This Fiscal Note is not an official copy and should not be quoted or cited.
Fiscal Note - SB 0939 - Changes Missouri Adoption Laws
L.R. NO.  3517-01
BILL NO.  SB 939
SUBJECT:  Domestic Relations:  Adoption
TYPE:     Original
DATE:     March 7, 1996

                              FISCAL SUMMARY

FUND AFFECTED              FY 1997             FY 1998           FY 1999

General Revenue           ($4,785)  ($0 to $5,904,785)($0 to $5,904,785)

Highway Fund             (Unknown)           (Unknown)         (Unknown)

Dedicated Fund             $40,500                  $0                $0

Commission Fund          ($24,990)           ($30,000)         ($30,000)

Total Estimated
Net Effect on All
State Funds              ($10,725)  ($0 to $5,934,785)($0 to $5,934,785)


FUND AFFECTED              FY 1997             FY 1998           FY 1999


Total Estimated
Net Effect on All
Federal Funds                   $0                  $0                $0


FUND AFFECTED              FY 1997             FY 1998           FY 1999

Local Government         (Unknown)           (Unknown)         (Unknown)

                              FISCAL ANALYSIS


The Department of Social Services (DOS) and the Office of State Courts
Administrator (CTS) do not expect to be fiscally impacted.

The Department of Labor & Industrial Relations (DOL), Division of Employment
Security and the Missouri Commission on Human Rights do not expect to be
fiscally impacted.

The Department of Highway & Transportation (DHT) assumes that the definition
of "mother" in the proposal means birth mother not adopting mother.  Under
this assumption, the proposal would have minimal to moderate impact on DHT's
medical plan, but the amount cannot be determined without first knowing the
actuarial affect of this additional coverage.  Based on the outcome of the
actuarial study the Highway Fund could be impacted.  Therefore, Oversight has
shown the fiscal impact as an unknown to the Highway Fund.

The Department of Corrections (DOC) does not have data available to determine
the number of people who could be prosecuted under this proposal.  It was
assumed that few, if any, convictions would result in incarceration.
Probation or incarceration could result in some additional costs, but it was
assumed that the impact would be minimal.  Oversight has shown the fiscal
impact as zero.

The Department of Insurance(INS) stated it will need .5 FTE, an Insurance
Product Analyst II, and related expense to review all new life and health
form filings caused by changes to insurance policies and plans generated by
this and all other legislation enacted during this session.  This FTE would
work full-time for six months a year.  INS states that approximately 245
insurers and 25 HMOs are currently writing medical plans.  On average each
company offers three plans. The result would be 810 new policy filings needed
to comply with this legislation.  A policy filing fee of $50 is required and
based on  810 filings, $40,500 in revenue to the Insurance Dedicated Fund
would be generated in the first fiscal year only.

Oversight assumes the passage of this proposal would not increase cost to
INS; however,  revenue of $40,500 in the first fiscal year only would be
realized. In addition,  passage of  more than one similar proposal could
require the INS to request increased appropriations to cover  cumulative
administrative costs.

The Department of Revenue (DOR) indicates an unknown fiscal impact to general
revenue (GR).  DOR assumes that the Office of Administration (OA), Division
of Budget & Planning would provide an estimate of the loss to GR resulting
from the tax credit.  DOR expects to need additional staff and have estimated
costs for one FTE (i.e., tax audit analyst I).  This FTE would be responsible
for pre-edit of all documentation submitted with the credit claim.  The
Division of Taxation assumes that one FTE would be required for every 40,000
tax returns which claim the adoption credit.  According to data provided by
OA, there were 2,400 adoptions finalized during calendar year 1995.  Assuming
the number of adoptions finalized yearly remains fairly constant, Oversight
assumes that DOR would not need an additional FTE to handle the tax credits.
Therefore, the fiscal impact for DOR would be zero.

