CHAPTER 803

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS AND ADOPTION

Table of Contents

Sec. 45a-707. (Formerly Sec. 45-61b). Definitions.

Sec. 45a-716. (Formerly Sec. 45-61d). Hearing on petition to terminate parental rights. Notice. Attorney General as party.

Sec. 45a-717. (Formerly Sec. 45-61f). Termination of parental rights. Conduct of hearing. Investigation and report. Grounds for termination.

Sec. 45a-751b. Disclosure of identifying information. Consent required. Exception.

Sec. 45a-751c. Order directing issuance of uncertified copy of original birth certificate.

Sec. 45a-754. (Formerly Sec. 45-68m). Records related to termination of parental rights, removal of parent as guardian, appointment of statutory parent, adoption matters, temporary guardianship and emancipation of minors. Confidentiality. Exceptions.


PART I

TERMINATION AND ADOPTION IN GENERAL

Sec. 45a-707. (Formerly Sec. 45-61b). Definitions. As used in sections 45a-187, 45a-706 to 45a-709, inclusive, 45a-715 to 45a-718, inclusive, and 45a-724 to 45a-737, inclusive:

(1) “Adoption” means the establishment by court order of the legal relationship of parent and child;

(2) “Child care facility” means a congregate residential setting for the out-of-home placement of children or youths under eighteen years of age, licensed by the Department of Children and Families;

(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;

(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;

(5) “Parent” has the same meaning as provided in section 46b-451;

(6) “Relative” means any person descended from a common ancestor, whether by blood or adoption, not more than three generations removed from the child;

(7) “Statutory parent” means the Commissioner of Children and Families or the child-placing agency appointed by the court for the purpose of the adoption of a minor child or minor children;

(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 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.

(P.A. 73-156, S. 2; P.A. 74-164, S. 1, 20; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 587, 610; P.A. 78-303, S. 85, 136; P.A. 79-631, S. 76, 111; P.A. 80-476, S. 141; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; P.A. 95-349, S. 3; P.A. 96-130, S. 3; P.A. 99-166, S. 8; P.A. 06-196, S. 169; P.A. 21-15, S. 106.)

History: P.A. 74-164 redefined “statutory parent” and added definitions of “child-placing agency”, “child-care agency”, “parent”, “adoption”, “guardianship”, and “termination of parental rights”; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services in definitions of “statutory parent” and “child-placing agency”; P.A. 77-614 and P.A. 78-303 replaced social services commissioner with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-631 replaced human resources commissioner with commissioner of children and youth services; P.A. 80-476 reorganized definitions to appear in alphabetical order and rephrased provisions; Sec. 45-61b transferred to Sec. 45a-707 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 95-349 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing “child care agency” definition with “child care facility” definition; P.A. 96-130 deleted references to Secs. 17a-91, 17a-112, 17a-113, 17a-148 and 52-231a, redefined “parent” and added definition of “relative” and replaced alphabetic Subdiv. indicators with numeric indicators for consistency with customary statutory usage; P.A. 99-166 amended definition of “statutory parent” in Subdiv. (7) by changing “giving in adoption” to “the adoption of”; P.A. 06-196 made a technical change in Subdiv. (2), effective June 7, 2006; P.A. 21-15, redefined “parent” in Subdiv. (5), effective January 1, 2022.

PART II

TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS

Sec. 45a-716. (Formerly Sec. 45-61d). Hearing on petition to terminate parental rights. Notice. Attorney General as party. (a) Upon receipt of a petition for termination of parental rights, the Probate Court, or the Superior Court on a case transferred to it from the Probate Court in accordance with the provisions of subsection (g) of section 45a-715, 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, except, in the case of a petition for termination of parental rights based on consent that is filed on or after October 1, 2004, the time for hearing shall be not more than twenty days after the filing of such petition.

