1. A parent or legal custodian of a child may, by a properly executed power of attorney as provided under section 475.604, delegate to an attorney-in-fact for a period not to exceed one year, except as provided under subsection 7 of this section, any of the powers regarding the care and custody of the child, except the power to consent to marriage or adoption of the child, the performance or inducement of an abortion on or for the child, or the termination of parental rights to the child. A delegation of powers under this section shall not be construed to change or modify any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority established by an existing court order or deprive the parent or legal custodian of any parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the child.
2. The parent or legal custodian of the child shall have the authority to revoke or withdraw the power of attorney authorized in subsection 1 of this section at any time. Except as provided in subsection 7 of this section, if the delegation of authority lasts longer than one year, the parent or legal custodian of the child shall execute a new power of attorney for each additional year that the delegation exists. If a parent withdraws or revokes the power of attorney, the child shall be returned to the custody of the parents as soon as reasonably possible.
Terms Used In Missouri Laws 475.602
- Adult: a person who has reached the age of eighteen years. See Missouri Laws 475.010
- Attorney-in-fact: A person who, acting as an agent, is given written authorization by another person to transact business for him (her) out of court.
- Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
- following: when used by way of reference to any section of the statutes, mean the section next preceding or next following that in which the reference is made, unless some other section is expressly designated in the reference. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- Guardian: one appointed by a court to have the care and custody of the person of a minor or of an incapacitated person. See Missouri Laws 475.010
- Nolo contendere: No contest-has the same effect as a plea of guilty, as far as the criminal sentence is concerned, but may not be considered as an admission of guilt for any other purpose.
- Parent: the biological or adoptive mother or father of a child whose parental rights have not been terminated under Missouri Laws 475.010
- Power of attorney: A written instrument which authorizes one person to act as another's agent or attorney. The power of attorney may be for a definite, specific act, or it may be general in nature. The terms of the written power of attorney may specify when it will expire. If not, the power of attorney usually expires when the person granting it dies. Source: OCC
- State: when applied to any of the United States, includes the District of Columbia and the territories, and the words "United States" includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020
- United States: includes such district and territories. See Missouri Laws 1.020
3. Unless the authority is revoked or withdrawn by the parent or legal custodian, the attorney-in-fact shall exercise parental or legal authority on a continuous basis without compensation for the duration of the power of attorney authorized by subsection 1 of this section and shall not be subject to any statutes dealing with the licensing or regulation of foster care homes.
4. Except as otherwise provided by law, if a parent or legal custodian uses a community service program that offers support services for families in crisis to assist in the delegation of any powers regarding the care and custody of a child by a properly executed power of attorney, then the execution of a power of attorney by such parent or legal custodian as authorized in subsection 1 of this section shall not constitute abandonment as provided in sections 568.030 and 568.032, or abuse or neglect as provided in sections 210.110 and 568.060, unless the parent or legal guardian fails to take custody of the child or execute a new power of attorney after the one-year time limit has elapsed. It shall be a violation of section 453.110 for any parent or legal custodian to execute a power of attorney with the intention of permanently avoiding or divesting himself or herself of parental or legal responsibility for the care of the child.
5. Under a delegation of powers as authorized by subsection 1 of this section, the child or children subject to the power of attorney shall not be considered placed in foster care as otherwise defined in law and the parties shall not be subject to any of the requirements or licensing regulations for foster care or other regulations relating to community care for children.
6. If a parent or legal custodian uses a community service program that offers support services for families in crisis to assist in the delegation of any powers regarding the care and custody of a child by a properly executed power of attorney, then the community service program shall ensure that a background check is completed for the attorney-in-fact and any adult members of his or her household prior to the placement of the child. A community service program shall not place a child or children with an attorney-in-fact when he or she or any adult member of his or her household is found to be on the sex offender registry as established pursuant to sections 589.400 to 589.425, or the child abuse and neglect registry, as established pursuant to section 210.109, or has pled guilty or nolo contendere to or is found guilty of a felony offense under federal or state law. If a community service program has reasonable cause to suspect that a parent or legal custodian is executing a power of attorney under this section with the intention of permanently avoiding or divesting himself or herself of parental or legal responsibility for the care of the child, the community service program shall notify the Missouri children’s division within the department of social services, and the division shall conduct an investigation of the parent or legal guardian to determine if there is a violation of section 453.110. A background check performed under this section shall include:
(1) A national and state fingerprint-based criminal history check;
(2) A sex offender registry, as established pursuant to sections 589.400 to 589.425, check; and
(3) A child abuse and neglect registry, as established pursuant to section 210.109, check.
7. A parent or legal custodian who is a member of the Armed Forces of the United States including any reserve component thereof, the commissioned corps of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Public Health Service of the United States Department of Health and Human Services detailed by proper authority for duty with the Armed Forces of the United States, or who is required to enter or serve in the active military service of the United States under a call or order of the President of the United States or to serve on state active duty may delegate the powers designated in subsection 1 of this section for a period longer than one year if on active duty service. The term of delegation shall not exceed the term of active duty service plus thirty days.
8. Nothing in this section shall conflict or set aside the preexisting residency requirements under section 167.020. An attorney-in-fact to whom powers are delegated under a power of attorney authorized by this section shall make arrangements to ensure that the child attends classes at an appropriate school. If enrollment is at a public school, attendance shall be based upon residency or waiver of such residency requirements by the school.
9. If enrolled at any school, as soon as reasonably possible upon execution of a power of attorney for the temporary care of a child as authorized under this section, the child’s school shall be notified of the existence of the power of attorney and be provided a copy of the power of attorney as well as the contact information for the attorney-in-fact. While the power of attorney is in force, the school shall communicate with both the attorney-in-fact and any parent or legal custodian with parental or legal rights, obligations, or authority regarding the custody, visitation, or support of the child. The school shall also be notified of the expiration, termination, or revocation of the power of attorney as soon as reasonably possible following such expiration, termination, or revocation and shall no longer communicate with the attorney-in-fact regarding the child upon the receipt of such notice.
10. No delegation of powers under this section shall operate to modify a child’s eligibility for benefits the child is receiving at the time of the execution of the power of attorney including, but not limited to, eligibility for free or reduced lunch, health care costs, or other social services, except as may be inconsistent with federal or state law governing the relevant program or benefit.