Kentucky Putative Father Registry Proposal

The text of SB140 (KY):
AN ACT relating to a voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

SECTION 1. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 213 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) The Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall establish a voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry within the Vital Statistics Branch by January 1, 2008. The purpose of the registry shall be to record contact information for a man who wants to voluntarily claim that he may have fathered a child to whom he may claim paternity and that he wants to be notified in the event of an action for leave to adopt the child. The registration form shall include but not be limited to the man's name, the address or telephone number at which he wants to receive notice of a petition to adopt the child he claims, and the name, the address, and telephone number of the mother of the child. The cabinet shall maintain registration forms in a manner that enables it to access a registration form using either the name of the putative father or the mother. The registry shall be maintained as a confidential document and only be accessed through a formally requested search.
(2) The cabinet may establish a reasonable fee for responding to a request for information. The cabinet shall promulgate administrative regulations to establish and administer the registry.
(3) The Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall provide public notice of the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry that includes the following:
(a) Where to obtain a registration form, including a Web site address;
(b) Where to register, including electronic registration;
(c) Instructions on how to complete registration forms;
(d) The circumstances under which a putative father is required to register to entitle him to notice of an adoption; and
(e) The consequences of not submitting a timely registration.
SECTION 2. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 213 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) A man may register no later than thirty (30) working days after the birth of the child by completing and submitting a registration form as prescribed by the cabinet. The man may register before the child is born.
(2) On receipt of a completed registration form, the cabinet shall indicate on the form the date of receipt and file it in the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry within ten (10) working days of the receipt of the registration form.
(3) A man shall be responsible for:
(a) Verifying with the cabinet the accuracy of the registration; and
(b) Submitting to the cabinet an amended registration form when the information supplied by the putative father changes.
(4) If a registered man receives notification that he has been identified by the cabinet in relation to a mother whose child may be the subject of an adoption, he shall file an affidavit of paternity with the cabinet in order to retain parental rights before the notified date of an adoption hearing.
(5) A man may revoke his registration in the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry at any time by submitting a signed, notarized statement of revocation to the cabinet.
(6) A mother of a child shall attempt to notify the birth father, if known to her, that a petition for the adoption of the child has been filed.
SECTION 3. A NEW SECTION OF KRS CHAPTER 213 IS CREATED TO READ AS FOLLOWS:
(1) A mother, an attorney, an agency or person with a legitimate interest in the parent-child relationship, and other similar state paternity registries may request at any time that the Cabinet for Health and Family Services search the registry to determine whether a man is registered in relation to a mother whose child is or may be the subject of an adoption.
(2) If a petition for adoption is filed, the attorney or agency that arranges the adoption shall:
(a) Request a search of the registry at least one (1) working day after the date of filing; and
(b) File an affidavit of the registry search prepared by the cabinet with the petition for adoption.
(3) No later than ten (10) working days after receiving a request under subsection (2) of this section, the cabinet shall submit an affidavit of a voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry search to the attorney or agency verifying whether a man registered no later than thirty (30) working days after the birth of the child and the cabinet shall attempt to notify the man if he was identified by the search.
Section 4. KRS 213.036 is amended to read as follows:
(1) Each county in the Commonwealth shall constitute a registration district for the purposes of carrying out the provisions of this chapter.
(2) The secretary shall, upon the recommendation of the state registrar, designate a local registrar in each registration district to aid in the efficient administration of the system of vital statistics. The local registrar shall be an employee of the local health department. The designation may be revoked by the secretary.
(3) The local registrar may designate one (1) or more employees of the local health department as deputy registrar. The local registrar may also appoint persons as deputy registrars who are not employees of the local health department if, in the opinion of the cabinet, the appointments are necessary. All appointments shall be subject to the approval of the state registrar.
(4) The local registrar shall supply blank forms of certificates to persons who require them. The local registrar shall carefully examine each certificate of birth or fetal death when presented for filing, to ensure the record has been properly completed. If the certificates are properly completed the local registrar shall sign as local registrar and attest to the date of filing. The local registrar shall also make a complete and accurate copy of each certificate to be filed and permanently preserved in the local registrar's office as the local record, in the manner directed by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services. When a birth or fetal death certificate filed with a local registrar indicates the residence of the mother or the deceased to be in another county, the registrar shall mail a copy of the certificate to the local registrar of the county of residence.