(b) The court shall cause notice of the hearing to be given to the following persons, as applicable: (1) The minor child, if age twelve or older; (2) the parent or parents of the minor child, including any parent who has been removed as guardian; (3) the alleged genetic parent of any minor child born to parents not married to each other, provided at the time of the filing of the petition (A) the alleged genetic parent has been adjudicated the parent of such child by a court of competent jurisdiction, (B) the alleged genetic parent has acknowledged in writing that the alleged genetic parent is the parent of such child, (C) the alleged genetic parent has contributed regularly to the support of such child, (D) the name of the alleged genetic parent appears on the birth certificate, (E) the alleged genetic parent has filed a claim for parentage as provided under section 46b-172a, or (F) the alleged genetic parent has been named in the petition as the parent of the child by the parent who gave birth; (4) the guardian or any other person whom the court deems appropriate; (5) the Commissioner of Children and Families; and (6) the Attorney General. The Attorney General may file an appearance and shall be and remain a party to the action if the child is receiving or has received aid or care from the state, or if the child is receiving child support enforcement services, as defined in subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of section 46b-231. If the recipient of the notice is a person described in subdivision (2) or (3) 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 the respondent is unable to pay for counsel, counsel shall be appointed for the respondent. The reasonable compensation for such counsel shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department, except that in the case of a Probate Court matter, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such compensation 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, the petitioner's agent or attorney, or the clerk of the court, shall be served not less than ten days before the date of the hearing by personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode on the persons enumerated in subsection (b) of this section who are within the state, and by first class mail on the Commissioner of Children and Families and the Attorney General. If the address of any person entitled to personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode is unknown, or if personal service or service at the person's usual place of abode 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 the clerk of the court shall order notice to be given by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, or by publication not less than ten days before the date of the hearing. Any such 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 petition has been filed.

(d) In any proceeding pending in the Probate Court, in lieu of personal service on, or at the usual place of abode of, an alleged genetic parent of a child born to parents not married to each other who is either a petitioner or who signs under penalty of false statement a written waiver of personal service on a form provided by the Probate Court Administrator, the court may order notice to be given by first class mail not less than ten days before the date of the hearing. If such delivery cannot reasonably be effected, or if the whereabouts of the parents is unknown, notice shall be ordered to be given by publication as provided in subsection (c) of this section.

(P.A. 73-156, S. 5; P.A. 74-164, S. 4, 20; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-436, S. 642, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-592, S. 1; 79-631, S. 78, 111; P.A. 80-476, S. 145; 80-483, S. 119, 186; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-11, S. 1, 4; P.A. 84-449, S. 3, 7; P.A. 85-335; P.A. 86-264, S. 3; P.A. 92-118, S. 6; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-170, S. 3; P.A. 96-130, S. 6; 96-170, S. 6, 23; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; P.A. 99-84, S. 31; P.A. 00-137, S. 11; 00-196, S. 32; P.A. 04-128, S. 2; 04-257, S. 110; P.A. 06-149, S. 7; P.A. 07-184, S. 5; P.A. 19-47, S. 7; P.A. 21-15, S. 107; 21-40, S. 47.)

