Permanent guardianship or adoption?

Michelle - posted on 03/09/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

14

24

1

We have had 2 of 4 brothers for 14 months. DHS wanted to place all 4 brothers together so, we took the other 2 in October.

Parents are Developmentally disabled. They have a great relationship with there children but are not able to care for them.

We have been asked if we want permanent guardianship? Because, DHS or the state do not want to take rights. We have been told the differences between guardianship and adoption...

I feel a bit uneasy about having the parents involved. (To many chiefs)

Visits are supervised now twice a week. I don't want to severe the relationship but I do want the boys to move on...



Any thoughts?

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

3 Comments

View replies by

Christy - posted on 04/14/2012

9

0

2

You're in a tough spot because DHS isn't saying they have any interest in termination of parental rights. I don't know if the law is different when it's a case of the parents being disabled rather than a danger to the child. However, most states have laws concerning how long a child can be in foster care before an adoption MUST be considered. In our case, I believe it was 26 months. (That was California) Our little one was bounced from mom to foster care, to dad to foster care, to grandma to foster care, Repeat. She had 13 placements between the ages of 2 and 4, which is the age she was when she came to us. At 4 years old, this poor baby would cry and beg us not to make her go away and to let her stay forever. Heartbreaking, to say the least! We sought out an attorney who specialized in adoption because we weren't getting anywhere with DHS. We did end up having to hire the attorney and all told, we spent about $6,000.00 of our own funds to force termination of parental rights and move to an adoption plan as the permanent plan. Took us about 2 years to accomplish all of it and during that two years we had to continue parental visitation twice weekly. We also had the back up of a GREAT family therapist who strongly recommended that the child be placed permanently with us, that she had bonded with us and another change would be detrimental to her. I really believe that was key to accomplishing the adoption. She was very clear to both DHS and the judge that what this child needed was permanency, stability and routine and that with ongoing visits and involvement with the birth parents she would never have that. It's really a difficult decision because you don't want to cause hurt to the birth parents and you want to try to be fair. I mean, lets face it....none of us get into foster care because we have mean hearts. LOL We do it because we love kids and we want to help. So you have to take that and really put it in your heart. This is about these kids and what is best for them. Not just today, but for their forever. They deserve to be a part of your family in every sense of the way, where they know they belong and are wanted forever. You have to make a judge see that and trust me,....they see it a whole lot better than most DHS workers do. I know from what you've already said that the birth parents aren't bad people. But the bottom line is that they are not able to care for these kids and never will be. That's not the fault of the children and they shouldn't be denied the right to belong because of it. I truly don't mean to sound harsh and I know it comes out that way even without my meaning it to. I just don't know a better way to say it. You want to be very cautious in approaching DHS because the last thing you want is for them to decide you are going to be unwilling to stick to the case plan and they better move the kids to someone who will. Talk to a lawyer who specializes in adoption and find out what your rights are and what the kids rights are, but keep it on the hush hush as far as DHS goes! Just see where you stand legally! What state are you in, by the way? I have become quite a good researcher as to law because I had to be! :)

Michelle - posted on 04/13/2012

14

24

1

Thank you for sharing similar circumstances. My husband and I recently shared our wish of DHS staying involved. Our concern is for attachment issues and boundaries with parents. I asked if the plan would change to permanent foster care placement. She answered no the children r to young. So here is my thought...
They do not advertise for guardianship. Adoption for 4 boys from 12-4 is not likely so they more likely will be in foster care permanent. DHS does not want to change the plan to say "permanent foster care", but that's what it is... Your thoughts??

Christy - posted on 04/13/2012

9

0

2

We did a PLG for about a year under similar circumstances. For us, the problem was that with the continued frequent visits with birth parents, there is no feasible way the child can adjust to their new home and life. As soon as the begin feeling comfortable and secure, we rush them off to see the parents they can never live with. It was simply to confusing for our home. We began seeing increased negative behaviors immediately following visits, as well as increases in emotional problems. I mean, really....how could it NOT cause attachment problems? We finally had a therapist tell us that this is not about us, not about the parents, not about being fair. It's about what we can collectively do to ensure this child thrives and grows into a healthy, happy adult. Looking at it in those terms helped us overcome our own feelings of guilt that we were somehow cheating the parents. We ended up requesting a termination of the PLG and moved forward with an adoption plan. We finalized in June. Our daughter has RAD and ODD, both just recently diagnosed. Now my guilt is more like, ":Did I contribute to this by being on board with the parents wishes for frequent calls and visits?" Every child is different and you know these kids. Do what your gut tells you.

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms