged his paternity under the provisions of section 46b-172a, with further [blood] relationship to the child determined through the father.

(b) If all parties consent to the adoption under subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section, then the application to be filed under section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT, shall be combined with the consent termination of parental rights to be filed under section 45a-717, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 7 OF THIS ACT. An application made under subdivisions (2) and (3) of subsection (a) of this section shall not be granted in the case of any child who has attained the age of twelve without the child's consent.

Sec. 9. Section 45a-725 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof: A minor child shall be considered free for

adoption and the court of probate may grant an application for the appointment of a statutory parent if any of the following have occurred: (a) The child has no living parents; (b) the parents were removed as guardians of the person before October 1, 1973, in accordance with the provisions of Connecticut law in effect before October 1, 1973; (c) all parental rights have been terminated under Connecticut law; (d) (1) in the case of any child from outside the United States, its territories or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico placed for adoption by the Commissioner of Children and Families or by any child-placing agency, the petitioner has filed an affidavit that the child has no living parents or that the child is free for adoption and that the rights of all parties in connection with the child have been properly terminated under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child was domiciled before being removed to the state of Connecticut; or (2) in the case of any child from any of the United States, its territories or the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico placed by the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency, the petitioner has filed an affidavit that the child has no living parents or has filed in court a certified copy of the court decree in which the rights of all parties in connection with the child have been terminated under the laws of the jurisdiction in which the child was domiciled before being removed to the state of Connecticut, and the child-placing agency obtained guardianship or other court authority to place the child for adoption. If no such affidavit or certified decree has been filed, then termination of parental rights proceedings shall be required. [in accordance with sections 17a-112, 17a-113, 45a-187, 45a-606, 45a-607, 45a-706 to 45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, 45a-724 to 45a-737, inclusive, 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, and 52-231a.]

Sec. 10. Section 45a-726 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

If the Commissioner of Children and Families is appointed as statutory parent for any child free for adoption, [under section 45a-725, said] THE commissioner shall not refuse to place such child with any prospective adoptive parent solely on the basis of a difference in race.

Sec. 11. Section 45a-726a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Notwithstanding any provision of sections 4a-60a and 46a-81a to 46a-81p, inclusive, the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency may consider the sexual orientation of the prospective adoptive or foster parent or parents when placing a child for adoption or in foster care [, as the case may be.] Nothing in this section shall be deemed to require the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency to place a child for adoption or in foster care with a prospective adoptive or foster parent or parents who are homosexual or bisexual.

Sec. 12. Section 45a-727 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) (1) Each adoption matter shall be instituted by filing an application in a court of probate, together with the written agreement of adoption, in duplicate. One of the duplicates shall be sent [forthwith] IMMEDIATELY to the Commissioner of Children and Families.

(2) The application shall incorporate a declaration that to the best of the knowledge and belief of the declarant there is no other proceeding pending or contemplated in any other court affecting the custody of the child to be adopted, or if there is such a proceeding, a statement in detail of the nature of the proceeding and [averring] AFFIRMING that the proposed adoption would not conflict with or interfere with the other proceeding. The court shall not proceed on any application which does not contain such a declaration. The application shall be signed by one or more of the parties to the agreement, who may waive notice of any hearing on it. For the purposes of this declaration, visitation rights granted by any court shall not be considered as affecting the custody of the child. (3) An application for the adoption of a minor child not related to the adopting parents shall not be accepted by the court of probate unless (A) the child sought to be adopted has been placed for adoption by the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency, [except as provided by section 45a-764,] and the placement for adoption has been approved by the commissioner or a child-placing agency; (B) THE PLACEMENT REQUIREMENTS OF THIS SECTION HAVE BEEN WAIVED BY THE ADOPTION REVIEW BOARD AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 45a-764; OR (C) THE APPLICATION IS FOR ADOPTION OF A MINOR CHILD BY A STEPPARENT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 45a-733, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 19 OF THIS ACT. The commissioner or a child-placing agency may place a child in adoption who has been identified or located by a prospective parent, provided any such placement shall be made in accordance with regulations promulgated by the commissioner pursuant to section 45a-728, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 13 OF THIS ACT. If any such placement is not made in accordance with such regulations, the adoption application shall not be approved by the court of probate. (4) The application and the agreement of adoption shall be filed in the court of probate for the district where the adopting parent resides or in the district where the main office or any local office of the statutory parent is located. (5) The provisions of section 17a-152, regarding placement of a child from another state, and section 17a-175, regarding the interstate compact on the placement of children, shall apply to adoption placements.

(b) (1) The court of probate shall request [said] THE commissioner or a child-placing agency to make an investigation and written report to it, in duplicate, within ninety days from the receipt of such request. A duplicate of the report shall be sent [forthwith] IMMEDIATELY to the Commissioner of Children and Families. (2) The report shall be filed with the court of probate within the ninety-day period. The report shall indicate the physical and mental status of the child and shall also contain such facts as may be relevant to determine whether the proposed adoption will be [for the welfare] IN THE BEST INTERESTS of the child, including the physical, mental, social and financial condition of the parties to the agreement and the [natural] BIOLOGICAL parents of the child, if known. The report may set forth conclusions as to whether or not the proposed adoption will be [for the welfare] IN THE BEST INTERESTS of the child. (3) The report shall be admissible in evidence subject to the right of any interested party to require that the person making it appear as a witness, if available, and subject himself to examination. (4) For any report under this section the court of probate may assess against the adopting parent or parents a reasonable fee covering the cost and expenses of making the investigation. The fee shall be paid to the state or to the child-placing agency making the investigation and report, [as the case may be,] provided the report shall be made within the ninety-day period or other time set by the court.

(c) (1) Upon the expiration of the ninety-day period or upon the receipt of such report, whichever is first, the court of probate shall set a day for a hearing upon the agreement and shall give reasonable notice of the hearing to the parties to the agreement, the Commissioner [of children and youth services] OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES and to the child, if over twelve years of age.

(2) At the hearing the court may deny the

application, enter a final decree approving the adoption if it is satisfied that the adoption is [for] IN the best interests of the child or order a further investigation and written report to be filed, in duplicate, within whatever period of time it directs. A duplicate of such report shall be sent to the commissioner. The court may adjourn the hearing to a day after that fixed for filing the report. If such report has not been filed with the court within the specified time, the court may thereupon deny the application or enter a final decree in the manner provided in this section. (3) The court of probate shall not disapprove any adoption under this section solely because of an adopting parent's marital status or because of a difference in race, color or religion between a prospective adopting parent and the child to be adopted or because the adoption may be subsidized in accordance with the provisions of section 17a-117. (4) The court of probate shall ascertain as far as possible the date and the place of birth of the child and shall incorporate such facts in the final decree, a copy of which shall be sent to the Commissioner of Children and Families.