History: P.A. 74-164 clarified provisions through restatement, added reference to juvenile court acting on case transferred to it from probate court, deleted requirement that hearing be held not less than 20 days after petition filed and added provisions re waiver of right to notice; P.A. 75-420 substituted commissioner of social services for welfare commissioner in Subdiv. (4); P.A. 76-436 substituted superior court for juvenile court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced social services commissioner with commissioner of human resources in Subdiv. (4), effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-592 extended provisions re notice to child's father to require notice if his name appears on birth certificate or if he has filed a claim for paternity, substituted (as did P.A. 79-631) commissioner of children and youth services for commissioner of human resources in Subdiv. (4) and deleted provision re waiver of notice; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 80-483 made technical correction; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-11 amended Subsec. (b) to provide that if the recipient of the notice is “a person described in subdivision (1) or (2) of this subsection” the notice shall inform him of his right to counsel and that counsel will be appointed for him if he is unable to pay for counsel, and amended Subsecs. (b) and (c) to replace provision that notice of the hearing shall be given by registered or certified mail or by publication if the address or location of the person is unknown with the requirement that notice of the hearing “and a copy of the petition” shall be “personally served” and if personal service cannot be effected then notice may be given by registered or certified mail or by publication in a newspaper in the place of the reasonably ascertainable address of the parent or, if no address is known, in the place where the termination petition has been filed, effective April 1, 1984; P.A. 84-449 amended Subsec. (b) by providing that if the recipient of the notice is “any other person whose parental rights are sought to be terminated in the petition” the notice shall contain a statement re representation by and payment for counsel and by adding provision that “the reasonable compensation for such counsel shall be established by, and paid from funds appropriated to, the judicial department,” and amended Subsec. (c) by requiring notice of the hearing and a copy of the petition to be served “by certified mail, return receipt requested, on the commissioner of children and youth services”, adding “return receipt requested” and replacing “reasonably ascertainable” with “last-known”; P.A. 85-335 amended Subsec. (c) by requiring personal service of persons within the state and service by certified mail, return receipt requested, for any person out of the state, and changing “parent” to “person to be notified”; P.A. 86-264 amended Subsec. (c) by requiring service by registered or certified mail if address of any person entitled to personal service is unknown and added Subsec. (d) permitting notice by certified mail, return receipt requested, to parent or father of child born out of wedlock who is petitioner or who waives personal service, and notice by publication if such delivery cannot reasonably be affected or if whereabouts of parents are unknown; Sec. 45-61d transferred to Sec. 45a-716 in 1991; P.A. 92-118 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision re compensation of counsel appointed for respondent parent or child in a probate matter; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-170 amended Subsec. (b) to require notice to putative father named in petition as father of minor child by mother; P.A. 96-130 made technical changes in Subsecs. (b) and (c); P.A. 96-170 amended Subsec. (b) by changing funding of compensation of counsel from Probate Court Administration Fund to funds appropriated to Judicial Department, unless funds not included in budget of Judicial Department for such purpose, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 97-90 revised effective date of P.A. 96-170 but without affecting this section; P.A. 99-84 amended Subsec. (d) by deleting “oath” and inserting “penalty of false statement”; P.A. 00-137 amended Subsec. (c) by adding provisions re service at the person's usual place of abode; P.A. 00-196 made a technical change in Subsec. (b); P.A. 04-128 amended Subsec. (a) by adding provision re time for hearing petition for termination of parental rights based on consent; P.A. 04-257 made technical changes, effective June 14, 2004; P.A. 06-149 added Subsec. (b)(5) re Attorney General, to provide that Attorney General may file appearance and shall be and remain a party if child is receiving or has received aid or care from the state or is receiving child support enforcement services, and to make technical changes, and amended Subsec. (c) to add reference to Attorney General, effective January 1, 2007; P.A. 07-184 amended Subsecs. (c) and (d) to substitute “first class mail” for “certified mail”, delete “return receipt requested” and “deliverable to addressee only”, and insert “or at the usual place of abode”; P.A. 19-47 amended Subsec. (b) by adding new Subdiv. (1) re minor child, if age 12 or older, redesignating existing Subdiv. (1) as Subdiv. (2) and amending same by deleting references to October 1, 1973 and Sec. 45a-606, redesignating existing Subdivs. (2) to (5) as Subdivs. (3) to (6), and made technical and conforming changes; P.A. 21-15 amended Subsec. (b)(3) by replacing “father” with references to alleged genetic parent and to parent, “out of wedlock” with “to parents not married to each other”, “paternity” with “parentage” and “mother” with “parent who gave birth”, and making conforming changes, and amended Subsec. (d) by replacing “a parent of the father of a child born out of wedlock” with “an alleged genetic parent of a child born to parents not married to each other”, effective January 1, 2022; P.A. 21-40 made a technical change in Subsec. (b).

Sec. 45a-717. (Formerly Sec. 45-61f). Termination of parental rights. Conduct of hearing. Investigation and report. Grounds for termination. (a) At the hearing held on any petition for the termination of parental rights filed in the Probate Court under section 45a-715, or filed in the Superior Court under section 17a-112, or transferred to the Superior Court from the Probate Court under section 45a-715, any party to whom notice was given shall have the right to appear and be heard with respect to the petition. If a parent who is consenting to the termination of 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 such parent's parental rights except as otherwise provided by court order.

(b) If a respondent parent appears without counsel, the court shall inform such respondent parent of his or her right to counsel and upon request, if he or she is unable to pay for counsel, shall appoint counsel to represent such respondent parent. No respondent parent 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 or her own counsel or if 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, and paid from funds appropriated to, the Judicial Department, however, in the case of a Probate Court matter, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, such compensation shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and paid from the Probate Court Administration Fund.

(c) The court shall, if a claim for parentage has been filed by an alleged genetic parent in accordance with section 46b-172a, continue the hearing under the provisions of this section until the claim for parentage is adjudicated, provided the court may combine the hearing on the claim for parentage 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 expense of any examination shall be paid for by the petitioner, respondent or the party who requested the examination in such proportion as the court determines. If a party responsible for payment is indigent, such party's share of the expense shall be paid for by funds appropriated to the Judicial Department, however, in the case of a Probate Court matter, if funds have not been included in the budget of the Judicial Department for such purposes, the compensation of the physician, psychiatrist or psychologist shall be established by the Probate Court Administrator and 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 the court's determination of whether the proposed termination of parental rights will be in the best interests of the child, including the physical, mental, social and financial condition of the biological parents, and any other factors which the commissioner or such child-placing agency finds relevant to the court's determination of whether the proposed termination will be 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, and to such other persons as the court shall deem appropriate. (3) The report shall be admissible in evidence, subject to the right of a party to require that the person making it appear as a witness and be subject to examination.

