H.R. 6298: Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2010


Full title:
To establish national and State putative father registries, to make grants to States to promote permanent families for children and responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes.

Summary:
Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2010 - Amends part B (Child and Family Services) of title IV of the Social Security Act to direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to establish an automated National Putative Father Registry.

Limits disclosure of information in the Registry to: (1) a state unit responsible for administering the State Putative Father Registry established pursuant to this Act; and (2) any state agencies or entities involved in the placement of children for adoption.

Directs the Secretary to establish a nationwide responsible fatherhood and putative father registry educational campaign designed to: (1) inform men about the National Putative Father Registry, the advantages of registering with a State Putative Father Registry, and the rights and responsibilities of putative fathers; and (2) inform women about the National Registry and its potential role in a pending or planned adoption or a termination of a putative father's rights.

Directs the Secretary to make grants to assist eligible states in developing, establishing, and operating programs designed to: (1) improve the protection of the rights of responsible unwed fathers in legal proceedings involving a planned or pending adoption, the termination of a father's rights to a biological child, or the entry of a child into the state child welfare system; (2) improve the laws and regulations involving the pre-birth abandonment of a child by the biological father and abandonment of a child by the biological father subsequent to birth; (3) assist mothers in making responsible plans for their children's future; and (4) protect the privacy and safety of birth mothers and fathers. Requires the Secretary also to make grants to reimburse states for any costs incurred in meeting these requirements.

Requires each state that desires to receive such a grant to: (1) develop and implement a state plan for promoting responsible fatherhood and permanency for children; and (2) provide assurances that it will establish or modify an existing automated State Putative Father Registry to meet the requirements of this Act.

Requires a state to: (1) establish centers in various locations so that registration forms for the State Putative Father Registry are easily accessible to putative fathers; and (2) provide assurances that it has in effect or will enact a state law defining pre-birth abandonment and abandonment subsequent to birth, and allowing for implied consent to the child's adoption in the case of pre-birth abandonment or abandonment subsequent to birth.

Text:

HR 6298 IH

111th CONGRESS
2d Session
H. R. 6298

To establish national and State putative father registries, to make grants to States to promote permanent families for children and responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes.

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

September 29, 2010

Ms. RICHARDSON (for herself, Mr. CONYERS, and Mr. GRIJALVA) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means


A BILL

To establish national and State putative father registries, to make grants to States to promote permanent families for children and responsible fatherhood, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2010'.

SEC. 2. ESTABLISHMENT OF NATIONAL AND STATE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRIES TO FACILITATE ADOPTIONS.

    Part B of title IV of the Social Security Act (42 U.S.C. 620 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following:

`Subpart 3--National and State Putative Father Registries to Facilitate Adoptions

`SEC. 440. DEFINITIONS.

    `In this subpart:
      `(1) BUSINESS DAY- The term `business day' means a day on which Federal and State offices are open for regular business.
      `(2) HOME ADDRESS- The term `home address' means the most recent place of residence of an individual.
      `(3) NATIONAL PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY- The term `National Putative Father Registry' means the registry established and maintained under section 441.
      `(4) NOTICE- The term `notice' means notice sufficient to satisfy any requirements under State law applicable with respect to notice to a putative father of paternity, of a proceeding to terminate his rights to a child, or of a proceeding that is related to a planned or pending adoption in that State of a child he has, or may have fathered, or the entry of such a child into State custody.
      `(5) PENDING ADOPTION- The term `pending adoption' means any adoption in which an adoption petition has been filed with a court pursuant to State law.
      `(6) PLANNED ADOPTION- The term `planned adoption' means any adoption in which the birth mother has formally contacted an attorney or a State licensed adoption agency about placing her child for adoption.
      `(7) PUTATIVE FATHER- The term `putative father' means a man who has had sexual relations with a woman to whom he is not married and is therefore presumed to know that such woman may be pregnant as a result of such relations.
      `(8) SEARCH- The term `search' means a request for information regarding a man who had sexual relations with a woman to whom he is not married and is therefore presumed to know that such woman may be pregnant.
      `(9) STATE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY- The term `State Putative Father Registry' means, with respect to a State, the registry established or modified and maintained under section 444 for that State.

