346-19.7 Prospective adoptive parents; standards and home studies. (a) The department shall develop standards to ensure the reputable and responsible character of prospective adoptive parents as defined in this chapter.

(b) The department shall develop procedures for obtaining verifiable information regarding the criminal history and child abuse and neglect registry information of persons who are seeking to become adoptive parents. The department or its designee shall obtain criminal history record information through the Hawaii criminal justice data center in accordance with section 846-2.7, and child abuse record information from the department in accordance with departmental procedures.

(c) Except as otherwise specified, any person who seeks to become an adoptive parent, including all adults residing in the prospective adoptive home, shall:

(1) Meet all standards and requirements established by the department;

(2) Be subject to criminal history record checks in accordance with section 846-2.7, and child abuse and neglect registry checks in accordance with departmental procedures; and

(3) Provide consent to the department to obtain criminal history record and child abuse and neglect registry information.

Information obtained pursuant to subsection (b) and this subsection shall be used by the department for the purpose of determining whether or not a person is suitable to be an adoptive parent. All decisions shall be subject to federal laws and regulations.

(d) The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home was convicted of an offense for which incarceration is a sentencing option, and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the crime that either of the prospective adoptive parents, or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home, poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child. A denial shall occur only after appropriate investigation, notification of results and planned action, and opportunity to meet and rebut the finding, all of which need not be conducted in accordance with chapter 91.

(e) The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home has a history of confirmed child abuse or neglect, or both, revealed by the child abuse and neglect registry check, and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the abuse or neglect, or both, that either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child. A denial shall occur only after an appropriate investigation, notification of results and planned action, and an opportunity to meet and rebut the finding, all of which need not be conducted in accordance with chapter 91.

(f) The department may authorize or contract for home studies of prospective adoptive parents for children under the department's custody by experienced social workers with specialized adoption experience. [L 2000, c 108, 1; am L 2003, c 95, 9(4); am L 2007, c 46, 2; am L 2008, c 136, 2]

 

 

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