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A huge WWYD... (re: related child in foster care)


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#1 StaceyinLA

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:44 AM

Yesterday we found out that one of dh's grandchildren has been taken into foster care. Quick back story is my step-grandson has 5 kids with 4 different moms (yes, he HAS gotten a vasectomy - we paid for it). Two of the kids are in good situations with mothers and grandparents that take very good care of them. My stepson and the mom of the two bio siblings have released custody, and those two are with an older, who is absolutely wonderful to them, so they are great. We see all of them occasionally, but due to the circumstances we really have only ever had a close relationship with the oldest one.

So now the youngest (just turned two), who lived with my stepson and his gf through their very tumultuous relationship, and then just the mom after they split, has been taken and put into foster care. I don't know all the details, but I do know they are requiring stepson and the ex-gf to go through some parenting classes and things of that nature (which is likely not nearly as much as they should do).

We have met this little one twice, and my heart really hurts knowing we have a grandchild (albeit one we really don't know) in the system.

I'm sure the likelihood of him staying in the system are slim. I would think at some point they or someone in her family will get him back. I just know that right now, we could likely get him from foster care since we are biological family and have no issues that would prevent them from placing him here.

The issues are, and I'm going to be totally honest:

I'm not sure we want to (actually, I KNOW we DON'T want to) have to have any dealings with the bio mom. She is nuts in ways I cannot even describe.

I know it will affect my life drastically and potentially change the opportunities I have with my bio grandchildren and the time I'm able to devote to them.

I know it will affect my ability to travel and visit my dd who recently moved to WA state.

I'm not sure I want to move him from a foster home he has likely gotten comfortable in to here where he really doesn't know us, even though we are family.

All that being said, I just hate the thought of NOT doing something when I could.

WWYD? Please don't be harsh. I'm just trying to be completely honest about the things I have been thinking.
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#2 Starr

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:50 AM

:grouphug:  :grouphug:  :grouphug: According to friends of ours if you want to be involved you have to be willing to be involved long term. They thought the kids could go back after a while to the parents who are relatives but once they realized the extent of poor care they needed to advocate for the children. And accept that their lives are changed and have a new set of kids to raise.


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#3 solascriptura

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:54 AM

What does your dh want to do?
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#4 Ravin

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:55 AM

I would take a few of things into consideration, aside from not wanting anything to do with the bio-mom:

 

1. If the family don't get him back, how would y'all feel about losing contact if/when the child is adopted (likely by the current foster parents in most states). 

2. Do you live close to where your stepson and his ex live? Reunification/visitation is going to be easier if the child is geographically close to the parents.

3. Is third party transportation/supervision for supervised visits available to minimize your actually having to deal with bio-mom?

4. Would you be able and willing to adopt the child if neither of the parents get themselves together to regain custody?

 

If the answers of any of 2-4 are no, that would weigh against putting yourselves forward as possible placement. But 1 could be a dealbreaker depending on how strongly you feel about it.


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#5 Dynamite5

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:56 AM

Your head is telling you the right answer for you and your circumstances, but your heart is tugging at you because an innocent child is involved. Totally understandable. I think it's pretty clear, though, that if you were to get involved at this point, you may end up resenting this little guy who finds himself in circumstances through no fault of his own. Sounds as though it truly is best to let things stand. 

 

:grouphug: to all involved.


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#6 Sneezyone

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:58 AM

If I couldn't be involved long term, I would stay out of it. Short term placements often become permanent and it sounds like you're not interested in that type of arrangement. I had a second cousin, a year younger than DD, who ended up in care. DH and I were not in a position to take her full-time although we did have her over quite a few weekends. One of my other cousins ended up taking her. She's still a part of our family and still able to see healthy members of the family.


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#7 SKL

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:01 AM

If you believe the child will go back to his mom, I think it is probably better not to disrupt his current foster care situation, as more disruptions only make things worse.

 

You might want to inform some appropriate person in the system that you are willing to take the child if he needs a long-term placement i.e. if his parents are not going to get him back. 

 

I understand not wanting to deal with the mother.  When I was a tot, my cousin became available for adoption and my mom wanted to take her.  My dad said no way - he felt it would be harmful to his then 4 bio kids to have the cousin's mom hanging around.  Ultimately my mom agreed and the baby went to her loving great-grandma.  It was hard but the alternative probably would have been a lot harder.



