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  #1  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:45 AM
worrywart worrywart is offline
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Kinship

I am fostering a relative currently 11 mos old. Dad is not in the picture. Mom knows where Dad is but will not tell social services. Mom is a relative - but I am not close to mom at all. I also keep my distance- easy to do. Baby was in fc at 3mos old. I have had baby for 4 mos. boimom has not got act together has 4 mos to do so then social services says they will do Guardianship. At this point they told me it will be out of social services hands and in other court for visitation. I have been trying to find info on this subject about guardianship/visits - no luck. We love the baby and biomom not getting act together so far; so we want to raise the baby. She has only showed for half visits and has not done anything else on list. I assume she does drugs also. The big kicker is - she is going to court for child abuse. Baby is lucky to be alive and we are trying to give the baby a GREAT life! Very Attached! Any suggestions are welcome.
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  #2  
Old 10-05-2011, 11:57 AM
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hkolln hkolln is offline
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I would not recommend guardianship if at all possible. That means DCPS steps out of the picture and it's all up to you financially and legally how to proceed with anything. You'll have to get Mom's rights terminated (hire an attorney) and go for adoption. Are you planning on just keeping the baby without adopting the baby? If so then I guess it wouldn't matter but you know that with guardianship Mom has all her parental rights which means she can come and go whenever. At least with adoption you'll have the rights and can decide if you feel it's in the childs best interest to see biomom at all.

DCPS normally pushes relatives to guardianship instead because they can step out of the picture (saves them money) and do not have to provide any type of help. That is why I am so glad we fostered our niece til we adopted her instead of taking guardianship. We have no contact with biomom and biodad is in prison serving a lengthy sentence. They are not healthy for her to be around anyways.

I'd consult an attorney to find out what you should do. It just sounds like DCPS is just trying to wash their hands of the entire situation and drop it all in your lap.
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Wife to hubby for 16 years
Mom to 2 girls:
A age 14
J age 20 (biodaughter)
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August 2006-Found out niece in FC
Nov 2006-Now licensed FP's but no placement
Feb 2007-CRPT meeting determines placement w/us
March 2007-FP's appealed decision
April 2007-New CRPT-DCF & CASA upholds decision for placement w/us
May 2007-ICPC finally COMPLETED!!
June 2007-niece is home with us
August 2007-voluntary TPR by biomom, Involuntary by biodad
July 2008-adoption by us YAY
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  #3  
Old 10-06-2011, 05:32 AM
alex9179 alex9179 is offline
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I agree with hkollen 100%. DCFS can not "do" guardianship unless they have identified someone who is willing and it's the child's best interest to move them from your home to theirs. I have a feeling that this is not a viable solution so, they are just assuming you won't have the information to work toward the best permanancey outcome for that little kid...which is to grow up with parents.

When you speak to them, let them know that you would like to be considered as an adoptive resource if the child can not be reunited with the mom. Alternatively, hire an attorney and petition as an intervenor. You may be able to impact whether or not the goal changes to adoption.

We were asked to be guardians at one point, and after looking at the limitations we chose not to. I wrote a letter to the department outlining the pros and cons of reunification (I did not bash first mom), guardianship, and adoption. We let them know that we did not believe guardianship was in the children's best interest, that they deserved permanancy, to grow up with parents, and the subsidy available to them with adoption (college education) was too valuable to their future. I wrote the letter because the lawyers on both sides and the case workers were pushing it. The goal was changed to relative adoption once they understood that we would not be swayed. Stand firm, it's difficult enough raising kin. Trying to parent along with someone who is not healthy would be a nightmare.
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  #4  
Old 10-06-2011, 08:48 AM
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wcurry66 wcurry66 is offline
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say no to guardianship is you can.

the benefits vary from state to state (here's a link to a nice publication form my state.. the details may vary but it gives you some food for thought )
http://www.dhhs.state.nh.us/dcyf/doc...caregivers.pdf

