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Kinship Adoption

Has anyone dealt with kinship care and competing families?


My two nephews are in the system and my husband and I have been pushing towards kinship care for a few months now (unfortunately the cps office local to their case just lost half their workers, so they’ve been shuffled around a lot and our information has been lost more than once).

The caseworker informed us today that there are other relatives (she said the name quickly, so I might have misheard, but it’s no one I recognize) who’ve requested kinship and they’re months ahead of us in the process.

It feels like a sudden monkey wrench in the proceedings. This family lives close and is able to visit the kids and already has a few times, whereas we’re located further away and it’s a $2k or more flight each time plus hotel plus rental car etc if we want to go out to see them, which we obviously do. They are months ahead of us on paperwork and their home study is underway, whereas turnaround in our state for completing the homestudy and getting your ICPC approved is 6 months to a year for most cases. A big part of us being able to take these kids was my husband’s work, which will reimburse adoption associated costs. Our travel costs and extra furniture and other initial costs will all be covered, if the kids are placed with us pending the termination of parental rights and with a focus toward adoption, which was what we were looking at in our initial contact with case workers. But now, if we go through all of that and then the selection committee decides to place the kids with the other family, none of it will be reimbursed and we’ll be faced with a lot of debt. I don’t know if the other family is operating with that same level of risk

In addition, it feels…silly? To be competing against another family for these kids when all any of us want is for them to be happy, and safe, and stable, away from their birth parents. If they’re decent people, then the kids will get those things from them, and what business do I have trying to wrestle the kids away, you know?

I guess I’m looking for advice. The social worker seemed positive about my kinship application, and the potential for us to foster-to-adopt these kids, but I’m feeling very insecure knowing this mystery family is out there in the ether.

Replies

The family might be from the other side right because there is a mother and father. And kinship doesn’t always mean relative. It may be One of the parents best friends. If you know one of the parents I would contact them or contact your parents or your cousins or siblings and ask about who is interested in these children. Number one how did you find out they were in foster care in the first place? Number two, just because somebody is farther in the application doesn’t mean that they’re going to get the children. it would be the best interest of the child not the first person to apply.Number three you’re going to have to decide what your priority is. If your priority is you want these kids no matter what. Then you’re gonna have to let go of any financial debt you’re going to incur because of this.One thing I’m thinking about is If the other couple found out months ahead of you that means they found out before you which could mean that they are closer to these kids than you are. Can you ask the kids what they want? And I would ask the worker again what are the names of these people and spell it out clearly so you know who they are. Just shooting ideas your way😀 I have my niece. I don’t know if anyone else applied to get her, if so, the worker did not say. But there was no way in hell anyone was getting my niece. I wrote a 3 page letter explaining who I was and why it is important that kids be raised by family ect, my sister is mentally ill and was not talking to us for two years..so I did not know she was even pregnant, let alone had the baby taken away. If you are going to spend money, you might as well get a lawyer or pro bono lawyer to help you with the process so they don’t screw you around. Good luck, ohh and you can apply, at least here in Canada, directly through the court for custody, by passing child protection services. After all, it’s the judge that has the final say, not child protection.

Posted by freckle face mama on Dec 18, 2018 at 4:27am

As a FFY, I would have been thrilled if I’d had family that wanted me, much less two families. So I applaud you.
But if this other family is family to the children, and lives close to them, and knows them—well, it sounds like this family might be a good place for the children to be.
Plus if parental rights are not yet terminated, it’s unlikely the kids would be removed far away from their natural parents when there is a family close by. And even if there is TPR, often natural parents agree to terminate with the stipulation of visitation, which wouldn’t be possible if the kids are that far away. From what you’re saying about finances and how you feel about the parents, it seems like visitation wouldn’t be an option for you.
What others said about getting real information is valid—you need to be told, and to insist upon knowing—who these people are.
If the children go to live with the other family, they would probably benefit immensely from knowing you as caring aunt and uncle, since you obviously care about them. Could you approach the other family about establishing that kind of relationship? Even if the children don’t live with you, you can be a loving and positive presence in their lives.

Posted by NoraT on Dec 24, 2018 at 1:37am

My advice would be to continue with the process. I live in another country and my biological sister’s daughter has been in foster care for years. Due to mental illness, she is unstable. Multiple family members have attempted to foster my niece. They went through a process. I do not know the details, but family members were denied kinship care. I was recently contacted by my sister again to ask for me to take my niece. I requested that she contacted CPS and the Private Child advocate agency where the child is being fostered.  I received a call and during my holiday visit to the states, my sister unexpectantly relinquished her rights. Within the past 2 weeks, the father relinquished his. My niece can finally have an opportunity to have a safe and loving forever home. After the passport and court date, we will be taking her home and starting the adoption process. With that said, you never know. For years I have offered my home. I had to work on gaining serenity about the whole situation. There is alot we dont have control over. Focus on what you can do and what is the right thing to do.

Posted by arne on Jan 26, 2019 at 4:10pm

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