(f) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial hearing where no investigation and report has been requested, the court may approve a petition for termination of parental rights based on consent filed pursuant to this section 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 (1) the termination is in the best interest of the child, and (2) such parent has voluntarily and knowingly consented to termination of the parent's parental rights with respect to such child. If the court denies a petition for termination of parental rights based on consent, it may refer the matter to an agency to assess the needs of the child, the care the child is receiving and the plan of the parent for the child. Consent for the termination of the parental right 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.

(g) At the adjourned hearing or at the initial hearing where no investigation and report has been requested, the court may approve a 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 (1) the termination is in the best interest of the child, and (2) (A) 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; (B) the child has been denied, by reason of an act or acts of parental commission or omission, including, but not limited to, sexual molestation and exploitation, severe physical abuse or a pattern of abuse, the care, guidance or control necessary for the child's physical, educational, moral or emotional well-being. Nonaccidental 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; (C) 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; (D) a child of the parent (i) was found by the Superior Court or the Probate Court to have been neglected, abused or uncared for, as those terms are defined in section 46b-120, in a prior proceeding, or (ii) is found to be neglected, abused or uncared for and has been in the custody of the commissioner for at least fifteen months and such parent has been provided specific steps to take to facilitate the return of the child to the parent pursuant to section 46b-129 and 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; (E) a child of the parent, who is under the age of seven years is found to be neglected, abused or uncared for, and the parent has failed, is unable or is unwilling to achieve such degree of personal rehabilitation as would encourage the belief that within a reasonable amount of time, considering the age and needs of the child, such parent could assume a responsible position in the life of the child and such parent's parental rights of another child were previously terminated pursuant to a petition filed by the Commissioner of Children and Families; (F) the parent has killed through deliberate, nonaccidental act another child of the parent or has requested, commanded, importuned, attempted, conspired or solicited such killing or has committed an assault, through deliberate, nonaccidental act that resulted in serious bodily injury of another child of the parent; (G) except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, the parent committed an act that constitutes sexual assault as described in section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a or compelling a spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force or by the threat of the use of force as described in section 53a-70b of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2019, if such act resulted in the conception of the child; or (H) the parent was finally adjudged guilty of sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a or of compelling a spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force or by the threat of the use of force under section 53a-70b of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2019, if such act resulted in the conception of the child.

(h) If the petition alleges an act described in subparagraph (G) of subdivision (2) of subsection (g) of this section that resulted in the conception of the child as a basis for termination of parental rights and the court determines that the respondent parent was finally adjudged not guilty of such act of sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-70c, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73 or of compelling a spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse by the use of force or by the threat of the use of force under section 53a-70b of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2019, the court shall transfer the case to the Superior Court and the clerk of the Probate Court shall transmit to the clerk of the Superior Court to which the case was transferred, the original files and papers in the case. The Superior Court, upon hearing after notice as provided in this section and section 45a-716, may grant the petition as provided in this section.

(i) 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, provided and made available to the parent and the child by 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 the child's parents, any guardian of 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 such parent's circumstances, conduct or conditions to make it in the best interest of the child to return the child to 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.

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

(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 thirty days of the date judgment is entered on a case plan, as defined by the federal Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997, as amended from time to time, for the child. At least every three months thereafter, such guardian or statutory parent shall make a report to the court on the implementation of the plan. The court may convene a hearing upon the filing of a report and shall convene a hearing for the purpose of reviewing the plan no more than twelve months from the date judgment is entered or from the date of the last permanency hearing held pursuant to subsection (k) of section 46b-129 if the child or youth is in the care and custody of the Commissioner of Children and Families, whichever is earlier, and at least once a year thereafter until such time as any proposed adoption plan has become finalized. If the Commissioner of Children and Families is the statutory parent for the child, at such a hearing the court shall determine whether the department has made reasonable efforts to achieve the permanency plan. In the case where termination of parental rights is granted, the guardian of the person or statutory parent shall obtain the approval of the court prior to placing the child or youth for adoption outside the state. Before ordering or approving such placement, the court shall make findings concerning compliance with the provisions of section 17a-175. Such findings shall include, but not be limited to: (1) A finding that the state has received notice in writing from the receiving state, in accordance with subsection (d) of Article III of section 17a-175, indicating that the proposed placement does not appear contrary to the interests of the child, (2) the court has reviewed such notice, (3) whether or not an interstate compact study or other home study has been completed by the receiving state, and (4) if such a study has been completed, whether the conclusions reached by the receiving state as a result of such study support the placement.