Sec. 13. Section 45a-728 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[Not later than December 31, 1986, the] THE Commissioner of Children and Families shall adopt regulations in accordance with chapter 54 concerning adoption placement of children who have been identified or located by prospective adoptive parents. Such regulations shall provide that for adoptions involving an identified expectant mother, counseling of the birth mother shall be required within seventy-two hours of birth of the child, or as soon as medically possible after the birth, and that permissible payment of expenses for birth parent counseling shall include the cost of transportation. Such counseling may be provided by a person with a masters or doctoral degree in counseling, psychology or related mental health disciplines from an accredited college or university.

Sec. 14. Section 45a-728a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Prospective adoptive parents may participate in the labor and birth of the child identified for adoption and may visit with such newborn child, provided the birth mother, the [adoption] CHILD-PLACING agency and her physician agree and such participation and visitation are consistent with the medically necessary procedures of the hospital.

Sec. 15. Section 45a-728b of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any licensed hospital discharging a newborn infant identified for adoption to [an adoption] A CHILD-PLACING agency shall arrange for the physical transfer of custody of such infant to take place in a safe, secure and private room on the hospital premises. The prospective adoptive parents may be present at the discharge with the approval of the [adoption] CHILD-PLACING agency. At the time of discharge, the hospital shall provide such prospective adoptive parents or [adoption] CHILD-PLACING agency with any non-identifying information customarily provided to birth parents upon discharge concerning the care, feeding and health of the infant. The hospital shall provide the [adoption] CHILD-PLACING agency with the medical information concerning the birth mother and the infant within a reasonable time. Such prospective adoptive parents shall be permitted to participate in any program of instruction regarding infant care and child development that is made available by such licensed hospital to birth parents, provided such prospective adoptive parents pay the cost of such participation in such program.

Sec. 16. Section 45a-728d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Any birth parent may advertise through any public media in this state for the placement of his or her child for the purposes of identified adoption. Any prospective adoptive parent may advertise through any public media in this state for [a] placement of a child [in] INTO his or her care for the purposes of identified adoption.

Sec. 17. Section 45a-730 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT, when the adoption of a minor child born outside the United States or its territories has been finalized in a jurisdiction other than the United States or its territories, and such minor is unable to obtain citizenship in the United States because the adoptive parents did not personally see and observe the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings, a petition for validation of such adoption may be filed with a court of probate.

(b) The petition may be made by an adoptive parent or a duly authorized officer of any child-placing agency.

(c) The petition shall be filed in the court of probate in which the petitioner resides or in the district in which the main office or any local office of the child-placing agency is located.

(d) The petition shall be accompanied by an authenticated and exemplified copy of the adoption unless, upon a showing of good cause, the court waives such requirement.

(e) Upon receipt of the petition the court shall hold a hearing on said petition within forty-five days, and shall order such notice as it may direct.

(f) The court may validate the adoption of the minor child if it finds after hearing that: (1) The adoption of the [minor] child born outside the United States or its territories occurred outside the United States or its territories and (2) United States Immigration and Naturalization Services refuses to naturalize said minor because the adoptive parents did not personally see and observe the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings, and (3) it is in the best interest of the [minor] child.

(g) Any validation pursuant to a petition filed under this section shall not be construed to validate an adoption otherwise invalid in accordance with the law of the place of adoption.

Sec. 18. Section 45a-731 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

A final decree of adoption, whether issued by a court of this state or a court of any other jurisdiction, shall have the following effect in this state:

(1) All rights, duties and other legal consequences of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL relation of child and parent shall thereafter exist between the adopted person and the adopting parent and his relatives. Such adopted person shall be treated as if he were the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL child of the adopting parent, for all purposes including the applicability of statutes which do not expressly exclude an adopted person in their operation or effect; (2) The adopting parent and the adopted person shall have rights of inheritance from and through each other and the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL and adopted relatives of the adopting parent. The right of inheritance of an adopted person extends to the heirs of such adopted person, and such heirs shall be the same as if such adopted person were the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL child of the adopting parent; (3) The adopted person and the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL children and other adopted children of the adopting parent shall be treated, unless otherwise provided by statute, as siblings, having rights of inheritance from and through each other. Such rights of inheritance extend to the heirs of such adopted person and of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL children and other adopted children, and such heirs shall be the same as if each such adopted person were the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL child of the adopting parent; (4) The adopted person shall, except as hereinafter provided, be treated as if he were the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL child of the adopting parent for purposes of the applicability of all documents and instruments, whether executed before or after the adoption decree is issued, which do not expressly exclude an adopted person in their operation or effect. The words "child", "children", "issue", "descendant", "descendants", "heir", "heirs", "lawful heirs", "grandchild" and "grandchildren", when used in any will or trust instrument shall include legally adopted persons unless such document clearly indicates a contrary intention. Nothing in this section shall be construed to alter or modify the provisions of section 45a-257 [regarding children born through A.I.D.] CONCERNING REVOCATION OF A WILL WHEN A CHILD IS BORN AS THE RESULT OF ARTIFICIAL INSEMINATION; (5) The legal relationship between the adopted person and his [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents and the relatives of such [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents is terminated for all purposes, including the applicability of statutes which do not expressly include such an adopted person in their operation and effect. The [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents of the adopted person is relieved of all parental rights and responsibilities; (6) The [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents and their relatives shall have no rights of inheritance from or through the adopted person, nor shall the adopted person have any rights of inheritance from or through his [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents and their relatives, except as provided in this section; (7) The legal relationship between the adopted person and his [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents and the relatives of such [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents is terminated for purposes of the construction of documents and instruments, whether executed before or after the adoption decree is issued, which do not expressly include the individual by name or by some designation not based on a parent and child or blood relationship, except as provided in this section; (8) Notwithstanding the provisions of subdivisions (1) to (7), inclusive, OF THIS SECTION, when one of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents of a minor child has died and the surviving parent has remarried subsequent to such parent's death, adoption of such child by the person with whom such remarriage is contracted shall not affect the rights of such child to inherit from or through the deceased parent and [his] THE DECEASED PARENT'S relatives; (9) Nothing in this section shall deprive an adopted person who is the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL child of a veteran who served in time of war as defined in section 27-103 of aid under the provisions of section 27-140 or deprive a child receiving benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 USC Sec. 301 et seq., as amended from time to time, from continued receipt of benefits authorized under said act; (10) Except as provided in subdivision (11) OF THIS SECTION, the provisions of law in force prior to October 1, 1959, affected by the provisions of this section shall apply to the estates or wills of persons dying prior to said date and to inter vivos instruments executed prior to said date and which on said date were not subject to the grantor's power to revoke or amend; (11) The provisions of subdivisions (1) to (9), inclusive, of this section shall apply to the estate or wills of persons dying prior to October 1, 1959, and to inter vivos instruments executed prior to said date and which on said date were not subject to the grantor's power to revoke or amend, unless (A) a contrary intention of the testator or grantor is demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence or (B) distribution of the estate or under the will or under the inter vivos instrument has been or will be made pursuant to court order entered prior to October 1, 1991; (12) No fiduciary, distributee of the estate, or person to whom a legacy has been paid shall be liable to any other person for any action taken or benefit received prior to October 1, 1991, provided any such action was taken or benefit was received in good faith by such fiduciary, distributee or legatee with respect to the applicability of statutes concerning the rights of inheritance or rights to take of adopted persons under any instrument executed prior to October 1, 1959; (13) No fiduciary shall have the obligation to determine the rights of inheritance or rights to take of an adopted person under an instrument executed prior to October 1, 1959, unless the fiduciary receives a written claim for benefits by or on behalf of such adopted person.