(5) The local registrar shall provide for voluntary acknowledgment of paternity services in accordance with 42 U.S.C. secs. 651 et seq., and transmit original certificates and affidavits of paternity to the Vital Statistics Branch as directed by the state registrar.
(6) The local registrar shall provide forms and instructional information on how to register with the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry, as established under Section 1 of this Act, and on how the registry operates.
Section 5. KRS 213.046 is amended to read as follows:

(1) A certificate of birth for each live birth which occurs in the Commonwealth shall be filed with the local registrar within ten (10) days after such birth and shall be registered if it has been completed and filed in accordance with this section. All certificates shall be typewritten. No certificate shall be held to be complete and correct that does not supply all items of information called for in this section and in KRS 213.051, or satisfactorily account for their omission except as provided in KRS 199.570(3). If a certificate of birth is incomplete, the local registrar shall immediately notify the responsible person and require that person to supply the missing items, if that information can be obtained.
(2) When a birth occurs in an institution or en route thereto, the person in charge of the institution or that person's designated representative, shall obtain the personal data, prepare the certificate, secure the signatures required, and file the certificate as directed in subsection (1) of this section or as otherwise directed by the state registrar within the required ten (10) days. The physician or other person in attendance shall provide the medical information required for the certificate and certify to the fact of birth within ten (10) days after the birth. If the physician or other person in attendance does not certify to the fact of birth within the ten (10) day period, the person in charge of the institution shall complete and sign the certificate.
(3) When a birth occurs in a hospital or en route thereto to a woman who is unmarried, the person in charge of the hospital or that person's designated representative shall immediately before or after the birth of a child, except when the mother or the alleged father is a minor:
(a) Meet with the mother prior to the release from the hospital;
(b) Attempt to ascertain whether the father of the child is available in the hospital, and, if so, to meet with him, if possible;
(c) Provide written materials and oral, audio, or video materials about paternity;
(d) Provide forms necessary to voluntarily establish paternity;
(e) Provide a written and an oral, audio, or video description of the rights and responsibilities, the alternatives to, and the legal consequences of acknowledging paternity;
(f) Provide written materials and information concerning genetic paternity testing;
(g) Provide an opportunity to speak by telephone or in person with staff who are trained to clarify information and answer questions about paternity establishment;
(h) If the parents wish to acknowledge paternity, require the voluntary acknowledgment of paternity obtained through the hospital-based program be signed by both parents and be authenticated by a notary public;
(i) Provide the unmarried mother, and, if possible, the father, with the affidavit of paternity form;
(j) Upon both the mother's and father's request, help the mother and father in completing the affidavit of paternity form;
(k) Upon both the mother's and father's request, transmit the affidavit of paternity to the local registrar in the county in which the birth occurred;[ and]
(l) In the event that the mother or the alleged father is a minor, information set forth in this section shall be provided in accordance with Civil Rule 17.03 of the Kentucky Rules of Civil Procedure; and
(m) Provide information about the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry established in Section 1 of this Act and explain the man's rights and responsibilities relating to the registry.
If the mother or the alleged father is a minor, the paternity determination shall be conducted pursuant to KRS Chapter 406.
(4) The voluntary acknowledgment-of-paternity forms designated by the Vital Statistics Branch shall be the only documents having the same weight and authority as a judgment of paternity.
(5) The Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall:
(a) Provide to all public and private birthing hospitals in the state written materials and audio or video materials concerning paternity establishment forms necessary to voluntarily acknowledge paternity;
(b) Provide copies of a written description and an audio or video description of the rights and responsibilities of acknowledging paternity; and
(c) Provide staff training, guidance, and written instructions regarding voluntary acknowledgment of paternity as necessary to operate the hospital-based program.
(6) When a birth occurs outside an institution, the certificate shall be prepared and filed by one (1) of the following in the indicated order of priority:
(a) The physician in attendance at or immediately after the birth; or, in the absence of such a person,
(b) Any other person in attendance at or immediately after the birth; or, in the absence of such a person,
(c) The father, the mother, or in the absence of the father and the inability of the mother, the person in charge of the premises where the birth occurred or of the institution to which the child was admitted following the birth.
