Politics & Government

House renews effort on adoption reform

FRANKFORT - The House yesterday unanimously approved a bill designed to afford more protection to biological parents in danger of having their parental rights terminated.

The bill ensures that proposed foster care adoptions are thoroughly reviewed.

"It puts some continuity into how adoptions are done," State Rep. Tom Burch said as he argued for the bill on the House floor.

State officials have spent the last year investigating complaints that some children are inappropriately removed from their biological parents and placed in foster care to facilitate state adoptions.

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services Inspector General found that some state social workers committed crimes as they removed children from their biological families.

When it was clear earlier this week that the original foster care adoption bill --Senate Bill 141 -- was stalled in the Senate, Burch took another bill that had already passed the Senate and attached new language to it.

That language calls for a panel of top state child protection officials to review every recommendation to terminate parental rights before that recommendation is sent to a judge.

For the bill to continue to pass through the General Assembly, the Senate must concur with the changes made in the House.