Sec. 19. Section 45a-733 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 45a-727, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 12 OF THIS ACT in the case of a child sought to be adopted by a stepparent, the Court of Probate may waive all requirements of notice to the Commissioner of Children and Families and shall waive, unless good cause is shown for an investigation and report, all requirements for investigation and report by the Commissioner of Children and Families or by a child-placing agency. Upon receipt of the application and agreement, the Court of Probate may set a day for a hearing upon the agreement and shall give reasonable notice of the hearing to the parties to the agreement and to the child, if over twelve years of age.

(b) At the hearing the court may deny the application, enter a final decree approving the adoption if it is satisfied that the adoption is [for] IN the best interests of the child, or, for good cause shown, order an investigation by the Commissioner of Children and Families or a child-placing agency.

Sec. 20. Section 45a-734 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person eighteen years of age or older may, by written agreement with another person at least eighteen years of age but younger than himself OR HERSELF, unless the other person is his or her wife, husband, brother, sister, uncle or aunt of the whole or half-blood, adopt the other person as his OR HER child, provided the written agreement shall be approved by the court of probate for the district in which the adopting parent resides or, if the adopting parent is not an inhabitant of this state, for the district in which the adopted person resides.

(b) The court of probate may, upon presentation of the agreement of adoption for approval, cause public notice to be given of the time and place of hearing on the agreement. If at the hearing the court finds that it will be for the welfare of the adopted person and for the public interest that the agreement be approved, it may pass an order of approval of it and cause the agreement and the order to be recorded. Thereupon the adopted person shall become the legal child of the adopting person, and the adopting person shall become the legal parent of the adopted person, and the provisions of section 45a-731, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 18 OF THIS ACT, shall apply.

(c) A married person shall not adopt a person under the provisions of this section unless both husband and wife join in the adoption agreement, except that the court of probate may approve an adoption agreement by either of them upon finding that there is sufficient reason why the other should not join in the agreement.

(d) When one of the [natural] BIOLOGICAL parents of an adult has died and the surviving parent remarries, the person with whom the remarriage is [solemnized] CELEBRATED may become an adopting parent without the [natural] BIOLOGICAL parent's joining in the adoption except to consent in writing. Upon the approval of the court, the adopted person shall be in law the child of both.

Sec. 21. Section 45a-743 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of public act 95-179 and section 14 of public act 95-316, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

For the purposes of sections 7-53, [17a-124,] 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 21 TO 35, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, and 46b-124, the following terms have the following meanings: (1) "ADOPTABLE PERSON" MEANS A PERSON WHO HAS NOT BEEN ADOPTED BUT WHOSE BIOLOGICAL PARENTS HAD THEIR PARENTAL RIGHTS TERMINATED UNDER THE LAWS OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT. [(1)] (2) "Adopted person" means (A) a person who was adopted under the laws of [this] THE state OF CONNECTICUT or (B) A PERSON who was adopted in another jurisdiction but whose [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents have had their parental rights terminated in [this] THE state OF CONNECTICUT "adoptable person" means a person who has not been adopted but whose genetic parents have had their parental rights terminated under the laws of this state.] [(2) "Adult adopted or adoptable person" means an adopted or adoptable person who has reached the age of majority, as defined in section 1-1d. If such person is deceased, "adult adopted or adoptable person" means adult descendants, including legally adopted persons.] (3) "AUTHORIZED APPLICANT" MEANS (A) AN ADULT ADOPTED OR ADULT ADOPTABLE PERSON, (B) ANY BIOLOGICAL PARENT OF AN ADULT ADOPTED OR ADULT ADOPTABLE PERSON, INCLUDING ANY PERSON CLAIMING TO BE THE FATHER WHO WAS NOT A PARTY TO THE PROCEEDINGS FOR THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS, (C) ANY ADULT BIOLOGICAL SIBLING OF ANY ADULT ADOPTED OR ADULT ADOPTABLE PERSON, AND (D) IF THE ADOPTED OR ADULT ADOPTABLE PERSON IS DECEASED, ANY ADULT DESCENDANTS, INCLUDING LEGALLY ADOPTED DESCENDANTS. [(3)] (4) "Department" means the Department of Children and Families. [(4) "Agency" means a child-placing agency or a child-care agency as defined in section 45a-707.] (5) "Information" includes information in the records of the courts of probate, Superior Court, the department or CHILD-PLACING agency OR CHILD CARE FACILITY, the registrars of vital statistics and the Department of Public Health. (6) ["Genetic parent"] "BIOLOGICAL PARENT" means the [natural] BIOLOGICAL mother or father of [the adopted or adoptable] A person. [(7) "Registrant" means the person seeking the consent match and filing the registration.] (7) "RELATIVE" MEANS ANY PERSON DESCENDED FROM A COMMON ANCESTOR, WHETHER BY BLOOD OR ADOPTION, NOT MORE THAN THREE GENERATIONS REMOVED FROM THE CHILD. [(8) "Applicant" means a person permitted to seek identifying information in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-750, including any genetic parent, any person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for the termination of parental rights, any adult adopted or adoptable person and any adult biological sibling of an adult adopted or adoptable person.]

Sec. 22. Section 45a-744 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 95-179, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

It is the [intent] POLICY of [sections 7-53, 17a-124, 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, and 46b-124, (1)] THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT to make available to [adult] adopted [persons] and [adult] ADOPTABLE persons [whose genetic parents have had their rights terminated] WHO ARE ADULTS (1) information concerning their background and status; to give the same information to their adoptive parent or parents; and, in any case where such adult persons are deceased, to give the same information to their adult descendants, including adopted descendants except A COPY OF THEIR ORIGINAL BIRTH CERTIFICATE as provided by section 7-51; (2) to provide for consensual release of additional information which may identify the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents or relatives of such adult ADOPTED OR ADOPTABLE persons when release of such information is in the best interests of such persons; (3) except as provided in subdivisions (4) and (5), to protect the right to privacy of all parties to termination of parental rights, statutory parent and adoption proceedings; (4) to make available to any [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent of an ADULT adopted or ADULT adoptable person, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for termination of parental rights, information which would tend to identify such ADULT adopted or ADULT adoptable person; and (5) to make available to any adult biological sibling of an ADULT adopted or ADULT adoptable person information which would tend to identify such ADULT adopted or ADULT adoptable person.

Sec. 23. Section 45a-745 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) For each final decree of adoption decreed by a court of probate, the clerk of the court shall prepare a record on a form prescribed by the Department of Public Health. The record shall include all facts necessary to locate and identify the original birth certificate of the adopted person and to establish the new birth certificate of the adopted person, and shall include official notice from the court of the [fact of] adoption, including identification of the court action and proceedings.