`SEC. 441. NATIONAL PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY.

    `(a) Establishment and Maintenance-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Not later than the date that is 180 days after the date of enactment of this subpart, the Secretary shall establish and maintain an automated National Putative Father Registry that contains the information described in section 444(c).
      `(2) DATA ENTRY AND DELETION REQUIREMENTS-
        `(A) DATA ENTRY- Information transmitted by a State under section 444(d)(2) shall be entered into the National Putative Father Registry not later than the date that is 2 business days after the date on which such information is received.
        `(B) DELETION OF DATA- Information entered into the National Putative Father Registry shall remain in the registry for not less than 20 years from the date of entry.
      `(3) ACCESS TO INFORMATION IN THE NATIONAL PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY- Access to the information contained in the National Putative Father Registry is limited to the organizational unit that is responsible for administering the State Putative Father Registry under section 443(3) and any State agencies or entities that are involved in the placement of children.
      `(4) SEARCH REQUESTS-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall only accept a request from an eligible party described in subparagraph (B) to search the National Putative Father Registry if such request has been verified for authenticity.
        `(B) ELIGIBLE PARTIES DESCRIBED- The eligible parties described in this subparagraph are as follows:
          `(i) Public and licensed private adoption or child placement agencies accessing information for an adoption or termination of rights of a putative father.
          `(ii) Licensed attorneys representing a party in a planned or pending adoption or the termination of rights of a putative father.
          `(iii) The State agency responsible for administering the State plan under part D of this title.
          `(iv) State agencies or entities responsible for the placement of children.
          `(v) State courts.
        `(C) FEE- The Secretary is authorized to charge a reasonable fee for a search conducted under this subsection.
      `(5) LIMITATION ON DISCLOSURE OF INFORMATION- No information contained in the National Putative Father Registry shall be disclosed to any person if the disclosure of such information would contravene a national security interest of the United States or if such disclosure would compromise the confidentiality of census data.
      `(6) METHODS FOR REQUESTING A SEARCH OF THE NATIONAL DATABASE- A person who is eligible to request a search under this section may do so either electronically or through the mail.
      `(7) CERTIFICATE OF SEARCH-
        `(A) ISSUANCE- Within 2 business days of receipt of a search request under paragraph (4), the Secretary shall issue by mail a certificate of search to the person who requested the search.
        `(B) CONTENTS- The certificate of search shall contain--
          `(i) the names and most recent contact information for possible putative fathers; and
          `(ii) the State Putative Father Registries included in the search.
        `(C) EFFECT OF CERTIFICATE- A certificate issued under this paragraph shall serve as evidence of efforts to locate a putative father in order to provide the putative father with notice of a proceeding to establish paternity of, of a proceeding to terminate the putative father's rights to, or of a proceeding related to a pending or planned adoption of a child the putative father has or may have fathered, or of the entry of such a child into State custody.
      `(8) NOTICE TO REGISTERED PUTATIVE FATHERS- Each putative father identified by a certificate of search issued in response to a request under paragraph (4)(A) shall be provided notice in such form and manner, and subject to such time limits, as specified by the law of the forum State of any of the following unless and until the putative father's rights to the child have been terminated:
        `(A) A proceeding related to a pending or planned adoption of a child the putative father has, or may have, fathered.
        `(B) A proceeding to terminate the putative father's rights to a child.
        `(C) A proceeding related to the entry of a child the putative father has, or may have, fathered into State custody.
        `(D) Establishment of paternity.
      `(9) CERTIFICATE OF REGISTRATION-
        `(A) ISSUANCE- Within 2 business days of receipt of information transmitted by a State under section 444(d), the Secretary shall issue by mail a certificate of registration to the individual registered.
        `(B) EFFECT OF CERTIFICATION- A certificate issued under this section shall serve as evidence that a putative father has registered with a State Putative Father Registry requesting that he receive notice of a proceeding to establish paternity of, of a proceeding to terminate the putative father's rights to, or of a proceeding related to a planned or pending adoption of a child the putative father has or may have fathered, or of the entry of such a child into State custody.
    `(b) National Media Educational Campaign- The Secretary shall establish a nationwide responsible fatherhood and putative father registry educational campaign that is designed--
      `(1) to inform men of the existence of the National Putative Father Registry, the advantages of registering with a State Putative Father Registry, and the rights and responsibilities of putative fathers; and
      `(2) to inform women of the existence of the National Putative Father Registry and the potential role of that registry in a pending or planned adoption or a termination of the rights of a putative father.
    `(c) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, such sums as are necessary for fiscal year 2011 and each fiscal year thereafter.

