CHC 1207     

Art. 1207. Duties of the agency; duties of the department; home study; confidential report

            A. Prior to the final decree of the adoption, the licensed private adoption agency, or the department, if the child is in custody of the department, shall ensure that all of the prerequisites for adoption that are listed in this Paragraph are completed. The licensed private adoption agency or the department shall complete the list of prerequisites by utilizing a social worker in the employ of a licensed private adoption agency, licensed social worker, licensed professional counselor, licensed psychologist, medical psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, or licensed marriage and family therapist; or, if the child is in the custody of the department, by a department employee or designee. All of the following prerequisites shall be completed:

            (1) Conduct an initial in-home, in-person visit with the child and one adoptive parent within seven calendar days of the child's placement. The next in-home, in-person visit shall occur within thirty days of the initial in-home, in-person visit.

            (2) Conduct an in-home visit with one adoptive parent at least once every month after the visits provided in Subparagraph (1) of this Paragraph are completed. The child shall be observed in the home during the monthly visit.

            (3) Conduct a private visit without the presence of the adoptive parents with each child age one year and above every other month with at least a segment of the visit occurring in the adoptive home.

            (4) Conduct an in-home visit with both adoptive parents and child within thirty days prior to the final decree.

            (5) Prepare a report that documents information obtained from the visits conducted pursuant to Subparagraphs (1) through (4) of this Paragraph which shall contain all of the following:

            (a) The date and time of the visit.

            (b) The individuals present at the time of the visit.

            (c) The location of the visit.

            (d) The duration of the visit.

            (e) An assessment of adjustment of both the child and the adoptive parent.

            (f) An assessment of the attachment and bonding between the child and the adoptive parent.

            (g) An assessment of the child's health.

            (h) A description of changes since last contact.

            (i) A summary of the visit.

            (j) The signature of a person conducting the visit or phone contact.

            (6) Conduct at least three of the visits prior to adoption finalization including the visit prior to the final decree which shall include both adoptive parents and all other members of the household.

            (7) Report observations made during the visits which shall be used in making recommendations for the finalization of the adoption. If problems are identified, the family shall be assisted directly and referred to a resource to address the concerns.

            (8) The child and adoptive parent shall be provided assistance, consultation, and emotional support with situations and problems encountered in permanent placement through finalization.

            (9) The adoptive family shall be provided with access to twenty-four-hour crisis intervention services through finalization.

            (10) A confidential report concerning requirements set forth in Subparagraphs (1) through (9) of this Paragraph shall be presented to the department upon completion and to the court prior to the hearing on the final decree of agency adoption.

            B. The department shall investigate the proposed agency adoption and submit a confidential report of its findings to the court. The findings shall include:

            (1) The conditions with respect to the availability of the child for adoption.

            (2) The physical and mental condition of the child.

            (3) Other factors regarding the suitability of the child for adoption in petitioner's home.

            (4) The moral and financial fitness of the petitioner.

            (5) The conditions of the proposed adoptive home with respect to health, adjustment, and other advantages or disadvantages to the child.

            C. The department may delegate the performance of this investigation to a licensed private adoption agency, but the department remains responsible for ensuring the accuracy and thoroughness of the resulting report and for the safety and welfare of the child. The department shall adopt, promulgate, and enforce such rules and regulations as are necessary and appropriate to implement this authorization in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act.

            D. The department shall make every effort to locate any living parent whose consent is required under Article 1193 to determine the parent's attitude toward the proposed adoption. If a curator ad hoc has been appointed by the court pursuant to Article 1205, the department shall supply him with all information pertinent to the location of an absentee parent within fifteen days of its receipt of a copy of the order appointing the curator ad hoc.

            Acts 1991, No. 235, §12, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1999, No. 1062, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2022, No. 633, §1.