(b) Each petitioner for adoption, the attorney for the petitioner and each social or welfare agency or other person concerned with the adoption shall supply the clerk with information which is necessary to complete the adoption record. The supplying of the information shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of a final adoption decree by the court.

(c) Not later than the fifteenth day of each calendar month, the clerk of the court of probate shall forward to the Department of Public Health the record provided for in subsection (a) of this section for all final adoption decrees issued during the preceding month.

(d) When the Department of Public Health receives a record of adoption for a person born outside the state, the record shall be forwarded to the proper registration authority of the place of birth.

(e) The Department of Public Health, upon receipt of a record of adoption for a person born in this state, shall establish a new certificate of birth in the manner prescribed in section 7-53, except that no new certificate of birth shall be established if the court decreeing the adoption, the adoptive parents or the adopted person, if over fourteen years of age, so requests.

Sec. 24. Section 45a-746 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) To the extent reasonably available, the following information concerning the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents of any adopted or adoptable person shall be recorded by the CHILD-PLACING agency or department which has access to the information, in writing on a form provided by the department: (1) Age of [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent in years, not dates of birth, at the birth of the adopted or adoptable person; (2) heritage of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents, which shall include (A) nationality, (B) ethnic background and (C) race; (3) education, which shall be number of years of school completed by the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents; (4) general physical appearance of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents at the time of the birth of the adopted or adoptable person in terms of height, weight, color of hair, eyes, skin and other information of a similar nature; (5) talents, hobbies and special interests of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents; (6) existence of any other child or children born to either [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent of the adopted or adoptable person; (7) reasons for placing the child for adoption or for [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parental rights being terminated; (8) religion of [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents; (9) field of occupation of [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents in general terms; (10) health history of [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents and blood relatives, on a standardized form provided by the department; (11) manner in which plans for the adopted or adoptable person's future were made by [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents; (12) relationship between the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents; and (13) any other relevant nonidentifying information. In addition, such information to the extent reasonably available and applicable concerning the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL and adoptive grandparents, adoptive siblings, and siblings of the whole blood and half-blood and such siblings of the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents shall be recorded by the CHILD-PLACING agency or department which has access to the information in writing on a form provided by the department.

(b) The information in SUBSECTION (a) OF this section, if available, shall be given in writing to the adopting parents not later than the date of finalization of the adoption proceedings.

(c) [In addition, upon request, made at any time, such] THE information IN SUBSECTION (a) OF THIS SECTION and any other nonidentifying information furnished to the CHILD-PLACING agency from time to time shall be made available in writing [within sixty days of receipt of the request] UPON WRITTEN REQUEST to the following persons provided the CHILD-PLACING agency or department is satisfied as to the identity of such persons: (1) [The adoptive parent or parents or legally authorized representative of a minor adopted person; (2) the adoptive parent or parents or legally authorized representative of an adult adopted person, with the notarized permission of such adopted person or his legally authorized representative; (3) the adult adopted person; (4) the adult adoptable person and (5) if the adult adopted or adoptable person is deceased, any adult descendants, including legally adopted descendants, of such adult person provided a certificate of death of such person is presented] THE ADOPTED OR ADOPTABLE PERSON WHO IS AN ADULT; (2) THE ADOPTIVE PARENTS OF THE ADOPTED PERSON, PROVIDED IF THE ADOPTED PERSON IS AN ADULT, SUCH ADOPTED PERSON MUST GIVE NOTARIZED PERMISSION TO THE PARENTS; (3) THE GUARDIAN OR LEGALLY AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE OF AN ADOPTED OR ADOPTABLE PERSON; (4) IF THE ADOPTED OR ADOPTABLE PERSON IS DECEASED, ANY ADULT DESCENDANTS, INCLUDING LEGALLY ADOPTED DESCENDANTS, OF SUCH PERSON, PROVIDED A CERTIFICATE OF DEATH OF SUCH PERSON IS PRESENTED. ANY INFORMATION REQUESTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE APPLICANT WITHIN SIXTY DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE REQUEST. The CHILD-PLACING agency, department or court [, as the case may be,] shall notify in writing any person making such request if the information cannot be made available within sixty days and shall state the reason for the delay.

(d) At any time, upon written request, any [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent shall be given in writing, for purposes of verifying, correcting and adding information, any information in subdivisions (1) to (13), inclusive, of subsection (a) of this section, provided the CHILD-PLACING agency, department or court [, as the case may be,] is satisfied as to the identity of the parent making this request. Such information shall be provided within sixty days of receipt of such request unless the CHILD-PLACING agency, department or court [, as the case may be,] notifies the person requesting such information that it cannot be made available within sixty days and states the reason for the delay. Any such [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent who believes such information to be inaccurate or incomplete may add a statement to the record setting forth what he or she believes to be an accurate or complete version of such information or updated information. Such statement shall become a permanent part of the record and shall be included with any information disclosed pursuant to this section.

(e) None of the information provided for in this section shall be made available if it is of such a nature that it would tend to identify a [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents of the adopted person, except as provided in sections 45a-750, 45a-751 and 45a-753, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 28, 29 AND 33 OF THIS ACT, AND SECTIONS 30 AND 31 OF THIS ACT.

(f) The provisions of chapter 55 shall not apply to the provisions of this section.

Sec. 25. Section 45a-747 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

For any adoption completed before October 1, 1977, information in section 45a-746, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THIS ACT [4m, [0m if available, shall be given in writing to the adoptive parent or parents of [a minor] AN adopted person [or the adoptive parent or parents of an adult adopted person,] upon their written request to the CHILD-PLACING agency, department, court of probate or superior court which has the information. [, provided any] ANY such request shall be accompanied by a statement made by such adopted person under oath authorizing such disclosure.

Sec. 26. Section 45a-748 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

Each CHILD-PLACING agency or the department shall be required to make a reasonable effort to obtain the information provided for in section 45a-746, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THIS ACT, for each child being placed for adoption or for whom there is a probability of adoption, but the lack of such information shall not be a bar to the granting of a decree of adoption, provided the CHILD-PLACING agency or department has made a reasonable effort to obtain the information. If the judge of probate decides that a reasonable effort has not been made to obtain the information or that the information is being unreasonably withheld, the judge may order the CHILD-PLACING agency or department to make a reasonable effort to obtain the information or to release the information. Any CHILD-PLACING agency or department aggrieved by the order may appeal to the Superior Court.

Sec. 27. Section 45a-749 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[Any adult adopted or adoptable person or any adoptive parent or parents or legally authorized representative of a minor adopted person or any adoptive parent or parents or legally authorized representative of an adult adopted person, with the permission of such adopted person or his or her legal representative] A PERSON ENTITLED TO NONIDENTIFYING INFORMATION UNDER SUBSECTION (c) OF SECTION 45a-746, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THIS ACT, may request the information provided in section 45a-746, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THIS ACT, by applying in person or in writing to the CHILD-PLACING agency in this state or the department which has the information. Such information shall not be released unless the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be,] is satisfied as to the identity of the person requesting information under the provisions of this section. For the purposes of this section, any records at the Court of Probate or the Superior Court or the Department of Public Health [, as the case may be,] shall be available to an authorized representative of the CHILD-PLACING agency or department to which the request has been made. Such information may be released in writing or in person.

Sec. 28. Section 45a-750 of the general statutes, as amended by section 3 of public act 95-179, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

[(a) Any adult adopted person or any adult adoptable person may request, in writing, in accordance with subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of section 45a-751, release of information which would tend to identify the genetic parent or parents or blood or adoptive relative of such adult adopted person.] (a) [In addition, a] A certificate of birth registration or a certified copy of the certificate of birth shall be issued in accordance with section 7-52 or 7-56 to any adoptable person by the Department of Public Health whether or not such person knows the names of his or her birth parents, provided such department is satisfied as to the identity of the person for whom the certificate is being requested. Any CHILD-PLACING agency, the department or any court having information which is needed to locate such certificate shall furnish it to the Department of Public Health.

(b) Any person for whom there is only a removal of custody or removal of guardianship, and such removal took place in this state shall be given information which may identify the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents or any [blood or adoptive] relative of such person, upon request, in PERSON OR IN writing, in accordance with subsection [(d) of section 45a-751] (f) OF SECTION 31 OF THIS ACT, provided such information with respect to any [blood or adoptive] relative shall not be released unless the consents required in subsection [(c) of said section 45a-751] (e) OF SECTION 31 OF THIS ACT are obtained.

[(c) Any genetic parent of an adult adopted or adoptable person, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for termination of parental rights, may request, in writing, in accordance with subsections (a) to (c), inclusive of section 45a-751, release of information which would tend to identify such adopted or adoptable person.

(d) Any adult biological sibling of an adult adopted or adoptable person may request, in writing, in accordance with subsections (a) to (c), inclusive, of section 45a-751, release of information which would tend to identify such adopted or adoptable person.]

[(e)] (c) The provisions of chapter 55 shall not apply to the provisions of this section OR SECTION 45a-751, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 29 OF THIS ACT. Any information provided in this section shall not be released unless the CHILD-PLACING agency, department or court [, as the case may be,] is satisfied as to the identity of the person requesting the information.

Sec. 29. Section 45a-751 of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 95-179 and section 15 of public act 95-316, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any AUTHORIZED applicant [specified in subsection (a), (c) or (d) of section 45a-750] may,BY APPLYING IN PERSON OR IN WRITING TO THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT, request [the information provided in such subsections by applying in person or in writing to the agency or department which has the information] THE RELEASE OF INFORMATION THAT IDENTIFIES OR WOULD TEND TO IDENTIFY BIOLOGICAL RELATIVES WHO ARE UNKNOWN AS THE RESULT OF AN ADOPTION OR TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS. The CHILD-PLACING agency or department shall attempt to locate [such] THE person or persons [in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-753] SOUGHT IN THE REQUEST.

(b) Following such attempt, the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be,] shall furnish the information requested unless: (1) [the] THE consents required by [subsection (c) of this section] SECTION 31 OF THIS ACT are not given; or (2) [unless] the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be,] determines at any time that the release of the requested information would be seriously disruptive to or endanger the physical or emotional health of the applicant; [or the person whose identity is being requested] OR (3) THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT DETERMINES AT ANY TIME THAT THE RELEASE OF THE REQUESTED INFORMATION WOULD BE SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE TO OR ENDANGER THE PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED.

(c) If the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be, so determines, such agency or department,] within sixty days of receipt of the request [,] DENIES THE REQUEST PURSUANT TO SUBSECTION (b) OF THIS SECTION, THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT shall inform the applicant in writing of its [decision] DETERMINATION. If [such decision] A DETERMINATION TO GRANT OR TO DENY THE REQUEST is not reached within sixty days, the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be,] shall state the reason for the delay. [If the applicant is a resident of this state and if it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the agency or department may request that the applicant appear for an interview. If the applicant is not a resident of this state and if it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the agency or department, as the case may be, may refer the applicant to an out-of-state agency or appropriate governmental agency or department, approved by the department or accredited by the Child Welfare League of America, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, by Family Services Association of America or Council on Accreditation of Services of Families and Children. If an out-of-state referral is made, the information shall be released to the out-of-state agency or department for release to the applicant, provided such information shall not be released if such agency or department determines that release of the requested information would be seriously disruptive to or endanger the physical or emotional health of the applicant or the person whose identity is being requested and provided such information shall not be released unless the consents required by subsection (c) of this section are given and the out-of-state agency or department is satisfied as to the identity of the person.

(b) If the person whose identity is being requested in an application filed pursuant to section 45a-750 cannot be located in accordance with the provisions of section 45a-753, or if such person whose identity is being requested is incompetent or if the agency or department, as the case may be, has not attempted to locate such person in accordance with the provisions of said section 45a-753, as permitted by subsection (a) of this section, the applicant may petition the court of probate or the superior court which terminated the parental rights or the court of probate which approved the adoption. The matter shall be referred within fifteen days after receipt of the petition to the agency or the department which has access to such information for a report. If the agency or department is out-of-state and unwilling to provide the report, the court of probate or the superior court, as the case may be, shall refer the matter to an agency or the department in this state for a report. The report by the agency or the department, as the case may be, shall be completed within sixty days after receipt of the request from the court. The report shall include but not be limited to an interview with the applicant for the purpose of ascertaining the reasons for his request for information and may include information concerning the person whose identity is being requested received by the agency or department since termination of parental rights took place. In making its report, the agency or department may, but shall not be required to, state a conclusion as to the merits of the request of the applicant for the information. Upon receipt of the report, or upon expiration of sixty days, whichever is sooner, the court shall set a time and place for hearing not later than fifteen days thereafter and give notice of the hearing to the applicant and to the agency or commissioner of the department. At the hearing, the applicant may give evidence to support the petition as the applicant deems appropriate. Within fifteen days after the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall issue a decree as to whether or not the information requested under the provisions of said section 45a-750 should be given to the applicant. The court shall grant the petition and the agency or department shall furnish information which the court directs to the applicant unless the consents required by subsection (c) of this section have not been given in accordance with said section 45a-750, or the judge of probate or the Superior Court judge, as the case may be, determines that release of the information to the applicant would be seriously disruptive to or endanger the physical or emotional health of the applicant or the person whose identity is being requested. If the court of probate or the superior court, as the case may be, denies the petition based upon such determination, the court may request the agency or department to notify the person whose identity is being requested that the applicant has petitioned the court for information identifying them, if the court determines that it would be in the best interests of such person to be so notified. The notification shall be accomplished in a manner which will protect the confidentiality of the communication and shall be done without disclosing the identity of the applicant. If the person whose identity is being requested is so notified, the applicant who petitioned the court shall be informed that this notification was given.