(7) No physician, midwife, or other attendant shall refuse to sign or delay the filing of a birth certificate.
(8) If a birth occurs on a moving conveyance within the United States and the child is first removed from the conveyance in the Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in the Commonwealth, and the place where the child is first removed shall be considered the place of birth. If a birth occurs on a moving conveyance while in international waters or air space or in a foreign country or its air space and the child is first removed from the conveyance in the Commonwealth, the birth shall be registered in the Commonwealth, but the certificate shall show the actual place of birth insofar as can be determined.
(9) The following provisions shall apply if the mother was married at the time of either conception or birth or anytime between conception and birth:
(a) If there is no dispute as to paternity, the name of the husband shall be entered on the certificate as the father of the child. The surname of the child shall be any name chosen by the parents; however, if the parents are separated or divorced at the time of the child's birth, the choice of surname rests with the parent who has legal custody following birth.
(b) If the mother claims that the father of the child is not her husband and the husband agrees to such a claim and the putative father agrees to the statement, a three (3) way affidavit of paternity may be signed by the respective parties and duly notarized. The state registrar of vital statistics shall enter the name of a nonhusband on the birth certificate as the father and the surname of the child shall be any name chosen by the mother.
(c) If a question of paternity determination arises which is not resolved under paragraph (b) of this subsection, it shall be settled by the District Court.
(10) The following provisions shall apply if the mother was not married at the time of either conception or birth or between conception and birth or the marital relationship between the mother and her husband has been interrupted for more than ten (10) months prior to the birth of the child:
(a) The name of the father shall not be entered on the certificate of birth. The state registrar shall upon acknowledgment of paternity by the father and with consent of the mother pursuant to KRS 213.121, enter the father's name on the certificate. The surname of the child shall be any name chosen by the mother and father. If there is no agreement, the child's surname shall be determined by the parent with legal custody of the child.
(b) If an affidavit of paternity has been properly completed and the certificate of birth has been filed accordingly, any further modification of the birth certificate regarding the paternity of the child shall require an order from the District Court.
(c) In any case in which paternity of a child is determined by a court order, the name of the father and surname of the child shall be entered on the certificate of birth in accordance with the finding and order of the court.
(d) In all other cases, the surname of the child shall be any name chosen by the mother.
(11) If the father is not named on the certificate of birth, no other information about the father shall be entered on the certificate. In all cases, the maiden name of the gestational mother shall be entered on the certificate.
(12) Any child whose surname was restricted prior to July 13, 1990, shall be entitled to apply to the state registrar for an amendment of a birth certificate showing as the surname of the child, any surname chosen by the mother or parents as provided under this section.
(13) The birth certificate of a child born as a result of artificial insemination shall be completed in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(14) Each birth certificate filed under this section shall include all Social Security numbers that have been issued to the parents of the child.
(15) Either of the parents of the child, or other informant, shall attest to the accuracy of the personal data entered on the certificate in time to permit the filing of the certificate within ten (10) days prescribed in subsection (1) of this section.
(16) When a birth certificate is filed for any birth that occurred outside an institution, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall forward information regarding the need for an auditory screening for an infant and a list of options available for obtaining an auditory screening for an infant. The list shall include the Commission for Children with Special Health Care Needs, local health departments as established in KRS Chapter 212, hospitals offering obstetric services, alternative birthing centers required to provide an auditory screening under KRS 216.2970, and licensed audiologists, and shall specify the hearing methods approved by the Early Child Development Authority in accordance with KRS 216.2970.