#8 Bluegoat

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:04 AM

I think I might try and find out more about the situation - like, what is the long term situation likely to be, and what is the foster care situation, and so on.


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#9 Carrie12345

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:07 AM

:grouphug:

 

We have young relatives who may be at risk for being put in the system.  We were also asked to be their designated guardians if anything else should happen.  But, as much as we love them, we simply can't.  Our family would have to give up almost everything that we value in order to meet the needs of these particular kids, and that isn't healthy for anyone, including those kids.

 

It's even harder for us to accept that limitation when there are other children in the extended family that we could integrate into our lives with comparative ease (aside from the obvious difficulties that come with such a situation.)

 

I hate, hate, hate that it's true, but it would be unfair to EVERYONE to pretend it isn't.


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#10 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:08 AM

Issue one-if you are going to have dealings with this grandchild at all in his lifetime, it would be nearly impossible to never have dealings with his bio mom. Unless she gave up rights to him. My nephew has a crazy bio mom. And somehow, I ended up having to testify at my nephew's custody hearing because this person I had never met before accused me of taking her son out of state without her permission. I HAD taken him on vacation, WITH her permission, which had in writing and she spoke him every night. She then accused me of lying about who I was, saying I was my BILs coworker and not my nephews aunt.

Issues 2 and 3-yes the impact on your life will be huge. Only you can really determine if taking him out of foster care and into your life will be with that impact. And really, there isn't a wrong answer to these issues.

Issue 4- since you said he likely will end up going back to his family, he's going to be removed from that foster care home anyway. And even if he doesn't go home, he could be moved to a different foster care home for some other reason.

#11 J-rap

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:08 AM

I think it is very honorable that you're considering this and that you feel a responsibility to help him.

 

At the same time, it sounds like you already have so much going on in your life and many other loved ones to attend to, and you can't solve everything, unfortunately.

 

You can certainly keep an eye on his situation and maybe at some point, something might more clearly feel "right" for you to do.  In the meantime, I wouldn't rush into anything.

 

I'm really sorry for his situation though.

 

:grouphug:  :grouphug:

 


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#12 WoolySocks

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:11 AM

Unless you were just open to whatever come what may and really felt like this baby wasn't an "other" but a grandchild, I wouldn't get involved.  Setting up a situation where you are going to feel resentful isn't the best way to go into a situation like this. 


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#13 HomeAgain

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:22 AM

You don't love him.

 

That's not a criticism - it's an assessment.  He is a responsibility and a limitation for you.  Looking at it objectively, the difference between your house and the foster home is minimal because you both feel the same about the child.  As long as he is being cared for well there, I'd be inclined to vote for him staying there.  If you felt differently, it would be an entirely different matter.  But a child should go to a place where people have volunteered to care for him, instead of one where carers are reluctant, if all things elsewise are equal.


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#14 justasque

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:25 AM

Why not take it one step at a time?  Can you talk to the child's social worker, and see what the steps would be?  Can you start the process to be approved to foster, so that you are ready should the need arise? Can you begin by offering respite care for the current foster family, so you can better get to know the child? These first steps can be taken without having to make a decision about taking it all to the next level of full-time, and maybe lifetime, care.  It would put you in the picture, while you continue to consider what your best role is for this grandchild's life.


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#15 chiguirre

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:36 AM

Do you know who his foster family is? He may already be with a family member.



#16 Janeway

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:01 PM

Yesterday we found out that one of dh's grandchildren has been taken into foster care. Quick back story is my step-grandson has 5 kids with 4 different moms (yes, he HAS gotten a vasectomy - we paid for it). Two of the kids are in good situations with mothers and grandparents that take very good care of them. My stepson and the mom of the two bio siblings have released custody, and those two are with an older, who is absolutely wonderful to them, so they are great. We see all of them occasionally, but due to the circumstances we really have only ever had a close relationship with the oldest one.