(c) If parental rights were terminated on or after October 1, 1995, any information tending to identify the adult adopted or adoptable person, a genetic parent, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for the termination of parental rights, or adult biological sibling shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from the person whose identity is being requested. If parental rights were terminated on or before September 30, 1995, (1) any information tending to identify the genetic parents, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for the termination of parental rights, shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from each genetic parent who was a party to such proceedings and (2) identifying information shall not be disclosed to a genetic parent, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for the termination of parental rights, without the written consent of each genetic parent who was a party to such proceedings and the consent of the adult adopted or adoptable person whose identity is being requested. If the whereabouts of any such person is unknown, then the procedures set forth in subsection (c) of section 45a-753 shall apply. When the applicant has contact with a biological sibling who is a minor, such information shall not be disclosed unless consent is obtained from the adoptive parents or guardian, if any, of the sibling, except as provided by subsection (c) of said section 45a-753. Any information tending to identify any adult blood or adoptive relative other than a genetic parent shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from such adult blood or adoptive relative; in addition, consent of any genetic parents common to the person making the request and the person to be identified shall be required unless (A) the parental rights of such parents have been terminated and not reinstated, guardianship has been removed and not reinstated or custody has been removed and not reinstated with respect to such adult relative or (B) if the adoption was finalized following passage of subsection (i) of section 17a-112 and sections 45a-743, 45a-744 and 45a-746 to 45a-756, inclusive. No consent shall be required if the person to be identified is deceased, in which case the information that may be released shall be limited to that in subsection (c) of said section 45a-753.

(d) Any adult person for whom there is only removal of custody or removal of guardianship as specified in subsection (b) of section 45a-750 may apply in person or in writing to the agency, the department, the court of probate or the superior court which has the information. Such information shall be made available within sixty days of receipt of such request unless the agency, department or court, as the case may be, notifies the person requesting the information that it cannot be made available within sixty days and states the reason for the delay. If the applicant is a resident of this state and it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the agency or department may request that he appear for an interview. If the applicant is not a resident of this state, and if it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the agency, department or court, as the case may be, may refer the applicant to an out-of-state agency or appropriate governmental agency or department, approved by the department or accredited by the Child Welfare League of America, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, Family Services Association of America or Council on Accreditation of Services of Families and Children. If an out-of-state referral is made, the information shall be released to the out-of-state agency or department for release to the applicant, provided such information shall not be released unless the out-of-state agency or department is satisfied as to the identity of the applicant.]

Sec. 30. (NEW) (a) If the authorized applicant is a resident of this state and it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the child-placing agency or department may request that such person appear for an interview.

(b) If the authorized applicant is not a resident of Connecticut and it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the child-placing agency or department may refer the person to an out-of-state child-placing agency or appropriate governmental agency or department, approved by the department or accredited by the Child Welfare League of America, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, by Family Services Association of America or Council on Accreditation of Services of Families and Children.

(c) If an out-of-state referral is made, the information shall be released to the out-of-state child-placing agency or department for release to the authorized applicant, provided such information shall not be released if such child-placing agency or department determines that release of the requested information would be seriously disruptive to or endanger the physical or emotional health of the adult adopted or adoptable person or the person whose identity is being requested and provided such information shall not be released unless the consents required by subsection (b) of section 31 of this act are given and the out-of-state child-placing agency or department is satisfied as to the identity of the person.

Sec. 31. (NEW) (a) If parental rights were terminated on or after October 1, 1995, any information tending to identify the adult adopted or adoptable person, a biological parent, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for termination of parental rights, or adult biological sibling shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from the person whose identity is being requested.

(b) If parental rights were terminated on or before September 30, 1995, (1) any information tending to identify the biological parents, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for the termination of parental rights, shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from each biological parent who was party to such proceedings and (2) identifying information shall not be disclosed to a biological parent, including a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceedings for termination of parental rights, without the written consent of each biological parent who was a party to such proceedings and the consent of the adult adopted or adoptable person whose identity is being requested.

(c) If the whereabouts of any person whose identity is being sought are unknown, the court shall appoint a guardian ad litem pursuant to subsection (c) of section 45a-753, as amended by section 33 of this act.

(d) When the authorized applicant requesting identifying information has contact with a biological sibling who is a minor, identifying information shall not be disclosed unless consent is obtained from the adoptive parents or guardian or guardian ad litem of the sibling.

(e) Any information tending to identify any adult relative other than a biological parent shall not be disclosed unless written consent is obtained from such adult relative. The consent of any biological parents common to the person making the request and the person to be identified shall be required unless (1) the parental rights of such parents have been terminated and not reinstated, guardianship has been removed and not reinstated or custody has been removed and not reinstated with respect to such adult relative or (2) the adoption was finalized on or after June 12, 1984. No consent shall be required if the person to be identified is deceased. If the person to be identified is deceased, the information that may be released shall be limited as provided in subsection (e) of section 45a-753, as amended by section 33 of this act.

(f) Any adult person for whom there is only removal of custody or removal of guardianship as specified in subsection (b) of section 45a-750, as amended by section 28 of this act, may apply in person or in writing to the child-placing agency, the department, the court of probate or the Superior Court which has the information. Such information shall be made available within sixty days of receipt of such request unless the child-placing agency, department or court notifies the person requesting the information that it cannot be made available within sixty days and states the reason for the delay. If the person making such request is a resident of this state and it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the child-placing agency or department may request that the person appear for an interview. If the person making such request is not a resident of this state, and if it appears that counseling is advisable with release of the information, the child-placing agency, department or court may refer the person to an out-of-state agency or appropriate governmental agency or department, approved by the department or accredited by the Child Welfare League of America, the National Conference of Catholic Charities, Family Services Association of American or Council on Accreditation of Services of Families and Children. If an out-of-state referral is made, the information shall be released to the out-of-state child-placing agency or department for release to the applicant, provided such information shall not be released unless the out-of-state child-placing agency or department is satisfied as to the identity of the person.

Sec. 32. Section 45a-752 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Any person requesting information under section 45a-746, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 24 OF THIS ACT, who is of the opinion that any item of information is being withheld by the CHILD-PLACING agency or department, or any person requesting information under section 45a-751, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 29 OF THIS ACT, who has been refused release of the information, may petition the court of probate for a hearing on the matter. No petition shall be filed if the consents required by [said section 45a-751] SECTION 31 OF THIS ACT have been denied. Such petition may be filed in the court of probate in the probate district where the adoption was finalized or where the CHILD-PLACING agency or department has an office or, in the case of a petition by a person who resides in this state, may be filed in the court of probate for the district in which such person resides.

(b) When a petition, filed under the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, is received by the court and if such court is satisfied as to the identity of the petitioner, the court shall first refer the matter within thirty days of receipt of the petition to an advisory panel consisting of four members appointed from a list of panel members provided by the Probate Court Administrator. This list shall include adult adopted persons, [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parents, adoptive parents and social workers experienced in adoption matters. In convening this panel, the court shall make a reasonable effort to include one member from each category of qualified persons. Such panel members shall serve without compensation. Within thirty days of referral of the matter the panel shall begin interviewing witnesses, including the petitioner if [he] THE PETITIONER wants to be heard, and reviewing such other evidence it may deem relevant, and within forty-five days following its initial meeting, shall render a report including recommendations to the judge of probate having jurisdiction. The court shall set a day for a hearing on the petition which hearing shall be held not more than thirty days after receiving the panel's report and shall give notice of the hearing to the petitioner and the CHILD-PLACING agency. The court shall render a decision within forty-five days after the last hearing on the merits as to whether [or not] the requested information should be released under the relevant statutes. If the applicant requests the assistance of the CHILD-PLACING agency or department in locating a person to be identified, the provisions of section 45a-753, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 33 OF THIS ACT, shall apply.

