Prospective Adoptive Parents

Enables Department of Human Services to require criminal history
checks for prospective adoptive parents.  Authorizes Department
to contract for home studies by social workers with specialized
adoption experience.  Defines "prospective adoptive parents".
(HB2506 HD1)

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES                H.B. NO.           H.D. 1
TWENTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2000                                
STATE OF HAWAII                                            

                   A  BILL  FOR  AN  ACT



 1      SECTION 1.  Chapter 346, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended
 2 by adding a new section to be appropriately designated and to
 3 read as follows:
 4      "346-    Prospective adoptive parents.  (a)  The department
 5 shall develop standards to assure the reputable and responsible
 6 character of prospective adoptive parents as defined in this
 7 chapter which shall include criminal history record checks.
 8      (1)  Prospective adoptive parents shall submit statements,
 9           signed under penalty of false swearing in official
10           matters, indicating whether the prospective adoptive
11           parents were ever convicted of a crime other than a
12           minor traffic violation involving a fine of $50 or less
13           and providing consent to the department to conduct a
14           criminal history record check and to obtain other
15           criminal history record information for verification.
16           The prospective adoptive parents shall be fingerprinted
17           for the purpose of complying with the criminal history
18           record check.

Page 2                                                     2506
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1      (2)  The department shall obtain criminal history record
 2           information through the Hawaii criminal justice data
 3           center on all prospective adoptive parents.  The Hawaii
 4           criminal justice data center may assess the prospective
 5           adoptive parents a reasonable fee for each criminal
 6           history record check conducted.  The information
 7           obtained shall be used exclusively for the stated
 8           purpose for which it was obtained, and shall be subject
 9           to applicable federal laws and federal regulations.
10      (3)  The department may deny a prospective adoptive parents'
11           application to adopt a child or children if either of
12           the prospective adoptive parents was convicted of a
13           crime other than a minor traffic violation involving a
14           fine of $50 or less and if the department finds that
15           the criminal history record of either of the
16           prospective adoptive parents poses a risk to the
17           health, safety, or well-being of the child or children
18           to be adopted.
19      (b)  The department may authorize or contract for
20 prospective adoptive parents' home studies for children under the
21 department's custody by experienced social workers with
22 specialized adoption experience."
23      SECTION 2.  Section 346-16, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is

Page 3                                                     2506
                                     H.B. NO.           H.D. 1

 1 amended by adding to subsection (a) a new definition to be
 2 appropriately inserted and to read as follows:
 3      ""Prospective adoptive parents" means a person or persons
 4 who are married to each other and who are applying to the
 5 department to adopt a child or children."
 6      SECTION 3.  New statutory material is underscored.
 7      SECTION 4.  This Act shall take effect on July 1, 2000.