(P.A. 73-156, S. 7; P.A. 74-164, S. 6, 20; P.A. 75-420, S. 4, 6; P.A. 76-436, S. 644, 681; P.A. 77-614, S. 521, 610; P.A. 79-592, S. 3; 79-631, S. 79, 111; P.A. 80-476, S. 146; P.A. 82-202, S. 2; P.A. 83-387, S. 2; 83-478, S. 2; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-11, S. 2, 4; P.A. 84-171, S. 6, 7; 84-449, S. 4, 7; P.A. 90-31, S. 5, 9; P.A. 93-91, S. 1, 2; 93-193, S. 2; P.A. 94-81, S. 2; P.A. 95-238, S. 5; 95-316, S. 8; P.A. 96-130, S. 7; 96-170, S. 7, 23; 96-246, S. 19; P.A. 97-90, S. 5, 6; P.A. 98-241, S. 9, 18; P.A. 00-75, S. 2; 00-137, S. 12; P.A. 01-159, S. 6; P.A. 11-180, S. 2; P.A. 15-159, S. 2, 3; P.A. 16-70, S. 2; 16-105, S. 3; P.A. 17-48, S. 13; P.A. 19-47, S. 8; 19-189, S. 10; P.A. 21-15, S. 108.)

History: P.A. 74-164 specified applicability of provisions to hearings for termination of parental rights filed in probate court, brought to juvenile court or transferred to juvenile court, specified that hearing be not more than 30 days after receipt of report or expiration of 90-day period, added proviso re waiver of requirement that one year of abandonment has expired in Subdiv. (1), deleted similar proviso in Subdiv. (2) where court could waive one-year requirement if it found that child under age of 3 because of his age “has a greater vulnerability to damage from the circumstances of his present situation”, added Subdiv. (3) where there are no identifiable acts of parental commission or omission but court sees no ongoing parent-child relationship and to continue the situation to allow for establishment or reestablishment of such relationship would be detrimental to child, deleted provision whereby court could approve termination where parent without custody unreasonably withholds consent “contrary to the best interest of the child”, and added provisions specifying that when one parent's rights are terminated, the remaining parent is sole parent and natural guardian and specifying court's power to terminate rights of parent or putative father if such person consents to the termination and waives notice; P.A. 75-420 replaced welfare commissioner with commissioner of social services; P.A. 76-436 replaced juvenile court with superior court, effective July 1, 1978; P.A. 77-614 replaced social services commissioner with commissioner of human resources, effective January 1, 1979; P.A. 79-592 added provisions re effect of claim for paternity on proceedings and, with P.A. 79-631, replaced human resources commissioner with commissioner of children and youth services; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased and reordered provisions; P.A. 82-202 amended Subsec. (d) by requiring finding upon standard of “clear and convincing evidence”; P.A. 83-387 inserted a new Subsec. (e) to require the court to consider and make written findings concerning certain factors in its determination of whether to terminate parental rights, and relettered the remaining subsection accordingly; P.A. 83-478 amended Subsec. (d) to rephrase the grounds for termination, to provide that “nonaccidental 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”, to require the court to find in connection with any of the grounds, rather than just the abandonment ground, that the termination is in the best interests of the child and that the condition causing termination has existed for not less than one year, and to authorize the court to waive the requirement that one year expire prior to the termination of parental rights, but because of omission from June special session act, was effective only from October 1, 1983, through March 31, 1984, that is, until June act's effective date of April 1, 1984; June Sp. Sess. P.A. 83-11 inserted a new Subsec. (b) re the appointment and payment of counsel, inserted a new Subsec. (d) re an examination of the child, parent or custodian and the payment for such examination, and relettered the intervening and remaining subsections accordingly, effective April 1, 1984; P.A. 84-171 amended Subsec. (f) to restore amendment made by P.A. 83-478; P.A. 84-449 substantially revised and rephrased section adding provisions re the procedure for termination of parental rights based on consent and revising provisions for the appointment and payment of counsel and the ordering of and payment for an examination of the child; P.A. 90-31 amended Subsec. (b) by adding provision that in the case of a probate court matter, reasonable compensation of counsel appointed for the parent or child shall be established by the probate court administrator and paid from the probate court administration fund and amended Subsec. (d) by adding provision that expenses in a probate court matter shall be paid from the probate court administration fund; Sec. 45-61f transferred to Sec. 45a-717 in 1991; P.A. 93-91 substituted commissioner and department of children and families for commissioner and department of children and youth services, effective July 1, 1993; P.A. 93-193 amended Subsec. (g) by adding provision re abandonment of a child under the age of 6 months as evidence that waiver necessary to promote best interest of child and requiring department to file affidavit indicating efforts used to locate parent; P.A. 94-81 amended Subsec. (k) by specifying that 90-day deadline for initial reports begins on date judgment is entered, by