So now the youngest (just turned two), who lived with my stepson and his gf through their very tumultuous relationship, and then just the mom after they split, has been taken and put into foster care. I don't know all the details, but I do know they are requiring stepson and the ex-gf to go through some parenting classes and things of that nature (which is likely not nearly as much as they should do).

We have met this little one twice, and my heart really hurts knowing we have a grandchild (albeit one we really don't know) in the system.

I'm sure the likelihood of him staying in the system are slim. I would think at some point they or someone in her family will get him back. I just know that right now, we could likely get him from foster care since we are biological family and have no issues that would prevent them from placing him here.

The issues are, and I'm going to be totally honest:

I'm not sure we want to (actually, I KNOW we DON'T want to) have to have any dealings with the bio mom. She is nuts in ways I cannot even describe.

I know it will affect my life drastically and potentially change the opportunities I have with my bio grandchildren and the time I'm able to devote to them.

I know it will affect my ability to travel and visit my dd who recently moved to WA state.

I'm not sure I want to move him from a foster home he has likely gotten comfortable in to here where he really doesn't know us, even though we are family.

All that being said, I just hate the thought of NOT doing something when I could.

WWYD? Please don't be harsh. I'm just trying to be completely honest about the things I have been thinking.

IF the child can be adopted by a family who wants the child, then let that happen. Because if you take the child in, chances are, the child will live out his life in the system. When family takes in related foster children, those children are far more likely to end up back with the bioparents, and then will spend a lifetime bouncing back and forth, never having a real family. Which leads to a lifetime of devastation. It seems counter intuitive to not take the relative child in. But in the long run, that child will always be a guest in someone's home and you will always be step grandma and that child will never have a real mom if that child is not adopted. This is why I am against kinship care except in cases where the bioparent has died.


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#17 happysmileylady

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:29 PM

When talking about kids going into foster care, being managed by CPS, etc....the REAL consideration is....what do you think is BEST for the kid.  So regardless of the issues and what you can or can't do.....what do you think is BEST for this kid?

 

Something else....what you "could do" isn't necessarily an either/or situation.  I mean obviously I don't know all the details, but I can't see that this automatically has to be take him in or don't take him in.  Is it possible for you to call CPS and see where he is, maybe starting sending letters or care packages, maybe visits or phone calls to try to get to know him, that sort of thing.  Again, I don't know all the details, so I don't know what can or can't be done, but maybe there's some other way to let him know you care. 


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#18 Ottakee

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:39 PM

You could become involved as grandparents but not take custody. I agree that if he is in a good stable foster home then disrupting that unless you are committed to taking him until he is an adult isn't the best.

You could still be a respite family for the foster family and develop relationships with him and them. Our son had relatives that we have seen all along but we're not in the position to care full time for him.

First step would be to call the worker and find out the exact situation. Some kids the goal is to go home quickly, others are never expected to go home.
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#19 Hilltopmom

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 12:55 PM

Call the caseworker & let them know you exist & are concerned. If you don't live nearby, or are out of state, it can take months to get a child moved even to a relative.

Kids in care can & do get bounced around to different Foster families, sometimes for years, and not all foster families are good- kids in fostercare have the highest rates of abuse from their foster parents.

Some areas have great oversight and fast court systems, in some places, cases are dragged out for years.

Personally, I would get involved and try to get custody, but, I'm already a foster parent.

In the long run, when you talk to former foster youth, most should've had birth family contact. If you don't pursue custody, I would at least tell the caseworker you want to stay in the loop and get your info in his file because if the case does drag for years, you can intervene at a later date if need be.
If you don't, grandparents who try for custody at a much later date often don't get it because they didn't express interest early on.

You could have visits and contact with him while he's with his Foster family, if you wish so you can get to know them all.
Even if he goes home soon, he could wind up in care again.

I'm sorry you're in this situation, I wish you guys the best in making your decision. Definately contact dss & get more details.

My youngest adopted child had grandparents who could've gotten custody but once they met us, decided to allow us to adopt instead, since we also had already adopted his half sister. That worked out for everyone & they have continued contact without raising a new baby themselves.

Eta- I totally understand your reasons for not wanting to pursue custody, we struggle with our decision to not take potential future siblings of our already adopted kids.

Edited by Hilltopmom, 13 September 2017 - 12:58 PM.