`SEC. 442. GRANTS TO STATES TO PROMOTE RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD.

    `(a) Grants to States- Subject to subsection (b), the Secretary shall make grants to eligible States for the purpose of--
      `(1) assisting States in developing, establishing, and operating programs that are designed--
        `(A) to improve the protection of the rights of responsible unwed fathers in legal proceedings involving a planned or pending adoption, the termination of a father's rights to a biological child, or the entry of a child into the State child welfare system;
        `(B) to improve the laws and regulations involving the pre-birth abandonment of a child by the biological father and abandonment of a child by the biological father subsequent to birth;
        `(C) to assist mothers in making responsible plans for their children's future; and
        `(D) to protect the privacy and safety of birth mothers and fathers; and
      `(2) reimbursing States for any costs incurred in meeting the requirements of this subpart.
    `(b) Eligibility Requirements- The Secretary may not make a grant to a State under this section unless the State demonstrates to the Secretary that the State has--
      `(1) a State plan in effect that has been approved by the Secretary under section 443;
      `(2) established, or agreed to establish, a State Putative Father Registry under section 444; and
      `(3) implemented or has agreed to implement--
        `(A) a law on pre-birth abandonment and abandonment subsequent to birth under section 445(a);
        `(B) a State media educational campaign under section 445(b); and
        `(C) adoption laws under section 445(c).
    `(c) Authorization of Appropriations- There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as are necessary for fiscal year 2009 and each fiscal year thereafter for purposes of awarding grants to States under this section.

`SEC. 443. STATE PLAN FOR PROMOTING RESPONSIBLE FATHERHOOD AND PERMANENCY FOR CHILDREN.

    `Each State that desires to receive a grant under section 442 shall develop and implement a State plan for promoting responsible fatherhood and permanency for children that--
      `(1) has been approved by the Secretary;
      `(2) shall be in effect in all political subdivisions of the State;
      `(3) establishes or designates a single organizational unit within the State that meets such staffing and organizational requirements as the Secretary may prescribe to administer the State plan and the State Putative Father Registry required under section 444;
      `(4) provides services to children of unwed parents related to the identification of putative fathers and the making of permanent custody arrangements for those children;
      `(5) provides for the establishment of cooperative agreements between the State and appropriate agencies, such as courts, hospitals, and law enforcement agencies, to assist the organizational unit established or designated under paragraph (3) to administer the State plan by making available putative father registry registration forms for mailing by putative fathers to such organizational unit;
      `(6) provides assurances that the State will, in accordance with standards prescribed by the Secretary, cooperate with other States and the Federal Government to assist individuals in their efforts to locate and provide notice to putative fathers;
      `(7) provides for a process of annual reviews and reports to the Secretary on the State plan implemented under this section, including such information as may be necessary to measure compliance with the requirements under this subpart;
      `(8) provides that the State will establish and maintain a State Putative Father Registry that meets the requirements of section 444 or will modify and maintain an existing registry to meet such requirements;
      `(9) provides for a process under which a registered putative father will receive notice at the address provided to the registry, within State determined guidelines and time-limits, of a proceeding to establish the paternity of, of a proceeding to terminate the putative father's rights to, or of a proceeding related to a planned or pending adoption of a child the putative father has or may have fathered, or of the entry of such a child into State custody;
      `(10) amends the State long-arm jurisdictional statute to ensure that personal jurisdiction is established for a father registered with the National Putative Father Registry established under section 441(a); and
      `(11) provides that the State will establish procedures, if not already in place, to protect the safety and privacy of mothers, including those who have been the victims of violence.

`SEC. 444. STATE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRIES.