specifying that guardian or statutory parent to make subsequent report and requiring the court to convene hearing for review of plan no more than 15 months from date judgment is entered and at least once a year thereafter; P.A. 95-238 added Subsec. (f)(4) re unregenerate parents and Subsec. (g)(2) re children under age 7 and made technical changes; P.A. 95-316 amended Subsec. (k) by deleting reference to applicability in cases where termination of parental rights is “based on consent”; P.A. 96-130 made technical changes to Subsecs. (a), (b), (e), (f), (h) and (k); P.A. 96-170 amended Subsecs. (b) and (d) by changing funding of compensation of counsel and examination from Probate Court Administration Fund to funds appropriated to Judicial Department, unless funds not included in budget of Judicial Department for such purpose, effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 96-246 revised section, amending Subsec. (f) to include granting of petitions based on consent and procedure when denial of petition based on consent, amending Subsec. (g) re grounds for granting termination petition, appointment of guardian or statutory parent and amending Subsec. (i) by adding “and made available” after “provided.” (Revisor's note: In Subsec. (g) the word “which” was inserted editorially by the Revisors in the phrase “… and (2) over an extended period of time, except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, which shall not be less than one year …”); P.A. 97-90 revised effective date of P.A. 96-170 but without affecting this section; P.A. 98-241 amended Subsec. (g) by adding “including, but not limited to sexual molestation and exploitation, severe physical abuse or a pattern of abuse”, amended Subpara. (D)(ii) re finding of neglect of child in custody for at least 15 months and parent has been provided specific steps to facilitate return of child, added Subparas. (F) and (G) re serious bodily harm or death of sibling or conviction of parent of sexual assault resulting in conception of child, and deleted Subsec. (h) re conditions for waiving time limit in Subsec. (g), effective July 1, 1998; P.A. 00-75 amended Subsec. (g)(2)(D)(i) by adding “or the Probate Court”; P.A. 00-137 amended Subsec. (g)(2) by making technical changes in Subpara. (D) and by adding “as an adult or a delinquent” and proviso that court may terminate parent's parental rights at any time after conviction in Subpara. (G); P.A. 01-159 amended Subsec. (j) by requiring report 30 days after judgment re case plan and at least every 3 months thereafter re progress made on implementation of plan, adding provision that court may convene hearing on filing of report, requiring hearing for purpose of reviewing plan to convene not more than 12 months from judgment or date of last permanency hearing, and adding provision that at the hearing, the court shall determine whether department has made reasonable efforts to achieve permanency plan; P.A. 11-180 amended Subsec. (j) by adding provisions requiring court to approve placement of child or youth outside the state; P.A. 15-159 amended Subsec. (b) by replacing “party” with “respondent parent” and making technical changes, and amended Subsec. (g) by adding “, abused” and reference to Sec. 46b-120 in Subdiv. (2)(D), adding “, abused” in Subdiv. (2)(E), and making technical changes, effective July 2, 2015; P.A. 16-70 amended Subsec. (g)(2) by adding new Subpara. (G) re commission of act constituting sexual assault or compelling spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse resulting in conception of the child, redesignating existing Subpara. (G) as Subpara. (H) and replacing provision re conviction with provision re finally adjudged guilty of sexual assault or compelling spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse, added new Subsec. (h) re transfer of case to Superior Court after respondent parent finally adjudged not guilty of sexual assault or compelling spouse or cohabitor to engage in sexual intercourse, redesignated existing Subsecs. (h) to (j) as Subsecs. (i) to (k) and made technical and conforming changes, effective July 1, 2016; P.A. 16-105 amended Subsec. (j) by substituting “Adoption and Safe Families Act of 1997” for “Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980”, effective June 3, 2016; P.A. 17-48 made a technical change in Subsec. (g)(2)(B); P.A. 19-47 amended Subsec. (b) by deleting “or the parent or guardian of the child” re payment for child's counsel, amended Subsec. (d) by replacing provisions re payment of expense of examination with new provisions re same and replacing “such expenses” with “the compensation of the physician, psychiatrist or psychologist”, amended Subsec. (e)(2) by deleting “including the child, if over fourteen years of age,”, amended Subsec. (e)(3) by replacing “any interested party” with “a party”, and replacing “, if available and subject himself” with “and be subject”, and made technical changes; P.A. 19-189 amended Subsec. (g)(2) and Subsec. (h) by adding “of the general statutes, revision of 1958, revised to January 1, 2019” re Sec. 53a-70b; P.A. 21-15 amended Subsec. (c) by replacing “paternity” with “parentage” and “filed in accordance with” with “filed by an alleged genetic parent in accordance with”, effective January 1, 2022.

