October 18, 2019
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Adoption Task Force Legislation

This week the Speaker's Task Force on Adoption finished up work and released its recommendations aimed at identifying ways to reduce the cost and timeline of adoptions, examining the termination of parental rights process (TPR) and raising awareness of adoption. The Speaker’s Task Force on Adoption held seven hearings around the state this summer, gathering input from various authorities, case workers, impacted families and state and private organizations.

Included in the recommendations are eight proposals that:

  • Create grounds for TPR based on a child being out of home for 15 out of 22 months.

  • Create a statutory procedure that allows a proposed adoptive parent and former parent to enter into an agreement for postadoption contact privileges.

  • Provide that relatives have six months from the date that they receive notice of the child’s removal to indicate their willingness to participate in the care of the child. Additionally, amend statute to say that a child should be placed with a relative "if it is in the best interest of the child", rather than “whenever possible”, as current statute reads. 

  • Streamline the court process by creating a procedure under which a TPR may be initiated by filing a petition within an existing child in need of protection or services (CHIPS) proceeding, rather than filing an entirely new case.

  • Expand eligibility for federal adoption assistance funding by directly amending the Dept. of Children and Families rule that defines “special needs.”

  • Add a child’s foster parent and a child in foster care who is 12 years or older to the list of individuals that may receive a copy of a permanency plan and any written comments submitted to the agency that is preparing the permanency plan.

  • Expand the rights of a foster parent or physical custodian in any hearing on a requested change in a child’s or juvenile’s placement.

  • Eliminate the option of a jury trial in a TPR lawsuit, while creating grounds for a CHIPS order based on prenatal exposure to a controlled substance or a parent’s chronic and severe use of alcohol or a controlled substance.

This task force has been working diligently over the past several months to come up with this comprehensive plan on improving the adoption process here in Wisconsin, and I applaud them on a job well done. These bills will next receive public hearings to allow for additional testimony on whether these bills should be brought before the full Assembly.

As always, I encourage you to follow my updates on social media or contact my office directly with your questions. Best wishes on your weekend!

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Fall Color Report

If you are planning on enjoying Fall activities this weekend, don't forget to check out Travel Wisconsin's Fall Color Report. In addition to updates on Wisconsin's Fall foliage, this helpful tool also gives you weather updates, things to do and a place to upload your photos of the wonderful colors of Wisconsin in the Fall.

According to the report, Sheboygan County is very close to "peak" fall colors, so I encourage everyone to go out and experience the beauty of Wisconsin in the Fall.

bluebooksavailablenow_2019_20indd.jpgWisconsin Blue Books Available Today

The 2019-2020 State of Wisconsin Blue Book is now available. This book has been published biennially since 1853 by the nonpartisan Legislative Reference Bureau. The Blue Book is a valuable source of information on state government, the legislative process and the history of Wisconsin. If you would like to receive a copy of the Wisconsin Blue Book free of charge, please contact my office at You can view the book online here.

Office of Rep. Terry Katsma
State Capitol, Room 306 East
PO Box 8952
Madison, WI 53708

Toll-Free (888) 529-0026 or (608) 266-0656 |