The Office of Administration (OA), Division of Budget & Planning estimates
the loss to the general revenue fund at $0 to $5,900,000 annually since there
is no data available which gives income information on adoptive parents.  The
upper limit assumes that all adoptions would fall into the lowest income
class. According to the Department of Social Services (DOS), there were 900
stepparent adoptions at an average cost of $2,000; 300 foreign adoptions at
an average cost of $15,000; and 700 private adoptions at a cost ranging from
$1,000 to $15,000.  It was assumed that the credit for the stepparent
adoptions would be $1,000; foreign adoptions would be $5,000; adoptions
handled by DFS would be $750; and private adoptions would be $5,000.  The 500
adoptions handled by DFS would meet the criteria for the special needs
adoption credit.  The maximum credit was allowed for the private adoptions
since it could not be ascertained how many would fall below the $5,000 level.
Oversight assumes there would not be a loss to the general revenue fund
during FY97 since the credit is not applicable until after January 1, 1997.
The credit would not be applied until 1998 when taxes are filed.

The Office of Prosecution Services (OPS) does not expect any direct fiscal
impact, but local prosecuting attorneys could be impacted.  The proposal
would allow prosecutors to seek injunctive relief for a violation of sections
210.481 to 210.536.  OPS assumes that this would be a new duty for the
prosecutors, and as such, costs could be incurred.  However, the amount would
be unknown.

The Department of Health (DOH) expects costs to be incurred as a result of
the required forms for the putative father registry and public service
announcements.  DOH anticipates printing  100,000 forms at $.04 per form for
costs of $4,000.  Printing and postage associated with the public service
announcements would be $192, while production and distribution of the radio
public service announcements would be $593.  Total costs would be $4,785

The Department of Conservation (MDC) expects to be fiscally impacted by being
required to provide maternity benefits to the mother of the insured's adopted
child.  MDC's current plan does not provide such benefits.  MDC estimates
that costs would be $30,000 annually, representing a 1% increase in the
premium rate department wide.

The Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan (HCP) assumes that the provision
requiring insurers to provide maternity coverage for the birth mother of an
adopted child would generate additional costs for HCP's contractors.  HCP
would not be directly impacted.  Oversight assumes the fiscal impact would be

FISCAL IMPACT - State Government    FY 1997       FY 1998        FY 1999
                                   (10 Mo.)


Adoption Tax Credits                     $0        ($0 to         ($0 to
                                              $5,900,000)    $5,900,000)

Costs-Department of Health (DOH)
Forms/Public Service Announcements ($4,785)      ($4,785)       ($4,785)

GENERAL REVENUE FUND               ($4,785)  ($5,904,785)   ($5,904,785)


Costs-Department of Highway
& Transportation (DHT)
Maternity Benefits                (Unknown)     (Unknown)      (Unknown)

HIGHWAY FUND                      (Unknown)     (Unknown)      (Unknown)


Income-Department of Insurance (INS)
Policy Filing Fees                  $40,500            $0             $0

INSURANCE DEDICATED FUND            $40,500            $0             $0


Costs-Department of Conservation (MDC)
Maternity Benefits                ($24,990)     ($30,000)      ($30,000)

CONSERVATION COMMISSION FUND      ($24,990)     ($30,000)      ($30,000)

FISCAL IMPACT  - Local Government   FY 1997       FY 1998        FY 1999
                                   (10 Mo.)

Filing Suit for Injunctive
Relief for Violation of
Sections 210.481 to 210.536       (Unknown)     (Unknown)      (Unknown)

LOCAL GOVERNMENT                  (Unknown)     (Unknown)      (Unknown)