    `(a) Establishment and Maintenance-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- Subject to paragraph (2), each State that desires to receive a grant under section 442 shall provide assurances to the Secretary that the State will establish and maintain an automated putative father registry that meets the succeeding requirements of this section.
      `(2) EXISTING STATE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRIES- A State that has a putative father registry in existence on the date of enactment of this subpart and desires to receive a grant under section 442 shall provide assurances to the Secretary that the State will, not later than 180 days from the last day of the first regular session of the State legislature that begins after the date of enactment of this subpart, modify the registry to the extent necessary for the registry to meet the succeeding requirements of this section with respect to putative fathers who register with the State on or after that day. For purposes of the previous sentence, in the case of a State that has a 2-year legislative session, each year of the session is considered to be a separate, regular session of the State legislature.
    `(b) Registration With the State Putative Father Registry-
      `(1) SUBMISSION OF INFORMATION- The State shall establish procedures under which the putative father of such child may submit the information described in subsection (c) to the State for the purpose of including such information in the registry established or modified and maintained under subsection (a). Such procedures shall provide that, in order for the putative father to be entitled to notice of any of the proceedings identified in section 441(a)(8), the putative father must submit information for inclusion in the State registry within State-determined time limits.
      `(2) VERIFICATION- The procedures established under paragraph (1) shall include a means to verify that the information submitted by a putative father is his own personal information and that it is true and correct to the best of his knowledge.
    `(c) Contents- With respect to a child, the registry established or modified and maintained under subsection (a) shall contain the following information:
      `(1) The name of the putative father (including any other names by which he may be known).
      `(2) The date of birth of the putative father.
      `(3) The race or ethnicity of the father, if known.
      `(4) The Social Security number of the putative father.
      `(5) The State of issue and driver's license number of the putative father, if any.
      `(6) The home address of the putative father.
      `(7) The telephone number of the putative father, if any.
      `(8) The name and address of the employer of the putative father, if any.
      `(9) The name of the mother (including any other names by which she may be known).
      `(10) The last known address of the mother.
      `(11) The date of birth of the mother, if known.
      `(12) The Social Security number of the mother, if known.
      `(13) The race or ethnicity of the mother, if known.
      `(14) The State of issue and driver's license number of the mother, if known.
      `(15) The city and State where possible birth took place.
      `(16) The birth date of the child or the approximate delivery date, if known.
      `(17) The name and gender of the child, if known.
    `(d) Collection of State Information and Transmission to the National Putative Father Registry-
      `(1) COLLECTION- The State shall collect the information described in subsection (c) submitted by the putative father and enter such information into the State Putative Father Registry established or modified and maintained under subsection (a).
      `(2) TRANSMISSION-
        `(A) IN GENERAL- Not later than the date that is 3 business days after the date on which any information described in subsection (c) is entered into the State Putative Father Registry, the State shall furnish such information to the Secretary for purposes of including the information in the National Putative Father Registry.
        `(B) METHOD OF TRANSMISSION- States shall transmit the information described in subsection (b) in an electronic format designated by the Secretary for purposes of this paragraph.
    `(e) Establishment of Registration Centers-
      `(1) IN GENERAL- The State shall establish centers in various locations throughout the State so that registration forms for the State Putative Father Registry are easily accessible to putative fathers.
      `(2) SITES- The sites of the centers described in paragraph (1) may include the following:
        `(A) State and local hospitals.
        `(B) Courthouses in which family courts are located.
        `(C) State departments of motor vehicles.
        `(D) State welfare agencies.
        `(E) State health department offices.
        `(F) State vital records offices.
        `(G) State probate courts.
    `(f) Method of Submitting Registration- The State shall permit a putative father to submit information under this section electronically, in person, or by mail.
    `(g) False Filing- Any person who knowingly submits false information to a State Putative Father Registry shall be guilty of the highest class of misdemeanor under State law.
    `(h) Accuracy of Data- A putative father is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in his registration.
Founded: 2010-09-29
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John Conyers, Jr.Cosponsor2010-09-29
Laura RichardsonIntroduced2010-09-29
Raúl GrijalvaCosponsor2010-09-29
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H.R. 6298: Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2010Same asS. 939: Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act of 2009
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