To reaffirm that the duty of a parent to support and maintain his or her child continues during any period in which the child may be removed from the custody of the parent.
To provide a just and humane program of services to nonmarital children, children and unborn children in need of protection or services, and the expectant mothers of those unborn children; to avoid duplication and waste of effort and money on the part of public and private agencies; and to coordinate and integrate a program of services to children and families.
In proceedings involving an American Indian child, the best interests of the child shall be determined consistent with the Indian child welfare act, 25 USC 1901
. In this subsection, "American Indian child" means any unmarried person who is under 18 years of age and who is one of the following:
Eligible for membership in an Indian tribe and is the biological child of a member of an Indian tribe.
The "paramount consideration" of the child's best interest does not mandate that the child's interests will always outweigh the public's. In Interest of B.B. 166 Wis. 2d 202
, 479 N.W.2d 205
(Ct. App. 1991).
Jurisdictional questions relating to the Indian child welfare act are discussed. 70 Atty. Gen. 237.
Adoption and termination proceedings in Wisconsin: Straining the wisdom of Solomon. Hayes and Morse, 66 MLR 439 (1983).
The Indian child welfare act-tribal self-determination through participation in child custody proceedings. 1979 WLR 1202.
In this chapter, unless otherwise defined:
"Abuse", other than when used in referring to abuse of alcohol beverages or other drugs, means any of the following:
Physical injury inflicted on a child by other than accidental means.
When used in referring to an unborn child, serious physical harm inflicted on the unborn child, and the risk of serious physical harm to the child when born, caused by the habitual lack of self-control of the expectant mother of the unborn child in the use of alcohol beverages, controlled substances or controlled substance analogs, exhibited to a severe degree.
With a child physically present during the manufacture.
In a child's home, on the premises of a child's home, or in a motor vehicle located on the premises of a child's home.
Under any other circumstances in which a reasonable person should have known that the manufacture would be seen, smelled, or heard by a child.
Emotional damage for which the child's parent, guardian or legal custodian has neglected, refused or been unable for reasons other than poverty to obtain the necessary treatment or to take steps to ameliorate the symptoms.
"Adult" means a person who is 18 years of age or older, except that for purposes of investigating or prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated any state or federal criminal law or any civil law or municipal ordinance, "adult" means a person who has attained 17 years of age.
"Alcohol and other drug abuse impairment" means a condition of a person which is exhibited by characteristics of habitual lack of self-control in the use of alcohol beverages, controlled substances or controlled substance analogs to the extent that the person's health is substantially affected or endangered or the person's social or economic functioning is substantially disrupted.
"Child" means a person who is less than 18 years of age, except that for purposes of investigating or prosecuting a person who is alleged to have violated a state or federal criminal law or any civil law or municipal ordinance, "child" does not include a person who has attained 17 years of age.
"County department" means a county department under s. 46.22
, unless the context requires otherwise.
"Court", when used without further qualification, means the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter and ch. 938
"Court intake worker" means any person designated to provide intake services under s. 48.067
"Department" means the department of children and families.
"Developmentally disabled" means having a developmental disability, as defined in s. 51.01 (5)
"Emotional damage" means harm to a child's psychological or intellectual functioning. "Emotional damage" shall be evidenced by one or more of the following characteristics exhibited to a severe degree: anxiety; depression; withdrawal; outward aggressive behavior; or a substantial and observable change in behavior, emotional response or cognition that is not within the normal range for the child's age and stage of development.
"Foreign jurisdiction" means a jurisdiction outside of the United States.
"Foster home" means any facility that is operated by a person required to be licensed by s. 48.62 (1) (a)
and that provides care and maintenance for no more than 4 children or, if necessary to enable a sibling group to remain together, for no more than 6 children or, if the department promulgates rules permitting a different number of children, for the number of children permitted under those rules.
