H.B. No. 2331
relating to the emergency possession of certain abandoned children;
providing a penalty.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
SECTION 1. Subchapter D, Chapter 262, Family Code, is
amended by adding Sections 262.308 and 262.309 to read as follows:
Sec. 262.308. CONFIDENTIALITY. (a) All identifying
information, documentation, or other records regarding a person who
voluntarily delivers a child to a designated emergency infant care
provider under this subchapter is confidential and not subject to
release to any individual or entity except as provided by
(b) Any pleading or other document filed with a court under
this subchapter is confidential, is not public information for
purposes of Chapter 552, Government Code, and may not be released to
a person other than to a party in a suit regarding the child, the
party's attorney, or an attorney ad litem or guardian ad litem
appointed in the suit.
(c) In a suit concerning a child for whom the Department of
Family and Protective Services assumes care, control, and custody
under this subchapter, the court shall close the hearing to the
public unless the court finds that the interests of the child or the
public would be better served by opening the hearing to the public.
(d) Unless the disclosure, receipt, or use is permitted by
this section, a person commits an offense if the person knowingly
discloses, receives, uses, or permits the use of information
derived from records or files described by this section or
knowingly discloses identifying information concerning a person
who voluntarily delivers a child to a designated emergency infant
care provider. An offense under this subsection is a Class B
Sec. 262.309. SEARCH FOR RELATIVES NOT REQUIRED. The
Department of Family and Protective Services is not required to
conduct a search for the relatives of a child for whom the
department assumes care, control, and custody under this
SECTION 2. Section 263.407, Family Code, is amended by
amending Subsection (a) and adding Subsections (a-1) and (c) to
read as follows:
(a) There [
In a suit to terminate the parent-child
relationship, there] is a rebuttable presumption that a parent who
delivers a child to a designated emergency infant care provider in
accordance with Subchapter D, Chapter 262:
(1) is the child's biological parent; and
(2) intends to relinquish parental rights and[ ,]
consents to the termination of parental rights with regard to the
(a-1) A party that seeks to rebut a presumption in
Subsection (a) may do so at any time before the parent-child
relationship is terminated with regard to the child.
(c) Before filing a petition to terminate the parental
rights with regard to a child taken into the department's custody
under Section 262.303, the department must:
(1) verify with the National Crime Information Center
and state and local law enforcement agencies that the child is not a
missing child; and
(2) obtain a certificate of the search of the
paternity registry under Subchapter E, Chapter 160, not earlier
than the date the department estimates to be the 30th day after the
child's date of birth.
SECTION 3. Section 263.3025(d), Family Code, is repealed.
SECTION 4. The change in law made by this Act applies to a
child for whom the Department of Family and Protective Services
assumes responsibility under Subchapter D, Chapter 262, Family
Code, as amended by this Act, regardless of whether the department
assumed responsibility for the child before, on, or after the
effective date of this Act.
SECTION 5. This Act takes effect September 1, 2005.
President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 2331 was passed by the House on April
22, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 139, Nays 0, 1 present, not
voting; and that the House concurred in Senate amendments to H.B.
No. 2331 on May 23, 2005, by a non-record vote.
Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 2331 was passed by the Senate, with
amendments, on May 19, 2005, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays
Secretary of the Senate