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#20 Annie G

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:11 PM

How long has the child been in foster care? I'd probably contact the case worker and ask to be notified if it becomes clear the child isn't going to be reunited with the parents.  If the caseworker thinks the child can be reunited I would not get involved because your relationship with the mom isn't good so it might impede the family getting back together.  But if it's clear the child is in care long term or the parents are going to lose rights, then it's the right time to explore getting involved.  Not that you have to raise the child, but at least see what it all entails. 

 

Maybe you can just give your contact info to the caseworker and ask to be informed IF it the child needs long term placement. And then decide if and when that call comes. 



#21 okbud

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:21 PM

I'd want to know the reality of their foster home before thinking about it further. Not all foster care is hunky dory.
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#22 eternalsummer

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:45 PM

Family is much less likely to be abusive.  (first google result: https://www.princeto...s/08_01_04.pdf)


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#23 StaceyinLA

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 01:59 PM

Thank you for all the responses. I'm not going to quote everyone, but I'll try and respond as best I can to answer various questions.

My main issue with not wanting to move him if he has good potential to go back to his mom and/or her mom is that I see no sense in removing him from a probably now-familiar situation into another then back to his home. If I knew it would be long term or he would likely NOT go back to his mom anytime soon (or my stepson, which is also unlikely), I'd be more inclined to take him.

I don't love him, but it's because I don't KNOW him, not because I can't or don't want to love him.

My husband hasn't said much as of yet, but we were both just kinda blindsided with this news, and we haven't really been able to talk much. I'm just supposed to be finding out what I can about the situation.

Which kinda leads to this - I'm going to find out what I can about his situation, let someone know we are here and interested in getting to know him in case this leads to permanent removal from his parents. At that point maybe we'd have the option of taking him, or, at the very least, having a relationship with him. Right now that just seems like the best thing we can do, plus it will give us time to make decisions that are best for all involved.

Thank you all for your input.
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#24 ErinE

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:10 PM

If it were me, I would fight for custody and convince husband's grandchildren this was best for the child's future. But I... for many personal reasons, couldn't let a child go. Even if I was tired, even if I was old, even if I was done.

 

But... I completely understand if someone was not able to raise another child and would never, ever assign ill thoughts towards that person. It's a decision that takes time and thoughtful consideration.

 

As an aside, I have relatives with a cuckoo, certifiable parent. As children they were difficult, but as adults they are wonderful awesome people. I'm so grateful to the other parent for not writing off the children because dealing with crazy was too much. I know it made relatives' more difficult, but I'm grateful they were willing to deal with the crazy.


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#25 Katy

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:03 PM

In my experience, with a mentally ill mother and an irresponsible father, there is a VERY REAL chance this child will end up adopted.  If you don't want his foster parents to adopt him (and the chances likely high, given his age), you need to call his worker and find out how to get involved.  This will likely mean foster care by you.  I'm surprised you haven't already been called.  Then and only then will you have the access to the information you need to know to assess how this will end up.

 

Right now a kid in a very similar situation is sitting in my lap, and since none of the family seems appropriate we've already been asked multiple times (social workers, child's attorney) if we are willing to adopt.  We are.

 

If in reality you don't want to care for him, but do want to establish a relationship as grandparents, call his worker and tell her that.  Chances are if you meet the foster parents and you all get along you'll have a simple background check and then you'll be allowed to at least babysit for him when the foster parents need.  I would expect to hear quite a bit of criticism for refusing to take him in from the social worker though.

 

With a child that young they will likely NOT choose you to adopt him after he's lived in a stable foster home for more than a year.  They'll get rights, and the child's attorney and the social workers will side with the foster parents. And they should - severing attachment again will likely mean hurting him and his long-term ability to have stable relationships further.


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#26 Katy

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:15 PM

It's also possible, depending on your state, that a kid who's only 24 months old may have a shorter stay in foster care - like 6 months until parental rights are terminated, and another 3 weeks for parents to appeal. His foster parents may adopt him in 8 months if the parents don't make serious strides towards improving.  So if that changes the equation for you, you might want to google your state, "foster care TPR infant" and see what the rule is there.


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#27 prairiewindmomma

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:18 PM

Katy is spot on.