"Group home" means any facility operated by a person required to be licensed by the department under s. 48.625
for the care and maintenance of 5 to 8 children, as provided in s. 48.625 (1)
"Guardian" means the person named by the court having the duty and authority of guardianship.
"Judge", if used without further qualification, means the judge of the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter and ch. 938
" Juvenile detention facility" means a locked facility approved by the department of corrections under s. 301.36
for the secure, temporary holding in custody of children.
"Legal custodian" means a person, other than a parent or guardian, or an agency to whom legal custody of the child has been transferred by a court, but does not include a person who has only physical custody of the child.
"Legal custody" means a legal status created by the order of a court, which confers the right and duty to protect, train and discipline the child, and to provide food, shelter, legal services, education and ordinary medical and dental care, subject to the rights, duties and responsibilities of the guardian of the child and subject to any residual parental rights and responsibilities and the provisions of any court order.
"Nonidentifying social history information" means information about a person's birth parent that may aid the person in establishing a sense of identity. "Nonidentifying social history information" may include, but is not limited to, the following information about a birth parent, but does not include any information that would disclose the name, location or identity of a birth parent:
Reason for placing the child for adoption or for the termination of parental rights.
"Parent" means either a biological parent, a husband who has consented to the artificial insemination of his wife under s. 891.40
, or a parent by adoption. If the child is a nonmarital child who is not adopted or whose parents do not subsequently intermarry under s. 767.803
, "parent" includes a person acknowledged under s. 767.805
or a substantially similar law of another state or adjudicated to be the biological father. "Parent" does not include any person whose parental rights have been terminated.
"Physical custody" means actual custody of the person in the absence of a court order granting legal custody to the physical custodian.
"Physical injury" includes but is not limited to lacerations, fractured bones, burns, internal injuries, severe or frequent bruising or great bodily harm, as defined in s. 939.22 (14)
"Relative" means a parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half brother, half sister, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, first cousin, 2nd cousin, nephew, niece, uncle, aunt, stepuncle, stepaunt, or any person of a preceding generation as denoted by the prefix of grand, great, or great-great, whether by blood, marriage, or legal adoption, or the spouse of any person named in this subsection, even if the marriage is terminated by death or divorce.
"Residential care center for children and youth" means a facility operated by a child welfare agency licensed under s. 48.60
for the care and maintenance of children residing in that facility.
"Secretary" means the secretary of children and families.
"Shelter care facility" means a nonsecure place of temporary care and physical custody for children, including a holdover room, licensed by the department under s. 48.66 (1) (a)
"Special treatment or care" means professional services which need to be provided to a child or his or her family to protect the well-being of the child, prevent placement of the child outside the home or meet the special needs of the child. "Special treatment or care" also means professional services which need to be provided to the expectant mother of an unborn child to protect the physical health of the unborn child and of the child when born from the harmful effects resulting from the habitual lack of self-control of the expectant mother in the use of alcohol, controlled substances or controlled substance analogs, exhibited to a severe degree. This term includes, but is not limited to, medical, psychological or psychiatric treatment, alcohol or other drug abuse treatment or other services which the court finds to be necessary and appropriate.
"Treatment foster home" means any facility that is operated by a person required to be licensed under s. 48.62 (1) (b)
, that is operated under the supervision of the department, a county department or a licensed child welfare agency, and that provides to no more than 4 children care, maintenance and structured, professional treatment by trained individuals, including the treatment foster parents.
"Trial" means a fact-finding hearing to determine jurisdiction.
"Unborn child" means a human being from the time of fertilization to the time of birth.