Section 6. KRS 199.011 is amended to read as follows:
As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Secretary" means the secretary for health and family services;
(2) "Cabinet" means the Cabinet for Health and Family Services;
(3) "Department" means the Department for Community Based Services;
(4) "Child" means any person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday;
(5) "Adult adopted person" means any adopted person who is twenty-one (21) years of age or older;
(6) "Child-caring facility" means any institution or group home, including institutions and group homes that are publicly operated, providing residential care on a twenty-four (24) hour basis to children, not related by blood, adoption, or marriage to the person maintaining the facility, other than an institution or group home certified by an appropriate agency as operated primarily for educational or medical purposes, or a residential program operated or contracted by the Department of Juvenile Justice that maintains accreditation, or obtains accreditation within two (2) years of opening from a nationally recognized accrediting organization;
(7) "Child-placing agency" means any agency licensed by the cabinet which supervises the placement of children in foster family homes or child-caring facilities, or which places children for adoption;
(8) "Adoption worker" means an employee of the cabinet so designated by the secretary for health and family services, a social worker employed by a county or city who has been approved by the cabinet to handle, under its supervision, adoption placement services to children, or a social worker employed by or under contract to a child-placing adoption agency;
(9) "Foster family home" means a private home in which children are placed for foster family care under supervision of the cabinet or of a licensed child-placing agency;
(10) "Group home" means a homelike facility, excluding Department of Juvenile Justice operated or contracted facilities, for not more than eight (8) foster children, not adjacent to or part of an institutional campus, operated by a sponsoring agency for children who may participate in community activities and use community resources;
(11) "Institution" means a child-caring facility providing care or maintenance for nine (9) or more children;
(12) "Family rehabilitation home" means a child-caring facility for appropriate families and comprising not more than twelve (12) children and two (2) staff persons;
(13) "Placement services" means those social services customarily provided by a licensed child-placing or a public agency which are necessary for the arrangement and placement of children in foster family homes, child-placing facilities, or adoptive homes. Placement services are provided through a licensed child-placing or a public agency for children who cannot be cared for by their biological parents and who need and can benefit from new and permanent family ties established through legal adoption. Licensed child-placing agencies and public agencies have a responsibility to act in the best interests of children, biological parents, and adoptive parents by providing social services to all the parties involved in an adoption;
(14) "Putative father" or "alleged father" means a man who claims that he may be the father of a child born out of wedlock but who has not yet been legally proven to be the child's father;
(15) "Voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry" means a registry maintained by the Cabinet for Health and Family Services as established under Section 1 of this Act.
(16) "Voluntary and informed consent" means that at the time of the execution of the consent the consenting person was fully informed of the legal effect of the consent, that the consenting person was not given or promised anything of value except those expenses allowable under KRS 199.590(6), that the consenting person was not coerced in any way to execute the consent, and that the consent was voluntarily and knowingly given. If at the time of the execution of the consent the consenting person was represented by independent legal counsel, there shall be a presumption that the consent was voluntary and informed. The consent shall be in writing, signed and sworn to by the consenting person and include the following:
(a) Date, time, and place of the execution of the consent;
(b) Name of the child, if any, to be adopted and the date and place of the child's birth;
(c) Consenting person's relationship to the child;
(d) Identity of the proposed adoptive parents or a statement that the consenting person does not desire to know the identification of the proposed adoptive parents;
(e) A statement that the consenting person understands that the consent will be final and irrevocable under this paragraph unless withdrawn under this paragraph.
1. If placement approval by the secretary is required, the voluntary and informed consent shall become final and irrevocable twenty (20) days after the later of the placement approval or the execution of the voluntary and informed consent. This consent may be withdrawn only by written notification sent to the proposed adoptive parent or the attorney for the proposed adoptive parent on or before the twentieth day by certified or registered mail and also by first class mail.
2. If placement approval by the secretary is not required, the voluntary and informed consent shall become final and irrevocable twenty (20) days after the execution of the voluntary and informed consent. This consent may be withdrawn only by written notification sent to the proposed adoptive parent or the attorney for the proposed adoptive parent on or before the twentieth day by certified or registered mail and also by first class mail;
(f) Disposition of the child if the adoption is not adjudged;
(g) A statement that the consenting person has received a completed and signed copy of the consent at the time of the execution of the consent;
(h) Name and address of the person who prepared the consent, name and address of the person who reviewed and explained the consent to the consenting person, and a verified statement from the consenting person that the consent has been reviewed with and fully explained to the consenting person; and
(i) Total amount of the consenting person's legal fees, if any, for any purpose related to the execution of the consent and the source of payment of the legal fees.