Also, there is always a shortage of quality foster families. A lot of kids have multiple placements, even for relatively short stays in care. You can't assume that it is a one and done placement with a good family.

I couldn't wash my hands of a child and live with myself, it isn't about bio/non-bio for me.

#28 Tap

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 06:50 PM

Based on my experience, I would run away. Unless you were already wanting to adopt and wanted a  potentially special needs kid...run. 

 

But...our situation is on the extreme end of what happens when the family foster/adopt situation goes bad. DD10 is my great-niece who came to us through the foster system at 5mo. It was only supposed to be for a couple of months. The bio-mom was in legal trouble and going to do a short stent in jail. She never abused her kids so she had no reason to not get them back. Once she was kid free.....she went down hill and the curtain was drawn back on more of her crazy life choices.

 

The chaos of raising dd10 has wrecked my bio-families and bio-children's lives.  I would never wish the past 10 years of my life on anyone.  Do not go into this thinking it will be temporary.  Only do this if you want to raise another child and have 2 extra parents involved.  

 

Even my daughter's case worker said my extended family is like a bad soap opera.  Considering what caseworkers see in their career that is pretty bad. LOL  


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#29 Katy

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:24 PM

I agree that you should only do this if you are willing to adopt and draw whatever boundaries need to be drawn with step son and mom in order for YOU to be the mom.

 

I do think it will likely be better for HIM to be with you guys than a foster family, assuming you are willing to commit to parenting him the way he deserves.  I say that as a foster parent who hopes to adopt - it's generally better for kids to be with family.


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#30 StaceyinLA

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 07:37 PM

Well I've put a call in to the case worker. Step 1. I'm just gonna have to take it one step at a time from here.
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#31 Pen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:00 PM

If you think you want to adopt him in the event that he becomes available for adoption, I think you should contact his caseworker and say so now. That would likely mean becoming his foster parent in the meantime, once you've been through the hoops to be a foster parent.

 

You can almost certainly get visitation be at a location supervised by social worker so that you just take the boy to the social worker, leave before the biomom arrives, then she leaves and you then get the boy. This has been done IME, in any case in situations where the child's safety is involved. But I see no reason that you would have to have direct involvement with the biomom. If you were to adopt that would mean that parental rights would have been terminated and you would not need to agree to an open adoption.  You might get some pressure to agree to contact or etc., but you do not need to agree to it.

 

I don't know how it would affect your bio-grandchildren and daughter in WA issues. You have to think through that obviously. If you become a foster mom, or later an adoptive mom, then this would be your son.  Your Own Son.   Not just your step grandkid.

 


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#32 wonderchica

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:07 PM

He may be in a stable foster situation you don't want to pull him from. Or he may get moved to many other homes, for no reason you can discern. I recently had a client at work who had been in six foster homes so far. He was two years old. It's not uncommon. I don't think I would assume he will stay in his current foster home.
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#33 Katy

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 08:08 PM

If you think you want to adopt him in the event that he becomes available for adoption, I think you should contact his caseworker and say so now. That would likely mean becoming his foster parent in the meantime, once you've been through the hoops to be a foster parent.

 

You can almost certainly get visitation be at a location supervised by social worker so that you just take the boy to the social worker, leave before the biomom arrives, then she leaves and you then get the boy. This has been done IME, in any case in situations where the child's safety is involved. But I see no reason that you would have to have direct involvement with the biomom. If you were to adopt that would mean that parental rights would have been terminated and you would not need to agree to an open adoption.  You might get some pressure to agree to contact or etc., but you do not need to agree to it.

 

I don't know how it would affect your bio-grandchildren and daughter in WA issues. You have to think through that obviously. If you become a foster mom, or later an adoptive mom, then this would be your son.  Your Own Son.   Not just your step grandkid.

 

From foster parenting podcasts I think this is state specific.  I know some states automatically have closed adoptions that are only open if the adoptive parents want them to be. But I'm under the impression that in some states (MA I think?) there can be court mandated twice annual visitations even after the adoption is finalized.



