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Not Legally Free

Anonymous asked: Are the kids legally free for adoption? 

The answer is no. The goal is reunification. They are still visiting with bio parents. 

There was talk of expedited termination a few months ago when we were first approached. I don't know if that was looked at yet. I do know that this family has already been reunified once by the same judge and that intact services were in place and failed. I also know that Mom does not seem to be doing much and missed her last court date. Dad is only showing up 1/2 the time to his visits. Both were involved in DCFS previously with their kids. And in our state before termination can be discussed kids need to be in an adoptive resource home.

The other foster families are convinced this will lead to adoption. There is a greater chance that it will, given the history. We were chosen as a good foster placement because if the case turns that way, we are willing to adopt all four children. We've also brought back together children who were separated and had a history of sexual abuse. If they moved the kids so they were together, they wanted it to be their last move in foster care. (We will be their 3rd and 4th homes (yes, again).)

I cannot go into this with the idea of adoption in my head. It was a mistake I made last time. Actions were taken the wrong way and I believe that being honest about our wish to adopt may have hindered others to see our legitimate concerns. 

I am glad that the other families could see us as a forever family for these kids. It allowed them to be placed together. No doubt we will make the same promise as before, our house or her house. I signed up as a foster parent and my job is to protect, advocate, and support the goal.

If I'm being honest, I am also guarding my heart a bit. I couldn't think of these kids as only mine if I were to be working with these other foster families or their biological families. I spent a great deal of the previous two years thinking of another Mom as my enemy and in the end that did me more harm than good. Maybe I feel like I owe it to Maria, with all she has taught me, about what it's like to be in her shoes. Quite frankly, I might still be worn out from all of that. Arms length of the thought that these could be the Final Four is much more comfortable right now. 

Comments

  1. I am in the state of Illinois also - in our case, the bio parents only followed part of the service plan and never did anything "super bad" to cause termination of rights ... so after over 4 years of the case dragging along, we were granted guardianship by the judge. The goal was changed in court from return home to guardianship. We were told the state was going for more guardianships because it was "easier."

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