Sec. 33. Section 45a-753 of the general statutes, as amended by section 5 of public act 95-179, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) If a request is received [under subsection (a), (c) or (d) of] PURSUANT TO section [45a-750] 45a-751, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 29 IF THIS ACT, the CHILD-PLACING agency or department which [, in accordance with section 45a-751,] has agreed to attempt to locate the person or persons whose identity is being requested [in accordance with the provisions of this section] or the CHILD-PLACING agency or department which furnished a report [requested] ORDERED by the court following a petition made under [said section 45a-751,] SUBSECTION (f) OF THIS SECTION shall not be required to expend more than ten hours time within sixty days of receipt of the request unless the CHILD-PLACING agency or department [, as the case may be,] notifies the AUTHORIZED applicant of a delay and states the reason for the delay [ and] THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT may charge the applicant reasonable compensation and be reimbursed for expenses in locating any person whose identity is being requested. The obtaining of such consent shall be accomplished in a manner which will protect the confidentiality of the communication and shall be done without disclosing the identity of the applicant. For the purposes of this section any records at the court of probate or the superior court [, as the case may be,] shall be available to an authorized representative of the CHILD-PLACING agency or department to which the request has been made.

(b) If the CHILD-PLACING agency or department is out-of-state and unwilling to expend time for such purpose, the court of probate which finalized the adoption or terminated parental rights or the superior court which terminated parental rights shall upon petition appoint a licensed or approved CHILD-PLACING agency or the department to complete the requirements of this section.

(c) If the [person] RELATIVE whose identity is requested CANNOT BE LOCATED OR appears to be incompetent but has not been legally so declared, [or cannot be located,] the court of probate or the superior court [, as the case may be,] shall appoint a guardian ad litem under the provisions of section 45a-132, at the expense of the person making the request. [, who] THE GUARDIAN AD LITEM shall decide whether [or not] to give consent on behalf of the [person] RELATIVE whose identity is being requested.

(d) If the [person to be identified] RELATIVE WHOSE IDENTITY HAS BEEN REQUESTED has been declared legally incapable or incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction, then the legal representative of such person may consent to the release of such information.

(e) Such guardian ad litem or legal representative shall give such consent unless after investigation he concludes that it would not be in the best interest of the adult person to be identified for such consent to be given. If [the released] RELEASE OF THE information [under section 45a-751 is based on] REQUIRES the consent of such guardian ad litem or [the] legal representative, [of an incapable or incompetent person or a person who cannot be located] OR IF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS SOUGHT IS DECEASED, only the following information may be released: (1) All names by which the person whose identity is being sought has been known, and all known addresses; (2) the date and place of such person's birth; (3) all places where such person was employed; (4) such person's Social Security number; (5) the names of educational institutions such person attended; and (6) any other information that may assist in the search of a person who cannot be located.

(f)(1) IF (A) THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING SOUGHT CANNOT BE LOCATED OR IS INCOMPETENT OR (B) THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT HAS NOT LOCATED THE PERSON WITHIN SIXTY DAYS, THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT MAY PETITION FOR ACCESS TO THE INFORMATION TO THE COURT OF PROBATE OR THE SUPERIOR COURT WHICH TERMINATED THE PARENTAL RIGHTS OR TO THE COURT OF PROBATE WHICH APPROVED THE ADOPTION. (2) WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS OF RECEIPT OF THE PETITION, THE COURT SHALL ORDER THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT WHICH HAS ACCESS TO SUCH INFORMATION TO PRESENT A REPORT. THE REPORT BY THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT SHALL BE COMPLETED WITHIN SIXTY DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE ORDER FROM THE COURT. (3) IF THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT IS OUT-OF-STATE AND UNWILLING TO PROVIDE THE REPORT, THE COURT SHALL REFER THE MATTER TO A CHILD-PLACING AGENCY IN THIS STATE OR TO THE DEPARTMENT FOR A REPORT. (4) THE REPORT SHALL DETERMINE THROUGH AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ADULT ADOPTED OR ADULT ADOPTABLE PERSON AND THROUGH SUCH OTHER MEANS AS MAY BE NECESSARY WHETHER (A) RELEASE OF THE INFORMATION WOULD BE SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE TO OR ENDANGER THE PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT, AND (B) RELEASE OF THE INFORMATION WOULD BE SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE TO OR ENDANGER THE PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED. (5) UPON RECEIPT OF THE REPORT, OR UPON EXPIRATION OF SIXTY DAYS, WHICHEVER IS SOONER, THE COURT SHALL SET A TIME AND PLACE FOR HEARING NOT LATER THAN FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER RECEIPT OF THE REPORT OR EXPIRATION OF SUCH SIXTY DAYS, WHICHEVER IS SOONER. THE COURT SHALL IMMEDIATELY GIVE NOTICE OF THE HEARING TO THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT AND TO THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR THE DEPARTMENT. (6) AT THE HEARING, THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT MAY GIVE SUCH EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE PETITION AS THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT DEEMS APPROPRIATE. (7) WITHIN FIFTEEN DAYS AFTER THE CONCLUSION OF THE HEARING, THE COURT SHALL ISSUE A DECREE AS TO WHETHER THE INFORMATION REQUESTED SHALL BE GIVEN TO THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT. (8) THE REQUESTED INFORMATION SHALL BE PROVIDED TO THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT UNLESS THE COURT DETERMINES THAT: (A) CONSENT HAS NOT BEEN GRANTED BY A GUARDIAN AD LITEM APPOINTED BY THE COURT TO REPRESENT THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY HAS BEEN REQUESTED; (B) RELEASE OF THE INFORMATION WOULD BE SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE TO OR ENDANGER THE PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT; OR (C) RELEASE OF THE INFORMATION WOULD BE SERIOUSLY DISRUPTIVE TO OR ENDANGER THE PHYSICAL OR EMOTIONAL HEALTH OF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED. (9) IF THE COURT DENIES THE PETITION AND DETERMINES THAT IT WOULD BE IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED TO BE NOTIFIED THAT THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT HAS PETITIONED THE COURT FOR IDENTIFYING INFORMATION, THE COURT SHALL REQUEST THE CHILD-PLACING AGENCY OR DEPARTMENT TO SO NOTIFY THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED. THE NOTIFICATION SHALL BE ACCOMPLISHED IN A MANNER WHICH WILL PROTECT THE CONFIDENTIALITY OF THE COMMUNICATION AND SHALL BE DONE WITHOUT DISCLOSING THE IDENTITY OF THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT. IF THE PERSON WHOSE IDENTITY IS BEING REQUESTED IS SO NOTIFIED, THE AUTHORIZED APPLICANT WHO PETITIONED THE COURT SHALL BE INFORMED THAT THIS NOTIFICATION WAS GIVEN.