#34 Janeway

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 09:35 PM

You also need to be prepared to treat him as equal to the rest of your children, not as a grandchild. You need to be prepared for all that being a mom entails, even when he is 30 years old. Chances are, that foster family he is with now will want to adopt him and he will be loved and have a real mom and dad. At 2 yrs old, people will want to adopt him. You take him as kinship care, he is far more likely to turn 18 yrs old with no real mom or dad.

#35 Pen

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 10:11 PM

From foster parenting podcasts I think this is state specific.  I know some states automatically have closed adoptions that are only open if the adoptive parents want them to be. But I'm under the impression that in some states (MA I think?) there can be court mandated twice annual visitations even after the adoption is finalized.

 

 

OK. Thanks for correcting me. Then OP should check on her own state's rules.

 

I've been somewhat familiar with foster care in Calif and Oregon. My experience is there can be a lot of pressure to have it open and have an adoption contract that mandates contact, but that adopting parent can refuse that.  If the LA in OP's username is Los Angeles, then my experience may be relevant, but even then probably she should check in case things have changed since I was involved with that.


Edited by Pen, 13 September 2017 - 10:24 PM.


#36 Tap

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:16 PM

You also need to be prepared to treat him as equal to the rest of your children, not as a grandchild. You need to be prepared for all that being a mom entails, even when he is 30 years old. Chances are, that foster family he is with now will want to adopt him and he will be loved and have a real mom and dad. At 2 yrs old, people will want to adopt him. You take him as kinship care, he is far more likely to turn 18 yrs old with no real mom or dad.

Why would you say that? If she takes him in and raises him either as a guardian or adoption, she will be the mom.  The roles we play in our children's lives are by the experiences and lives we share with them, Not the title on the blank that says  ___________relation to person.

 

DD10 is my daughter just as much as my bio-daughter.  Yes, dd10 knows she is biologically my great niece and she knows that she grew in someone else's tummy.  But to her, I am the only mom she has ever known.  My husband is her father.  She may also see her bio-dad sometimes and she may call him daddy, but at the end of the day, when she is tired or hurt, when she says she wants mommy or daddy, it is us she means. 

 

My legal status as Permanent Guardian doesn't mean squat to her.  I am her Real mommy and that is the most important role I fill in her life. 


Edited by Tap, 13 September 2017 - 11:17 PM.

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#37 Liz CA

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 11:28 PM

I can only tell you how this happens in my state.

There is an increasing trend of - in fact most - foster homes that foster to adopt.

If a child is under 3 years old, reunification services with bio parents can only last about 6 months because stability for a child this young is considered paramount. Parents are routinely asked to attend classes - parenting, drug & alcohol, etc. The county social worker determines what parents need to do to regain custody.

The parents will have a court appointed lawyer. The child will have a court appointed lawyer.

Quite often there is the a county social worker involved and an agency social worker who works with the foster family on behalf of the child and if there is an adoption, this agency MSW assists with this process.

 

During this time, supervised visits are often ordered. Bio parents should be able to visit with the child at predetermined times and at a neutral place, supervised by a monitor or visit supervisor.

 

If bio parents have completed all requirements at the end of the time frame, there is an assessment. During court dates, the judge decides - on the recommendations of social workers - which way it is going to go.

Termination of reunification phase - child is returned to parents. This usually happens incrementally with day visits, then overnight visits, etc.

Termination of reunification phase - child remains in foster home and if this foster home is willing to adopt, this process is begun.

There is .26 hearing (Number in the CA welfare code) which is a permanency hearing once reunification services have been terminated.

 

If you decide to foster in CA, you could avoid contact with the bio parents - in fact it is very much discouraged for obvious reasons. If you are family, you can still stipulate that neither stepson and bio mom are to have contact with the child in your home - they should get supervised visitation opportunities usually in a neutral place like the CPS or DHHS office.

 

Are your stepson and his current gf and bio mother are regular visitors in your home or not?

If the child is not reunited with his/her parents and enters the foster to adopt process, it is unlikely you will have access while the child is a minor unless such an arrangement is reached through the court.

 

I suppose some questions you have already asked yourself are: Are you willing to adopt him if his parents cannot meet the requirements? Is he well established in a foster home where he is comfortable and perhaps has foster siblings as well? What would be in the best interest of the child?

 


Edited by Liz CA, 13 September 2017 - 11:34 PM.


