What Minnesota's New Legislative Changes Mean for Sibling Advocacy.
Children's Law Center of Minnesota.
Published: July 16, 2012
Intended for attorneys assisting foster care youth in Minnesota, this brief explains the importance of the sibling relationship, the negative effects of sibling separation, and new statutory amendments in Minnesota that place the decision of whether it is in a child's best interests to be separated from her siblings with the Court. It explains these new amendments to Minnesota's Juvenile Code go into effect August 1, 2012, and place the authority to consent to an adoption in the hands of the responsible placement agency when there is no qualified parent or guardian, and requires the agency to make every effort to place siblings together. In the event that siblings are not placed together, the responsible agency is required to report to the Court the efforts made to place the siblings together and why the efforts were not successful. The Court then reviews the agency's reasonable efforts at least every 90 days as well as any proposal to separate siblings for the purpose of adoption. Further, the responsible agency may not cease reasonable efforts to place siblings together for final adoption until an adoption is finalized or the Court approves a sibling separation request. Additional provisions require that if a State ward is not placed with his siblings, the agency create a sibling visitation plan. Attorney tips are provided throughout the brief for effectively advocating for foster care youth. 46 references.
Minnesota; lawyers role; foster care; sibling relationships; siblings; state laws; courts; child placement; child advocacy; childrens rights; sibling visits