History: 1971 c. 41
; 1971 c. 164
; 1973 c. 263
; 1977 c. 205
; 1979 c. 135
; 1981 c. 81
; 1983 a. 189
; 1985 a. 176
; 1987 a. 27
; 1989 a. 31
; Sup. Ct. Order, 151 Wis. 2d xxv (1989); 1989 a. 107
; 1991 a. 39
; 1993 a. 98
; 1995 a. 27
, 9126 (19)
, 9145 (1)
; 1995 a. 77
; 1997 a. 27
; 1999 a. 9
; 2001 a. 16
; 2005 a. 113
; 2005 a. 443
; 2007 a. 20
Under sub. (13), a deceased parent continues to be parent; a deceased parent's parents continue to be grandparents. Grandparental Visitation of C.G.F. 168 Wis. 2d 62
, N.W.2d 803 (1992).
A viable fetus is not a "person" within the definition of a child under sub. (2). State ex rel. Angela M.W. v. Kruzicki, 209 Wis. 2d 112
, 561 N.W.2d 729
While the second sentence of sub. (13) applies exclusively to nonmarital children, the first sentence does not apply exclusively to children of married individuals. The biological father of a nonmarital child satisfies the definition of parent in s. 48.02 (13) as he is a biological parent notwithstanding that he has not officially been adjudicated as the child's biological father. State v. James P. 2005 WI 80, 281 Wis. 2d 685
, 698 N.W.2d 95
An interpretation of "severe bruising" under sub. (14g) that includes consideration of the circumstances surrounding the physical injury is reasonable. A child's bruises were severe based on the combination of: 1) the sensitive location of the bruising, on the child's skull; 2) the vulnerability of a child of the victim's age; and 3) the means by which the court determined the bruises were created, by an adult hand pressing on the child's skull. Kristi L. M. v. Dennis E. M. 2007 WI 85, 302 Wis. 2d 185
, 734 N.W.2d 375
Due process and equal protection; classifications based on illegitimacy. Bazos, 1973 WLR 908.
Except as limited by an order of the court under s. 48.977 (5) (b)
or 48.978 (6) (b) 2.
, a person appointed by the court to be the guardian of a child under this chapter has the duty and authority to make important decisions in matters having a permanent effect on the life and development of the child and the duty to be concerned about the child's general welfare, including but not limited to:
The authority to consent to marriage, enlistment in the U.S. armed forces, major medical, psychiatric and surgical treatment, and obtaining a motor vehicle operator's license.
The authority to represent the child in legal actions and make other decisions of substantial legal significance concerning the child but not the authority to deny the child the assistance of counsel as required by this chapter.
The right and duty of reasonable visitation of the child.
The rights and responsibilities of legal custody except when legal custody has been vested in another person or when the child is under the supervision of the department of corrections under s. 938.183
, 938.34 (4h)
or 938.357 (4)
or the supervision of a county department under s. 938.34 (4d)
A guardian may not recover for the loss of society and companionship of a ward, nor may the guardian bring a separate claim for costs incurred or income lost on account of injuries to the ward. Conant v. Physicians Plus Medical Group, Inc. 229 Wis. 2d 271
, 600 N.W.2d 21
(Ct. App. 1999), 98-3285
A guardian has general authority to consent to medication for a ward, but may consent to psychotropic medication only in accordance with ss. 880.07 (1m) and 880.33 (4m) and (4r). The guardian's authority to consent to medication or medical treatment of any kind is not affected by an order for protective placement or services. OAG 5-99
Declaration of paternal interest in matters affecting children. 48.025(1)(1)
Any person claiming to be the father of a nonmarital child who is not adopted or whose parents do not subsequently intermarry under s. 767.803
and whose paternity has not been established may, in accordance with procedures under this section, file with the department a declaration of his interest in matters affecting the child. The department may not charge a fee for filing a declaration under this section.
A declaration under sub. (1)
may be filed at any time before a termination of the father's parental rights under subch. VIII
. This paragraph does not apply to a declaration that is filed on or after July 1, 2006.
A declaration under sub. (1)
may be filed at any time before the birth of the child or within 14 days after the birth of the child, except that a man who receives a notice under s. 48.42 (1g) (b)
may file a declaration within 21 days after the date on which the notice was mailed. This paragraph does not apply to a declaration filed before July 1, 2006.