#38 mumto2

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 03:30 AM

:grouphug: I think making the call to the social worker was a good first step.
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#39 wonderchica

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 06:16 AM

I can only tell you how this happens in my state.
There is an increasing trend of - in fact most - foster homes that foster to adopt.
If a child is under 3 years old, reunification services with bio parents can only last about 6 months because stability for a child this young is considered paramount.

Yeah, this is very location specific. I work with many, many foster children in this age group. Their goal is reunification, period. No matter how long that takes. There is nothing close to the idea that 6 months is as long as they'll try. Kids are in foster care, in many different homes, for years here. Small children.

#40 Katy

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 07:29 AM

Yeah, this is very location specific. I work with many, many foster children in this age group. Their goal is reunification, period. No matter how long that takes. There is nothing close to the idea that 6 months is as long as they'll try. Kids are in foster care, in many different homes, for years here. Small children.

 

Yes, it's location specific.  I think it's getting more traction as more studies that come out that show exactly how harmful early attachment disruption is, and exactly how linear the correlation between the number of early attachment disruptions and adult addiction and mental illness is.  There are a few areas doing pilot programs with much more intensive requirements (daily parenting classes, daily visits, only 4-6 months to repair everything, any slipping that cannot be explained to a judge leading to near immediate TPR & adoption by the foster parents, and IME the states with one county experimenting with those programs also tend to be the ones more likely to TPR at 6 months for young children.

 

I think in my state the guideline is 0-3 year olds parents have 6 months, 4+ years parents have one year.  I do get the impression from a few talks with children's attorneys that the social workers here are working hard to protect children rather than the rights of parents, and (at least locally) judges tend to side with social workers.


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#41 Tap

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 10:06 AM

Yeah, this is very location specific. I work with many, many foster children in this age group. Their goal is reunification, period. No matter how long that takes. There is nothing close to the idea that 6 months is as long as they'll try. Kids are in foster care, in many different homes, for years here. Small children.

 

 

Yes, it's location specific.  I think it's getting more traction as more studies that come out that show exactly how harmful early attachment disruption is, and exactly how linear the correlation between the number of early attachment disruptions and adult addiction and mental illness is.  There are a few areas doing pilot programs with much more intensive requirements (daily parenting classes, daily visits, only 4-6 months to repair everything, any slipping that cannot be explained to a judge leading to near immediate TPR & adoption by the foster parents, and IME the states with one county experimenting with those programs also tend to be the ones more likely to TPR at 6 months for young children.

 

I think in my state the guideline is 0-3 year olds parents have 6 months, 4+ years parents have one year.  I do get the impression from a few talks with children's attorneys that the social workers here are working hard to protect children rather than the rights of parents, and (at least locally) judges tend to side with social workers.

 

I wonder if part of this has to do with the ratio of foster kids to available homes in each state.  When we were working with the foster care system in Oregon 10 years ago, it was overwhelmed with the amount of kids and lack of homes.  The meth epidemic was partially to blame and the economy at the time didn't help.  We live in Washington, just over the Oregon border and were having to work with an interstate compact worker. As soon as dd10 hit the federal guideline of 18months out of her bio--parents care, they were pushing for adoption.  Even though we had had her for 19 months, they were very clear that if we weren't going to finalize on her (adoption or guardianship), she would be moved from our home to another home and placed for adoption.   They pushed heavily for permanency at that time.  We finalized on her, 2 weeks before she turned 2yo.



#42 Hilltopmom

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 11:36 AM

Yeah, this is very location specific. I work with many, many foster children in this age group. Their goal is reunification, period. No matter how long that takes. There is nothing close to the idea that 6 months is as long as they'll try. Kids are in foster care, in many different homes, for years here. Small children.


That does happen, sadly, but the federal law says 18 months for permanency.

#43 Minniewannabe

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:58 PM

You asked what would I do. I would go pick up the child. I would deal with the consequences as I got there. That is totally irrelevant to what you should do. You should do what you end up doing.
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#44 Liz CA

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:12 PM

Yeah, this is very location specific. I work with many, many foster children in this age group. Their goal is reunification, period. No matter how long that takes. There is nothing close to the idea that 6 months is as long as they'll try. Kids are in foster care, in many different homes, for years here. Small children.