The proposal would change adoption laws.  The primary changes would be as

- The Special Needs Adoption Tax Credit Act would become the Adoption Credit
- Any person adopting a child on or after January 1, 1997, would be eligible
to receive a tax credit for a certain percentage of non-recurring adoption
expenses depending on their level of income, not to exceed certain set levels
for each adopted child.  The credit would be applicable to taxes due under
chapter 143, RSMo.
- DOH would be required to prepare paternity registration forms and search
applications; produce and distribute a pamphlet or publication concerning the
putative father registry; and provide information to the public through
public service announcements or other means.
- Proof of foreign adoptions would include a copy of the original birth
certificate, and English translation and a copy of the approval of
immigration by the United States government.
- The director of the Division of Family Services (DFS), or his authorized
representative, could
- The prosecuting attorney of the county where a foster home, residential
care facility or child placing agency is located or DFS could file suit for a
violation of sections 210.481 to 210.536, requesting injunctive relief, with
the order remaining in effect until the court determines compliance.
- The written consent required of the parent prior to termination of parental
rights must be witnessed by two adult witnesses, but not prospective adoptive
- Reasons for terminating parental rights would be expanded to include a
finding of abandonment; the child has been abused or neglected and one or
more of the conditions outlined were found; and the parent being found guilty
or pleading guilty to a felony sexual offense or incest when the child was
the victim.
-Unless the person being adopted is under the prior and continuing
jurisdiction of a court pursuant to chapter 211, the adoption petition would
be filed in the juvenile division of the circuit court.  Upon application,
the court's jurisdiction could be transferred to the juvenile division of the
circuit court in the county where the person was born, the child could be
found at the time of filing, or where the person seeking to adopt resides.
- Certain individuals would be allowed to advertise for the adoption of a
child; certain individuals would be allowed to place a child; and the parent
could voluntarily place a child with certain individuals or organizations.
- When an adoption petition alleges abandonment, abuse and/or neglect, sexual
abuse, or incest, an attorney would be appointed for any birth parent when an
attorney cannot be afforded.
- The individual placing a child would be required to provide certain types
of information, as outlined in the proposal, to the prospective adoptive
parent prior to accepting physical custody of the child.  This information
could not be used in any civil or criminal action against an individual or
the person placing the child would not be liable for incorrect information or
unintentional errors.  A copy of the report would be filed with the court,
the guardian ad litem and the family assessor.
- Written consent would be required of certain individuals prior to a person
being adopted if the person is under the age of eighteen.  Witnesses would be
required, excluding certain individuals, and such consent of the birth parent
would not be executed until 48 hours after the birth of the child. The
consent would executed in front of the judge except, at the discretion of the
judge, consent could be executed before a notary public or in lieu of such
acknowledgement.  The consent must be approved no later than three months
following the date the form was signed.
- Consent of certain individuals, as outlined, would not be required prior to
the adoption of a child.
- A writ of summons and a copy of the petition would be served to certain
- No decree for adoption would be issued until a full investigation including
a favorable assessment and the written evaluation of the child appropriate
post-placement evaluation and summary are completed.
-The conduct and the content of the  assessment would be as provided in the
proposal, with  copies of the assessment being provided to petitioner,
attorney for the petitioner, and guardian ad litem.
-Post placement reports would be required and include the information listed
in the proposal.
- An accounting of any money would be required of the petitioner and include
an itemized billing statement.
- The court would conduct a hearing to determine whether the adoption should
be finalized.  If satisfied, a decree would be issued and could include an
order to change the name of the person being adopted.
- An order transferring custody of a child would be required except if
placement is made by a licensed agency, DFS or where the petitioner is a
step-parent or guardian.  Transfer orders would be entered only if the
conditions outlined in the proposal have been met.
- The court could order DFS to investigate alleged violations of section
453.005 to 453.170 or section 210.620.  The investigation must be initiated
within 48 hours and completed within 30 days.  The costs of the investigation
would be incurred by the person having custody in violation of the sections.
- Missouri would be required to recognize adoptions by other states and
foreign countries.
- The crime of trafficking in children would not occur if the money,
consideration or thing of value or conduct is permitted under chapter 453,
RSMo, relating to adoption.
- Certain insurance plans would be required to offer coverage of maternity
benefits for the mother of the insured's adopted child.
- DOH would not longer be required to license residential care facilities.

This legislation is not federally mandated, would not duplicate any other
program and would not require additional capital improvements or rental


Department of Revenue
Department of Health
Office of Prosecution Services
Office of State Courts Administrator
Department of Insurance
Department of Labor & Industrial Relations
Missouri Consolidated Health Care Plan
Department of Corrections
Department of Conservation
Department of Highway & Transportation
Office of Administration
  Division of Budget & Planning
Department of Social Services