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CJI. Reducing Trauma in Children by Ensuring Involvement of Fathers Nancy K. Jones, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office Kevin McTigue, Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health Dept. DILIGENT EFFORTS. Identify & locate both parents Ask custodial parent for info

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Reducing Trauma in Children


Ensuring Involvement of Fathers

Nancy K. Jones, Hennepin County Attorney’s Office

Kevin McTigue, Hennepin County Human Services & Public Health Dept.

Diligent efforts

  • Identify & locate both parents

    • Ask custodial parent for info

    • Contact Child Support Agency

    • Search FAR

Reasonable efforts

  • Identify

  • Locate

  • Offer Services

  • Both parents

Reasonable efforts1

  • Assess father’s willingness & capability to provide care

  • May include Netstudy

  • Consider only if +genetic test

    • Require paternity establishment

  • Obtain authority from mother or court for “placement”

Reasonable efforts2

  • Prepare OHPP for each parent if child cannot be placed with either

  • Report to court diligent efforts to ID & locate parent if identity and/or whereabouts unknown

Assessment background study
Assessment/Background Study

  • Must be “reasonable cause” before Netstudy

    • Info that creates “articulable suspicion”

  • Must believe placement with father would endanger child before denial

  • 15 days notice to father & opportunity to be heard

  • Consider Minn. Stat. 518.179

Adjudicated father rule
Adjudicated Father/Rule

  • Determined by court or Recognition of Parentage to be biological father

Recognition of parentage
Recognition of Parentage

  • Requires notarized signatures of both parents attesting to child’s paternity

  • Same as court order adjudicating paternity if filed w/ MN Dept of Health

    • Except when only creates presumption

  • Does not give father right to visitation or custody

Kinship search

  • Includes maternal & paternal relatives even if paternity not adjudicated

  • Important friend with whom child resided or had significant contact

  • Members of extended family as defined by law or custom of tribe

Presumed father

Married to child’s mother when child born

Child born w/n 280 days of divorce

Marries mother after child born & on b.c.

Declaration of Parentage pre 8-1-95

Lived with & held child out as his

ROP but mother married

More than one ROP

ROP & other presumed father

ROP & minor parent

Presumed Father

Genetic testing

  • Treat as if presumed father if positive test

  • Right to notice

  • Right to assessment

  • Right to day to day care

  • Duty to cooperate with establishment paternity

Alleged father
Alleged Father

  • Claimed by party or participant to be father

  • Child born prior to 1-1-98

    • Filed affidavit of intent to retain parental rights w/n 90 days of child’s birth

  • Child born on & after 1-1-98

    • Registered with Fathers’ Adoption Registry w/n 30 days of child’s birth

Fathers adoption registry
Fathers’ Adoption Registry

  • Mn Department of Health

  • Register w/n 30 days child’s birth or

    • Lose right to notice of adoption

    • Lose right to notice of Juvenile Protection TPR or permanency proceeding

  • Certificate of search required for adoption

    • Or certified copy of TPR that certificate of search filed w/court in Juvenile Protection proceeding

Legal parent per 260c
Legal Parent per 260C

Legal parent/child relationship that confers rights, privileges, duties & obligations

  • Presumed father based on marriage & no action to declare nonexistence

  • Presumed father because lived with & held out as father & court adjudication or ROP

  • Competing presumptions & court adjudication or ROP

  • No presumption but court adjudication or ROP

  • Positive genetic test & court adjudication or ROP

Fathers i c w a
Fathers: I.C.W.A.

  • Biological parent

  • Unmarried father not “parent” unless paternity is “acknowledged or established”

  • Tribal customs/laws control on how to “acknowledge or establish” paternity

Juvenile protection petition
Juvenile Protection Petition

  • Names/Addresses parents

    • Birth, legally adjudicated or adoptive

  • Name/address legal custodian

    • Person who by court order or statute has sole or joint legal or physical custody

  • ICWA status

  • Parties

  • Participants

Legal custodian
Legal Custodian

  • Joint legal/physical custody if married & not divorced

    • Equal rights to parenting time/visitation

    • Unless court order establishing otherwise

  • Mother sole legal/physical custodian if not married to father until c.o. otherwise

  • Father thru ROP or adjudication only has custody/parenting time per c.o.

Court parties


    • Sole or joint legal or physical custodian

  • Permanency/TPR

    • Parents

    • Adjudicated father

    • Presumed father

    • Filed with Fathers’ Registry

    • Entitled to notice of adoption proceeding

Court participants


    • Noncustodial

    • Presumed

    • Adjudicated

    • Alleged


    • Alleged Father per Rule

    • A/F no right to notice per statute

Court proceedings
Court Proceedings

  • Right to be heard if have legally recognized parent-child relationship

    • Disposition

    • Parental visitation

    • Out-of-home placement plan

  • Right to appointment of counsel

  • Does not confer party status

Court responsibilities
Court Responsibilities

  • Inquire at 1st hearing if identity & whereabouts both parents known

    • Make inquiry of those present

    • Inquire at subsequent hearings

  • Have known parent sworn to provide info on identify or whereabouts of other

  • Make findings on whether

    • Agency made diligent efforts

    • Both parents located

    • Both parents served

Court responsiblities
Court Responsiblities

Identity and/or whereabouts unknown

  • Find insufficient diligent efforts:

    • Order agency to take further steps

    • Order specific efforts to be made

  • Find sufficient diligent efforts:

    • Make “reasonable efforts” finding

    • Decide whether further efforts for reunification would be futile

    • Relieve agency of requirement to identify and/or locate upon finding of good cause

Court dispositions
Court Dispositions

  • Protective supervision in home of noncustodial parent/father

    • Does not confer legal custody

    • Must have +genetic test

    • Must cooperate with paternity establishment

    • May be conditions or case plan

    • Must have permanency hearing

Court dispositions1
Court Dispositions

  • Establish father-child relationship under CH 257

  • Establish permanent custody with noncustodial parent/father

  • Agency may petition for paternity establishment & custody in same permanency proceeding

Paternity proceedings
Paternity Proceedings

  • Father’s rights

    • Court-appointed counsel

    • Genetic tests

    • Jury trial

  • Order requirements

    • Name of legal father

    • Name to be added to birth certificate

    • Custody & parenting time

    • Name of child

    • Social security numbers

    • Important Notice requirements

Dismissal on father w o tpr
Dismissal on Father w/o TPR

  • Presumption by marriage may be renounced by joinder to ROP

  • ROP may be vacated

  • Presumption of paternity may be rebutted in action to declare nonexistence of the father-child relationship

    • Or court adjudication of another as father

    • Or marriage dissolution judgment

Nancy K. JonesHennepin County Attorney’s [email protected] McTigueHennepin County Human Services & Public Health [email protected]