 

So, in your state, are small children (under 2 years) who are placed in foster care at a young age, remaining there until 5-6 years for example, have now bonded with foster parents and foster siblings and can potentially be returned to bio parents years later?



#45 Hilltopmom

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:18 PM

So, in your state, are small children (under 2 years) who are placed in foster care at a young age, remaining there until 5-6 years for example, have now bonded with foster parents and foster siblings and can potentially be returned to bio parents years later?


NYC is notorious for cases dragging out 5-6 years for young kids, yes. Then reunifying, or not. Either way, years without a permanency plan is unacceptable.

Edited by Hilltopmom, 14 September 2017 - 02:31 PM.

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#46 Pen

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:41 PM

You asked what would I do. I would go pick up the child. I would deal with the consequences as I got there. That is totally irrelevant to what you should do. You should do what you end up doing.

 

 

Do you mean just go get the child, even if illegally, and deal with consequences of that?  

 

Or do you mean tell social services you want to raise the child and go through the legal hoops, and  deal with each hoop and then each situation as you got there?



#47 StaceyinLA

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:43 PM

First off, I am in Louisiana, not California - just to clarify. Secondly, I have no clue where the child even is at this point. I am waiting to hear from the case worker, although I am apparently going to have to aggressively pursue her because she hasn't responded as of now.

If we were to take him in with plans of adopting him then yes, we know we would be raising him as our own child. If we can establish some sort of other relationship with him, depending on his foster situation (or potentially foster-to-adopt), we may decide to do that.

As of now, the parents are still seeing him and having visits with him and are cooperating with classes as far as we've heard. IDK what that'll mean down the road, but I'm going to find out everything I can as soon as I hear from someone.
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#48 Ottakee

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:50 PM

Stacy....if you.dont year back from the worker in 24 hours then call the agency main # and ask to speak to the foster care supervisor.
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#49 LMV

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:54 PM

You could become involved as grandparents but not take custody. I agree that if he is in a good stable foster home then disrupting that unless you are committed to taking him until he is an adult isn't the best.

You could still be a respite family for the foster family and develop relationships with him and them. Our son had relatives that we have seen all along but we're not in the position to care full time for him.

First step would be to call the worker and find out the exact situation. Some kids the goal is to go home quickly, others are never expected to go home.


I agree that you can be grandparents without taking custody. Our DD13 and DD9 have a strong relationship with their biological MGF who has really become a part of our extended family [ie he was recently here to celebrate our biological daughter's second birthday with the rest of the family].

This grandfather actually briefly raised DD13 when she was four right after her parents' death and then in quick succession after the death of his wife and her grandmother. He had a MI and many complications and as there really wasn't any other family to care for her she went into emergency foster care and then when her infant sister was released from the NICU they both went into a foster adopt home. By the time their grandfather was out of the hospital and physical rehab the girls had just turned five and one and the foster parents were working towards adoption. Those foster parents were not interested in him having contact with the girls as they believed it would be confusing and he says that hurt him but he was led to believe they were happy in their new home so he felt he should try to respect their new parents. For various reasons the foster adopt placement was not a good fit for DD13 and the adoption never happened because the court would not separate the girls adoptions. We started taking DD13 as a respite child when she was seven and then ended up with her after the foster parents abandoned her at our house. They took DD9 with them when they fled the state. When they were apprehended a few months later DD9 (who was four at the time and traumatized) was placed with us as well. Ultimately we have managed to adopt both girls and allow them to re-establish a relationship with their biological MGF.
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#50 Attolia

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 02:55 PM

You are in a tough situation  :grouphug:

 

The only thing I can say is please only take him if you would be willing to adopt him.  The mom of a friend of mine took her granddaughter out of foster care from a foster mom who adored her and wanted to adopt her.  She took her in as an infant with no intention of adopting her, hoping her granddaughter would figure out her life, but now the child is 5 and has been shifted from family member to family member and none of her situations have been ideal, she is still not with mom, and she isn't with the grandmother either because the grandmother never intended to keep her longer than a year. 


Edited by Attolia, 14 September 2017 - 02:56 PM.