PART IV

AVAILABILITY AND CONFIDENTIALITY
OF ADOPTION RECORDS

Sec. 45a-751b. Disclosure of identifying information. Consent required. Exception. (a) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, 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 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.

(b) (1) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, if parental rights were terminated on or before September 30, 1995, (A) 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, except as provided in subdivision (2) of this subsection, and (B) 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 the 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.

(2) Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, on and after October 1, 2009, information tending to identify a biological parent who is subject to this subsection may be disclosed to an authorized applicant if the biological parent whose information is to be disclosed provides written consent, provided the child-placing agency or department attempts to determine the whereabouts of the other biological parent and obtain written consent from such other biological parent to permit disclosure of such information in the manner permitted under subdivision (1) of this subsection. If such other biological parent cannot be located or does not provide such written consent, information tending to identify the biological parent who has provided written consent may be disclosed to an authorized applicant, provided: (A) Information tending to identify the other biological parent shall not be disclosed without the written consent of the other biological parent, and (B) the biological parent whose information is to be disclosed signs an affidavit that such parent shall not disclose any information tending to identify the other biological parent without the written consent of the other biological parent.

(c) Regardless of the date parental rights were terminated, on or after July 1, 2021, the registrar of vital statistics of the municipality of an adopted person's birth shall, not later than thirty days after a written request, issue an uncertified copy of an original birth certificate to such adopted person if he or she is eighteen years of age or older and the subject of such birth certificate, or to such adopted person's child or grandchild, in accordance with the provisions of section 7-53.

(d) 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.

(e) 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.

(f) 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.

(g) 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 child-placing agency, the department, the court of probate or the superior court that 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, the Family Services Association of America or the 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.

(P.A. 96-130, S. 31; P.A. 09-185, S. 10; P.A. 14-133, S. 7; P.A. 21-21, S. 2.)

History: P.A. 09-185 amended Subsec. (a) by making a technical change and amended Subsec. (b) by designating existing provisions as Subdiv. (1), making conforming changes therein and adding Subdiv. (2) re disclosure of information identifying a biological parent with parent's written consent; P.A. 14-133 amended Subsecs. (a) and (b) by adding references to exception in Subsec. (c), added new Subsec. (c) re issuance of uncertified copy of original birth certificate, redesignated existing Subsecs. (c) to (f) as Subsecs. (d) to (g) and amended redesignated Subsec. (g) by making a technical change, effective July 1, 2015; P.A. 21-21 amended Subsec. (a) by changing “July 1, 2015” to “July 1, 2021”, replacing Department of Public Health with registrar of vital statistics of municipality of adopted person's birth, adding deadline for registrar to issue uncertified copy of original birth certificate, deleting provision limiting such issuance to adopted person whose adoption was finalized on or after October 1, 1983, replacing “adopted person's adult child or grandchild” with “adopted person's child or grandchild”, and making technical changes, effective July 1, 2021.

Sec. 45a-751c. Order directing issuance of uncertified copy of original birth certificate. On the petition of an authorized applicant, as defined in section 45a-743, the Probate Court or the Superior Court that finalized an adoption or appointed a guardian ad litem in accordance with section 45a-753 shall issue an order directing the registrar of vital statistics of the municipality of an adopted person's birth to issue an uncertified copy of an original birth certificate to the authorized applicant in accordance with subsection (b) of section 7-53, provided the person named in the certificate of birth is deceased and (1) each birth parent named on the original birth certificate (A) consents to the release of identifying information, in accordance with sections 45a-751 to 45a-751b, inclusive, or (B) is deceased, or (2) a legal representative or guardian ad litem consents to the release of identifying information on behalf of the birth parent, in accordance with section 45a-753.

