Governor Signs Three New Kinship Laws


Legal Custodians Have Statutory Authority to Make Medical Decisions for Minors

This bill amends the Family Court Act Section 657(c) to include non-parents with lawful orders of custody as persons who may make medical decisions for minors in their care, and amends Public Health Law Section 2504 to include non-parents with lawful orders of custody along with parents and guardians as persons whose consent is not needed for the provision of medical, dental, health and hospital services when in the judgement of a physician emergency medical care is needed.

Effective immediately.



Kin May Petition to Become Foster Parents for Children in Non-Kin Foster Care

Provides that upon the application of a relative to become a foster parent of a child in foster care, the court shall hold a hearing to determine whether the child should be placed with a relative in foster care only if the person is related to the child as described under paragraph (a), (b), or (c) of subdivision three of section four hundred fifty-eight-a of the social services law and if other circumstances are present.

Effective immediately.



Requires local social services districts to provide information about custodial options, benefits, and kinship services.

Provides that when a local social services district is in contact with a relative or non-relative kinship caregiver or a suitable person who the district has approached about being a kinship caregiver, such district shall provide written information to such caregivers or prospective suitable persons; further provides that such information shall include, but not be limited to, information relating to child only grants; information about how to become a kinship foster parent and other options for care; and information on how to contact the department of family assistance kinship programs and any resources funded through or operating in the local social services district for relative and non-relative kinship caregivers, including those that provide supportive services for all relative and non-relative kinship caregivers in the district.

Effective late December 2019.


For bill text, go to

Legal Fact Sheets will be forthcoming soon.