Sec. 34. Section 45a-754 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) The state shall furnish each court of probate with an index and a book in which shall be recorded only applications, agreements, orders, waivers, affidavits and returns of notice of hearing, appointments of guardians ad litem and decrees in termination of parental rights, removal of parent as guardian, appointment of statutory parent and adoption matters.

(b) The probate court shall also maintain locked files which shall be used for the filing of sealed envelopes, each of which shall contain all the papers filed in court regarding the removal of a parent as guardian, petitions for termination of parental rights, appointment of statutory parent and adoption.

(c) In the case of an application for the removal of a parent as guardian, a petition for termination of parental rights, an application for a statutory parent or an application for adoption, the envelopes shall be marked only with the words "Adoption Matter" and the names of the adopting parents and the name borne by the minor before the adoption. In the case of a removal of parent as guardian or in the case of a termination of parental rights matter which does not result in an adoption matter, the envelopes shall be marked only with the words "Removal Of Parent As Guardian" or "Termination Of Parental Rights Matter" and the name of the minor.

(d) Access to such records shall be in accordance with sections 45a-743 to 45a-753, inclusive. The records may also be disclosed upon order of the judge of probate to a petitioner who requires such information for the health or medical treatment of any adopted person. If such information is so required and is not within the records, the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or parents or blood relatives may be contacted in accordance with the procedures in said section 45a-753.

(e) Any person who discloses any information contained in the indexes, record books and papers, except as provided in sections 45a-706 to 45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, 45a-724 to 45a-737, inclusive, and 45a-743 to 45a-757, inclusive, shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than six months or both.

Sec. 35. Section 45a-755 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 45a-746 to 45a-754, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 24 TO 33, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, the department and each CHILD-PLACING agency which was party to, or participated in, either applications for approval of adoption agreements or termination of parental rights shall maintain registries. Such registries shall contain registrations of voluntary consents, refusals of consent and revocations of consent to the release of information which would identify the registrant. In the case where no CHILD-PLACING agency was party to or involved in either proceeding, the Department of Children and Families shall establish and maintain such registry. At any time following the termination of parental rights, the registration may be filed by: (1) A [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent who was a party to the proceeding for the termination of parental rights; (2) an adult adopted person, an adult adoptable person, an adult adopted [genetic] BIOLOGICAL sibling of an adoptable or adopted person, or an adult nonadopted [genetic] BIOLOGICAL sibling of an adoptable or adopted person; (3) lineal ascendants and descendants of a deceased [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent; (4) an adoptive parent for the purpose of obtaining medical information which affects an adopted person; or (5) a person claiming to be the father who was not a party to the proceeding for the termination of parental rights. No registrations shall be accepted unless the CHILD-PLACING agency OR DEPARTMENT is satisfied as to the identity of the registrants.

(b) Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 45a-746 to 45a-754, inclusive, AS AMENDED BY SECTIONS 24 TO 33, INCLUSIVE, OF THIS ACT, the department and each CHILD-PLACING agency which was a party to, or participated in, either applications for approval of adoption agreements or termination of parental rights shall maintain registries for medical information. The department and each such CHILD-PLACING agency shall receive medical information concerning an adopted person provided by a [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or blood relative of such adopted person. Upon receipt of such information, the department or CHILD-PLACING agency shall notify such adopted person or, if such person is a minor, the adoptive parent of such adopted person of the availability of such information, provided the department or CHILD-PLACING agency has the address or telephone number of such adopted person or adoptive parent. No information that would tend to identify the [genetic] BIOLOGICAL parent or blood relative providing the medical information shall be disclosed without the consents required by subsection (a) of this section.

Sec. 36. Section 45a-756 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

If there is a match of consents whereby the registrants agree to the releasing of identifying information to each other, in accordance with section 45a-755, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 35 OF THIS ACT, the CHILD-PLACING agency OR DEPARTMENT shall notify each registrant of the name, address and other identifying information as provided by the other registrant. The CHILD-PLACING agency OR DEPARTMENT may charge a fee to cover the cost of maintaining the registry and the release of any identifying information.

Sec. 37. Subsection (b) of section 1-19 of the general statutes, as amended by public act 95-233, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(b) Nothing in sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, shall be construed to require disclosure of (1) preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure; (2) personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy; (3) records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses, (C) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action, (D) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (E) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes, (F) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof or (G) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-20c; (4) records pertaining to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled; (5) trade secrets, which for purposes of sections 1-15, 1-18a, 1-19 to 1-19b, inclusive, and 1-21 to 1-21k, inclusive, are defined as unpatented, secret, commercially valuable plans, appliances, formulas, or processes, which are used for the making, preparing, compounding, treating or processing of articles or materials which are trade commodities obtained from a person and which are recognized by law as confidential, and commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute; (6) test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examinations; (7) the contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property or to prospective public supply and construction contracts, until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned, provided the law of eminent domain shall not be affected by this provision; (8) statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish his personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for; (9) records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining; (10) records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or state statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship; (11) names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age, provided this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting the disclosure of the names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school in a regional school district to the board of selectmen or town board of finance, as the case may be, of the town wherein the student resides for the purpose of verifying tuition payments made to such school; (12) any information obtained by the use of illegal means; (13) records of an investigation or the name of an employee providing information under the provisions of section 4-61dd; (14) adoption records and information provided for in sections 45a-746, [and] 45a-750, AND 45a-751, AS AMENDED BY SECTION 29 OF THIS ACT; (15) any page of a primary petition, nominating petition, referendum petition, or petition for a town meeting submitted under any provision of the general statutes or of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, until the required processing and certification of such page has been completed by the official or officials charged with such duty after which time disclosure of such page shall be required; (16) records of complaints, including information compiled in the investigation thereof, brought to a municipal health authority pursuant to chapter 368e or a district department of health pursuant to chapter 368f, until such time as the investigation is concluded or thirty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, whichever occurs first.

Sec. 38. Subsection (c) of section 17a-110 of the general statutes, as amended by section 2 of public act 95-238, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(c) Whenever [he] THE COMMISSIONER OF CHILDREN AND FAMILIES deems it necessary or advisable [the Commissioner of Children and Families,] in order to carry out the purposes of this section, THE COMMISSIONER may contract with any private child-placing agency, as defined in [subsection (b) of] section 45a-707, to provide any one or more permanency placement services on behalf of the Department of Children and Families. Whenever any contract is entered into under this section which requires private agencies to perform casework services, such as the preparation of applications and petitions for termination of parental rights, guardianship or other custodial matters, or which requires court appearances, the Attorney General shall provide legal services for the Commissioner of Children and Families notwithstanding that some of the services have been performed by caseworkers of private agencies, except that no such legal services shall be provided unless the Commissioner of Children and Families is a legal party to any court action hereunder.

Sec. 39. Section 17a-112 of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (j) as follows:

(NEW) (j) The provisions of this section shall be liberally construed in the best interests of any child for whom a petition under this section has been filed.

Approved May 29, 1996. Effective October 1, 1996.

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