Section 7. KRS 199.480 is amended to read as follows:
(1) The following persons shall be made parties defendant in an action for leave to adopt a child:
(a) The child to be adopted;
(b) The biological living parents of a child under eighteen (18), if the child is born in lawful wedlock. If the child is born out of wedlock, its mother; and its father, if one (1) of the following requirements is met:
1. [He is known and voluntarily identified by the mother by affidavit;
2. ]Prior to the entry of a final order in a termination proceeding, he has acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity in the action by filing a paternity affidavit[or to the custodial agency or the party bringing the action] within sixty (60) days after the birth of the child;
2.[3.] He has caused his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child by filing a paternity affidavit;
3.[4.] He has commenced a judicial proceeding claiming parental right;
4.[5.] He has contributed financially to the support of the child, either by paying the medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child or financially contributed to the child's support;[ or]
5.[6.] He has married the mother of the child;[ or]
6. He has lived openly[ or is living openly] with the child within the last sixty (60) days; or[ the person designated on the birth certificate as the biological mother of the child]
7. He has registered with the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry no later than thirty (30) working days after the birth of the child.
A putative father shall not be made a party defendant if none of the requirements set forth above have been met, and a biological parent shall not be made a party defendant if the parental rights of that parent have been terminated under KRS Chapter 625, or under a comparable statute of another jurisdiction;
(c) The child's guardian, if it has one.
(d) If the care, custody, and control of the child has been transferred to the cabinet, or any other individual or individuals, institution, or agency, then the cabinet, the other individual or individuals, institution, or agency shall be named a party defendant, unless the individual or individuals, or the institution or agency is also the petitioner.
(2) Each party defendant shall be brought before the court in the same manner as provided in other civil cases except that if the child to be adopted is under fourteen (14) years of age and the cabinet, individual, institution, or agency has custody of the child, the service of process upon the child shall be had by serving a copy of the summons in the action upon the cabinet, individual, institution or agency, any provision of CR 4.04(3) to the contrary notwithstanding.
(3) If the child's biological living parents, if the child is born in lawful wedlock, or if the child is born out of wedlock, its mother, and if paternity is established in legal action or if an affidavit is filed stating that the affiant is father of the child, its father, are parties defendant, no guardian ad litem need be appointed to represent the child to be adopted.
Section 8. KRS 199.490 is amended to read as follows:
(1) The petition shall allege:
(a) The name, date, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address of each petitioner, and, if married, the date and place of their marriage;
(b) The name, date, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address, if known, of the child sought to be adopted;
(c) Relationship, if any, of the child to each petitioner;
(d) Full name by which the child shall be known after adoption;
(e) A full description of the property, if any, of the child so far as it is known to the petitioner;
(f) The names of the parents of the child and the address of each living parent, if known. The name of the biological father of a child born out of wedlock shall not be given unless paternity is established in a legal action, or unless an affidavit is filed stating that the affiant is the father of the child. If certified copies of orders terminating parental rights are filed as provided in subsection (2) of this section, the name of any parent whose rights have been terminated shall not be given;
(g) The name and address of the child's guardian, if any, or of the cabinet, institution, or agency having legal custody of the child;
(h) Any further facts necessary for the location of the person or persons whose consent to the adoption is required, or whom KRS 199.480 requires to be made a party to or notified of the proceeding;[ and]
(i) A copy of the affidavit of the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry search required under Section 3 of this Act; and
(j) If any fact required by this subsection to be alleged is unknown to the petitioners, the lack of knowledge shall be alleged.
(2) There shall be filed with the petition certified copies of any orders terminating parental rights. Any consent to adoption shall be filed prior to the entry of the adoption judgment.
(3) If the petitioner was not excepted by KRS 199.470(4) or (5), a copy of the written approval of the secretary of the Cabinet for Health and Family Services or the secretary's designee shall be filed with the petition.