(P.A. 14-133, S. 10; P.A. 21-21, S. 3.)

History: P.A. 14-133 effective July 1, 2015; P.A. 21-21 deleted former Subsec. (a) re orders directing issuance of uncertified copy of original birth certificate of adopted person whose adoption was finalized prior to October 1, 1983, deleted former Subsec. (b) designator, replaced Department of Public Health with registrar of vital statistics of municipality of adopted person's birth, redesignated existing provisions re birth parents as Subdiv. (1) and existing provisions re legal representative or guardian ad litem as Subdiv. (2) and made conforming changes, effective July 1, 2021, and applicable to petitions filed on and after July 1, 2021.

Sec. 45a-754. (Formerly Sec. 45-68m). Records related to termination of parental rights, removal of parent as guardian, appointment of statutory parent, adoption matters, temporary guardianship and emancipation of minors. Confidentiality. Exceptions. (a) All records of cases related to termination of parental rights, removal of a parent as guardian, appointment of a statutory parent, adoption matters, temporary guardianship and emancipation of a minor shall be confidential and shall not be open to inspection by or disclosed to any third party, except that (1) such records shall be available to (A) the parties in any such case and their counsel; (B) the Department of Children and Families; (C) any licensed child-placing agency involved in any such case; (D) any judge or employee of a court of this state who, in the performance of his or her duties, requires access to such records; (E) the Office of the Probate Court Administrator; and (F) courts of other states under the provisions of sections 46b-115a to 46b-115gg, inclusive; and (2) access to and disclosure of adoption records shall be in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.

(b) Access to adoption 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 biological parent or parents or blood relatives may be contacted in accordance with the procedures in section 45a-753.

(1949 Rev., S. 6870; 1953, S. 2906d; 1972, P.A. 127, S. 67; P.A. 74-164, S. 19, 20; P.A. 75-201; P.A. 77-246, S. 9; 77-604, S. 80, 84; P.A. 80-476, S. 169; P.A. 87-555, S. 12; P.A. 96-130, S. 34; P.A. 11-128, S. 8; P.A. 21-100, S. 27.)

History: 1972 act changed age of majority from 21 to 18, amending section accordingly; P.A. 74-164 rephrased provision re access to envelopes containing adoption material, specifying that parent or child over eighteen “may for cause shown, either ex parte or with such notice the court deems advisable” have access; P.A. 75-201 specified applicability of provisions to decrees for termination of parental rights, removal of parent as guardian or appointment of statutory guardian, adding provisions necessary to reflect broadened applicability; P.A. 77-246 added reference to affidavits, rephrased provision re parents' or child's access to records, requiring access to information under Sec. 45-68e be granted and authorizing petition of court for information under Sec. 45-68i, added provisions authorizing disclosure of information necessary for health care or medical treatment and contact of natural parents or blood relatives to learn medical information if necessary; P.A. 77-604 made technical grammatical correction; Sec. 45-66 transferred to Sec. 45-68m in 1979; P.A. 80-476 divided section into Subsecs. and rephrased provisions; P.A. 87-555 deleted provisions in Subsec. (d) re access to information under Sec. 45-68e and petition to court and inserted “access to such records shall be in accordance with sections 45-68a to 45-68l, inclusive”, and changed “section” to “chapter” in Subsec. (e); Sec. 45-68m transferred to Sec. 45a-754 in 1991; P.A. 96-130 amended Subsec. (d) by changing “genetic” to “biological”; P.A. 11-128 substantially revised Subsec. (a) to replace provisions re furnishing each court with index and book for recording enumerated matters with requirement that all records of enumerated cases be confidential, except as provided in Subdivs. (1) and (2), and to make Subsec. applicable to records in cases related to temporary guardianship and emancipation of minor, deleted former Subsecs. (b) and (c) re locked files, sealed envelopes and marking of envelopes, redesignated existing Subsec. (d) as Subsec. (b) and amended same to substitute “adoption records” for “such records” and make a technical change, and deleted former Subsec. (e) re penalty for unauthorized disclosure; P.A. 21-100 made a technical change in Subsec. (a), effective July 1, 2021.