Chief Sponsor: Todd Weiler

House Sponsor: ____________


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses termination of parental rights.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     modifies the circumstances under which a court may terminate a parent's rights.
13     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
14          None
15     Other Special Clauses:
16          None
17     Utah Code Sections Affected:
18     AMENDS:
19          78A-6-507, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2012, Chapter 281

21     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
22          Section 1. Section 78A-6-507 is amended to read:
23          78A-6-507. Grounds for termination of parental rights -- Findings regarding
24     reasonable efforts.
25          (1) Subject to the protections and requirements of Section 78A-6-503, [and if the court
26     finds strictly necessary,] the court may terminate all parental rights with respect to a parent if
27     the court finds any one of the following:

28          (a) that the parent has abandoned the child;
29          (b) that the parent has neglected or abused the child;
30          (c) that the parent is unfit or incompetent;
31          (d) (i) that the child is being cared for in an out-of-home placement under the
32     supervision of the court or the division;
33          (ii) that the parent has substantially neglected, wilfully refused, or has been unable or
34     unwilling to remedy the circumstances that cause the child to be in an out-of-home placement;
35     and
36          (iii) that there is a substantial likelihood that the parent will not be capable of
37     exercising proper and effective parental care in the near future;
38          (e) failure of parental adjustment, as defined in this chapter;
39          (f) that only token efforts have been made by the parent:
40          (i) to support or communicate with the child;
41          (ii) to prevent neglect of the child;
42          (iii) to eliminate the risk of serious harm to the child; or
43          (iv) to avoid being an unfit parent;
44          (g) (i) that the parent has voluntarily relinquished the parent's parental rights to the
45     child; and
46          (ii) that termination is in the child's best interest;
47          (h) that, after a period of trial during which the child was returned to live in the child's
48     own home, the parent substantially and continuously or repeatedly refused or failed to give the
49     child proper parental care and protection; or
50          (i) the terms and conditions of safe relinquishment of a newborn child have been
51     complied with, pursuant to Title 62A, Chapter 4a, Part 8, Safe Relinquishment of a Newborn
52     Child.
53          (2) The court may not terminate the parental rights of a parent because the parent has
54     failed to complete the requirements of a child and family plan.
55          (3) (a) Except as provided in Subsection (3)(b), in any case in which the court has
56     directed the division to provide reunification services to a parent, the court must find that the
57     division made reasonable efforts to provide those services before the court may terminate the
58     parent's rights under Subsection (1)(b), (c), (d), (e), (f), or (h).

59          (b) Notwithstanding Subsection (3)(a), the court is not required to make the finding
60     under Subsection (3)(a) before terminating a parent's rights:
61          (i) under Subsection (1)(b), if the court finds that the abuse or neglect occurred
62     subsequent to adjudication; or
63          (ii) if reasonable efforts to provide the services described in Subsection (3)(a) are not
64     required under federal law, and federal law is not inconsistent with Utah law.