Section 9. KRS 199.502 is amended to read as follows:
(1) Notwithstanding the provisions of KRS 199.500(1), an adoption may be granted without the consent of the biological living parents of a child if it is pleaded and proved as part of the adoption proceeding that any of the following conditions exist with respect to the child:
(a) That the parent has abandoned the child for a period of not less than ninety (90) days;
(b) That the parent had inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, serious physical injury;
(c) That the parent has continuously or repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, physical injury or emotional harm;
(d) That the parent has been convicted of a felony that involved the infliction of serious physical injury to a child named in the present adoption proceeding;
(e) That the parent, for a period of not less than six (6) months, has continuously or repeatedly failed or refused to provide or has been substantially incapable of providing essential parental care and protection for the child, and that there is no reasonable expectation of improvement in parental care and protection, considering the age of the child;
(f) That the parent has caused or allowed the child to be sexually abused or exploited;
(g) That the parent, for reasons other than poverty alone, has continuously or repeatedly failed to provide or is incapable of providing essential food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education reasonably necessary and available for the child's well-being and that there is no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the parent's conduct in the immediately foreseeable future, considering the age of the child;
(h) That:
1. The parent's parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated;
2. The child named in the present adoption proceeding was born subsequent to or during the pendency of the previous termination; and
3. The condition or factor which was the basis for the previous termination finding has not been corrected;[ or]
(i) That the putative father did not register with the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry as required under Section 1 of this Act; or
(j) That the parent has been convicted in a criminal proceeding of having caused or contributed to the death of another child as a result of physical or sexual abuse or neglect.
(2) Upon the conclusion of proof and argument of counsel, the Circuit Court shall enter findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a decision either:
(a) Granting the adoption without the biological parent's consent; or
(b) Dismissing the adoption petition, and stating whether the child shall be returned to the biological parent or the child's custody granted to the state, another agency, or the petitioner.
Section 10. KRS 625.050 is amended to read as follows:
(1) A petition for involuntary termination of parental rights shall be entitled "In the interest of ..., a child."
(2) The petition shall be filed in the Circuit Court for any of the following counties:
(a) The county in which either parent resides or may be found;
(b) The county in which juvenile court actions, if any, concerning the child have commenced; or
(c) The county in which the child involved resides or is present.
(3) Proceedings for involuntary termination of parental rights may be initiated upon petition by the cabinet, any child-placing agency licensed by the cabinet, any county or Commonwealth's attorney or parent.
(4) The petition for involuntary termination of parental rights shall be verified and contain the following:
(a) Name and mailing address of each petitioner;
(b) Name, sex, date of birth and place of residence of the child;
(c) Name and address of the living parents of the child;
(d) Name, date of death and cause of death, if known, of any deceased parent;
(e) Name and address of the putative father, if known by the petitioner, of the child if not the same person as the legal father;
(f) Name and address of the person, cabinet or agency having custody of the child;
(g) Name and identity of the person, cabinet or authorized agency to whom custody is sought to be transferred;
(h) Statement that the person, cabinet or agency to whom custody is to be given has facilities available and is willing to receive the custody of the child;
(i) All pertinent information concerning termination or disclaimers of parenthood or voluntary consent to termination;
(j) Information as to the legal status of the child and the court so adjudicating;[and]
(k) A concise statement of the factual basis for the termination of parental rights; and
(l) A copy of the affidavit of the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry search as required under Section 3 of this Act.
(5) No petition may be filed under this section prior to five (5) days after the birth of the child.
Section 11. KRS 625.065 is amended to read as follows:
(1) The putative father of a child shall be made a party and brought before the circuit court in the same manner as any other party to an involuntary termination action if one (1) of the following conditions exists:
(a)[ He is known and voluntarily identified by the mother by affidavit;
(b)] Prior to the entry of a final order in a termination proceeding, he shall have acknowledged the child as his own by affirmatively asserting paternity in the action by filing a paternity affidavit no later than thirty (30) working[or to the custodial agency or the party bringing the action within sixty (60)] days after the birth of the child;
(b)[(c)] He has caused his name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child by filing a paternity affidavit;
(c)[(d)] He has commenced a judicial proceeding claiming parental right;
(d)[(e)] He has contributed financially to the support of the child, either by paying the medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child or financially contributed to the child's support;[ or]
(e)[(f)] He has married the mother of the child;[ or]
(f) He has lived openly[ or is living openly] with the child within the last sixty (60) days; or[ the person designated on the birth certificate as the biological mother of the child]
(g) He has registered with the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry no later than thirty (30) working days after the birth of the child.
(2) Any person to whom none of the above conditions apply shall be deemed to have no parental rights to the child in question.
