Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Foster Children Being Adopted By Relatives

Image courtesy Getty Images
What's worst is that it's in my own home state.
Let me start off by saying that I am not against relatives coming forward to be either a kinship placement for foster children on a temporary basis or on a more permanent basis should they choose to adopt the child(ren) or take the responsibility of legal guardianship.  HOWEVER, in "Mary's Ideal Child Welfare World" these two conditions would have to be met in order for that to happen:
1)  Such an adoption would be IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD (rather than causing additional disruption and trauma to children who are already securely attached to their foster family in a safe and loving foster home)
2)  Relatives need to come forward WITHIN 90 -120 DAYS of the Child being placed in custody.
90 Days for birthparents to track down a relative seems like an extremely reasonable timeframe to me.  By law, DCFS is REQUIRED to search for relatives of children when children are placed into foster care.  Kin take placement precedence over non-relatives.  Every foster parent knows this, which is why, in the past, when a child has been placed in our home I {try} to think of our home and family as a resource for a child to stay as an emergency placement for anywhere from a couple of days to a couple of months until they are able to be placed with approved family members.  It's usually after the 90 day timeframe that I stop holding my breath and think, "Okay- no relatives have come forward yet so it looks like they'll be staying longer."
Relatives came forward within the 90 day timeframe in the case of our former foster son "George" and in Ty and Ian's case.  And our family was okay with that precisely because the relatives were able to come forward and pass their background checks, get their homes inspected, etc. within 2-3 months.  It's when relatives come forward after the children have spent an extended amount of time in their foster home when I have issues with things.
This story of Liam & Jackson and their foster family stirs up some particularly sorrowful feelings inside of me because it takes me back to two years ago when our foster baby, Rose, was transferred from our care into the care of a relative who eventually adopted her after Rose's parents rights were terminated.  I have nothing personally against Rose's relative who is now her new mom but it's the fact that she came forward AFTER Rose had been in our care for almost a year.  If I read the article correctly, it sounds like Jackson and Liam have been with their current family for over two years now. 
Why move them?

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I totally agree.. Thanks for sharing your foster journey it is sad that this happens to these poor family and kids ..