with guardianship, birthmom will forever have the right to request the kids back. While you might be ok with that now, it gives the kids no sense of permanency and allows her to keep poking/finagling
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  #5  
Old 10-12-2011, 04:48 PM
homesteadma homesteadma is offline
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We wanted DCS out of our lives. We were given "temp legal custody" until the child turns 18, with the birthmom & BD having 1 x a month (supervised by us) visitations .Neither visited, neither paid their child support. Hired attny for $1250.00 to go for tpr/adopt. Dad didn't show for tpr hearing so it was a slam dunk. Mom hired attny to fight it, then didn't show up for court the day of the hearing. Adoption was a done deal!
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  #6  
Old 10-13-2011, 09:28 AM
homesteadma homesteadma is offline
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In our situation the baby was removed @ 4months and the mother was indicated in the "severe abuse"- and dad for dependency & neglect. The state did not terminate parent rights, the parents also did little to nothing of their "plan." We live 100 miles from where our daughter's case originated and had to travel to repeated court hearings, parental visits, etc. so we were glad to be done with dcs.
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2011, 10:57 AM
worrywart worrywart is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homesteadma
In our situation the baby was removed @ 4months and the mother was indicated in the "severe abuse"- and dad for dependency & neglect. The state did not terminate parent rights, the parents also did little to nothing of their "plan." We live 100 miles from where our daughter's case originated and had to travel to repeated court hearings, parental visits, etc. so we were glad to be done with dcs.
appreciate all the help..baby has 2 year old brother too..bmom's father has him. I got call from dss other day..(broke my heart) asking if I could take him. The daycare reported bruises...but the grandfather loves him and I do not think he would do this...but I do think they would let biomom around child? but dss did not mention this issue. I can not take the 2year old; feel bad but would be too much for my husband. I am not in contact with other child,bmom or gfather either- only at scheduled visits. Anyway - our friend that does foster took him in for now. They are GREAT people! I assume they will give him back to the grandfather after investigation because the state wants kids with relatives. I am wondering if this is gonna speed up my process or change the case plan?? However visit did go as planned.
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  #8  
Old 12-09-2011, 02:30 PM
worrywart worrywart is offline
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Still planning with full custody arrangements in Jan. having family meeting for the baby...two year old brother went back to grandfather now from fostercare. Boidad in Jail now. Child support filed for both. Any suggestions to get biodad rights revoked? Can that be done without biomom rights tpr. I asked dss about visits they are saying they are not sure yet. I responded that I am not comfortable with visits after full custody considering it will be out of dss at that point. After full custody my lawyer suggest to see how biomom reacts before we move forward. We are hoping she does not contact us. DSS DID MENTION IF VISITS INCLUDED THEY WOULD BE HELD AT A CENTER WHICH BMOM HAS TO PAY FOR. BUT CONCERNED ABOUT THIS!
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  #9  
Old 12-09-2011, 07:16 PM
Lynn2011 Lynn2011 is offline
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FYI with gaurdianship yes mom would have her parental rights but the are suspended...you would make the decisions about when and if she saw the baby, in order for her to regain custody of the child it would have to go to court.

Also if she is going to court for child abuse, does she have a laywer? They maybe able to terminate parental rights at that point if your goal is adoption or keeping the baby safe.

You can stipulate in the gaurdianship order under what circumstances she will be allowed visitation, or leave it out all together, we opted to include to lessen the daily stress of waiting for them make an apperence.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2011, 09:31 AM
worrywart worrywart is offline
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Thank you for your response! SW stated they might put visitation in the custody order. I do understand if this happens- I can petition to have that revoked. I do not agree with this at all. She does have a public defender for criminal case, but I never thought about tpr at criminal court. Can I get a lawyer involved in that case to suggest this? Wondering if that could be option - or I file seperate under criminal circumstances before criminal court date?
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2011, 04:37 PM
Lynn2011 Lynn2011 is offline
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If she is found guilty of abuse in the crimminal court then that can be used as grounds for the TPR is family court.

Some courts request that you file for TPR and adoption at the same time as that is how it was here in Maine. So the child was not without a gaurdian or parent.

If she is going to court for abuse I am assuming that child protective is or will be involed and they may have their own set of recomendations.

Was the child in fostercare? Was reunification given a try? Is there along standing of abuse? Is bio mom facing a jail sentence if convicted? What are the details of the abuse case? In order for a crimminal abuse case, there must have been some serious allegations or evednt abuse.

These are all questions you will want to ask yourself and know the answers for when you file for the TPR.

See if mom will allow you to talk to her public defender about the child and custody, he maybe able to point you in the right direction but I would contact the courts as well let them know your situation and they will offer you the correct paperwork...without legal advice.

Make sure you have the child's best interests at heart, in the end you want a happy well adjusted, child in a safe loving home the courts aim for this as well.
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  #12  
Old 01-30-2012, 12:06 PM
worrywart worrywart is offline
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Full Custody to Relative

This is kinda weird and sketchy in my gut feeling! I have contacted an attorney for some answers but wondering if anyone has had this experience?
I am getting full custody with visitation - the twist is ss not stating when, where for visitation. ss thinks we can work out our own visits. Mother's public defender suggest mediation for visits to discuss amongst ourselves but no decision has to be made. This is blowing my mind? Another twist -they do not practice mediation with ss in our county so they do not have a mediator in mind as of the meeting. The court day is in few weeks for Judge to sign permanency full custody to me.
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  #13  
Old 01-30-2012, 07:33 PM
itri1972 itri1972 is offline
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Just a very quick note, in our state, one of the main differences between "full custody" and "guardianship" is that in order for mom (or dad) to get custody back with full custody, she has to prove a "change in circumstance." That could be that she improved her situation, that you got a new job that requires travel, WHATEVER. In a guardianship, she would have to prove that you are unfit and that it is in the best interest of the child to remove from you.

So - yes, she can drag you back to court to get custody in either case, but you can see that one is a much larger burden of proof. I know that in our state they also won't consider guardianship unless all other permanency options are exhausted, or so it says in the DSS SW manual. What happens in reality is that they want to close cases!

So, find out if your state is the same. Push for guardianship if you can (obviously adoption would be ideal). Agree to visitation, but PUT in escape clauses (like if she misses X visits, all visits are canceled until XYZ happens; if she shows up drunk or high, all visits are canceled until XYZ happens).

Also - once the DSS case is closed ALL the evidence in the case is no longer available to you for your case if you did want to try to tpr on your own. So like they said above, if there is a court case, make sure you pay to get the transcripts and copies of all judgements. Certified court copies of everything. It will cost (especially the transcripts, ugh).
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