Section 12. KRS 625.090 is amended to read as follows:
(1) The Circuit Court may involuntarily terminate all parental rights of a parent of a named child, if the Circuit Court finds from the pleadings and by clear and convincing evidence that:
(a) 1. The child has been adjudged to be an abused or neglected child, as defined in KRS 600.020(1), by a court of competent jurisdiction;
2. The child is found to be an abused or neglected child, as defined in KRS 600.020(1), by the Circuit Court in this proceeding; or
3. The parent has been convicted of a criminal charge relating to the physical or sexual abuse or neglect of any child and that physical or sexual abuse, neglect, or emotional injury to the child named in the present termination action is likely to occur if the parental rights are not terminated; and
(b) Termination would be in the best interest of the child.
(2) No termination of parental rights shall be ordered unless the Circuit Court also finds by clear and convincing evidence the existence of one (1) or more of the following grounds:
(a) That the parent has abandoned the child for a period of not less than ninety (90) days;
(b) That the parent has inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, serious physical injury;
(c) That the parent has continuously or repeatedly inflicted or allowed to be inflicted upon the child, by other than accidental means, physical injury or emotional harm;
(d) That the parent has been convicted of a felony that involved the infliction of serious physical injury to any child;
(e) That the parent, for a period of not less than six (6) months, has continuously or repeatedly failed or refused to provide or has been substantially incapable of providing essential parental care and protection for the child and that there is no reasonable expectation of improvement in parental care and protection, considering the age of the child;
(f) That the parent has caused or allowed the child to be sexually abused or exploited;
(g) That the parent, for reasons other than poverty alone, has continuously or repeatedly failed to provide or is incapable of providing essential food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or education reasonably necessary and available for the child's well-being and that there is no reasonable expectation of significant improvement in the parent's conduct in the immediately foreseeable future, considering the age of the child;
(h) That:
1. The parent's parental rights to another child have been involuntarily terminated;
2. The child named in the present termination action was born subsequent to or during the pendency of the previous termination; and
3. The conditions or factors which were the basis for the previous termination finding have not been corrected;
(i) That the parent has been convicted in a criminal proceeding of having caused or contributed to the death of another child as a result of physical or sexual abuse or neglect;[ or]
(j) That the child has been in foster care under the responsibility of the cabinet for fifteen (15) of the most recent twenty-two (22) months preceding the filing of the petition to terminate parental rights; or
(k) That an affidavit of a search of the voluntary acknowledgement-of-paternity registry shows that the putative father had not registered within thirty (30) working days or less after the birth of the child or that a registered putative father received notification of the termination proceedings but did not file an affidavit of paternity before the termination hearing.
(3) In determining the best interest of the child and the existence of a ground for termination, the Circuit Court shall consider the following factors:
(a) Mental illness as defined by KRS 202A.011(9), or mental retardation as defined by KRS 202B.010(9) of the parent as certified by a qualified mental health professional, which renders the parent consistently unable to care for the immediate and ongoing physical or psychological needs of the child for extended periods of time;
(b) Acts of abuse or neglect as defined in KRS 600.020(1) toward any child in the family;
(c) If the child has been placed with the cabinet, whether the cabinet has, prior to the filing of the petition made reasonable efforts as defined in KRS 620.020 to reunite the child with the parents unless one or more of the circumstances enumerated in KRS 610.127 for not requiring reasonable efforts have been substantiated in a written finding by the District Court;
(d) The efforts and adjustments the parent has made in his circumstances, conduct, or conditions to make it in the child's best interest to return him to his home within a reasonable period of time, considering the age of the child;
(e) The physical, emotional, and mental health of the child and the prospects for the improvement of the child's welfare if termination is ordered; and
(f) The payment or the failure to pay a reasonable portion of substitute physical care and maintenance if financially able to do so.
(4) If the child has been placed with the cabinet, the parent may present testimony concerning the reunification services offered by the cabinet and whether additional services would be likely to bring about lasting parental adjustment enabling a return of the child to the parent.
(5) If the parent proves by a preponderance of the evidence that the child will not continue to be an abused or neglected child as defined in KRS 600.020(1) if returned to the parent the court in its discretion may determine not to terminate parental rights.
(6) Upon the conclusion of proof and argument of counsel, the Circuit Court shall enter findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a decision as to each parent-respondent within thirty (30) days either:
(a) Terminating the right of the parent; or
(b) Dismissing the petition and stating whether the child shall be returned to the parent or shall remain in the custody of the state.
Section 13. Sections 2 to 12 of this Act take effect January 1, 2008.