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Unread postPosted: Fri Jan 24, 2014 11:41 pm 
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Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:34 pm
Posts: 17
Your Adoption Connection: Just beginning the process
Hello again,

How is everyone doing?
I got a surprising phone call last week. It was from someplace called "A Family For Every Child" and they were calling about my little cousins, or rather my cousin's kids. I looked this company up, it looks like they offer adoption of kids in state custody?

So the lady I talked to said they are just trying to find any biological family that want to maintain some kind of contact with these kids. So I was more then willing to let her have my information.

There are 6 kids, the oldest is 12, then twin boys who are 7/8, another boy who is 4/5, and twin girls who are 2.5yrs old. They were taken into foster care for the second time about 1.5 yrs ago. Thankfully my other cousin and her husband had just become licensed foster parents and so they requested to have all 6 kids placed with them and CPS said great!

I called my cousin, foster mom, to find out what was going on and apparently if my cousin (the mother of the kids) does not change her ways by March, she is supposed to be signing away her rights to all of the kids. This means they would be up for adoption.

My cousin had talked to the kids' social worker and mentioned my husband and I as a good match for the twin boys. She knows we spent quite a bit of time with them when they would visit with their grandpa. Some other cousins are interested in adopting the other kids also.

But, before I get too hopeful I'm also trying to not get too excited. I know there is still the possibility that bio mom will do what she needs to and still keep custody. I was hoping maybe some of you on here might be able to answer some questions for me.

1. Since my husband and I are biological family, will we have a better chance of being approved to adopt these boys even with my husband's health (he has PD)?

2. Would the state allow the twin boys to be adopted by non-family members if no one else in the family are able to take them, but the other siblings are adopted by family? I'm just wondering if the state would be more willing to let us adopt if no one else in the family is also able to take the twin boys.

We all know splitting up the sibling group isn't the best, but no one in the family can take all 6 kids. We know that at least if they stay in the family even split up, they will always be able to maintain contact with each other.

3. With the bio mom rights having been terminated (in the case of adoption) how does that effect when it comes to family events? If we are at an event and bio mom shows up, do we have to leave? What about their bio grandpa, would we have to leave if he was at the event? Is this something that the judge would inform us as to what to do?

4. We heard that the twin boys told their mom at one of their visits (when she actually showed up) that they didn't want to live with her anymore, they were tired of what she was doing. They have been living in a stable and loving home for the last 1.5 years with my other cousin (foster family), even with their feelings about their mom, will it be harder for them to transition to our home because they are leaving a stable environment?

5. Are there any good books to read that might help me get prepared to raise 8yr old twin boys? I always thought I wold start with a newborn and be able to start off "easier", but with these boys I feel like I will be jumping into the middle of the river with both feet!

I want to do this, but I also don't want to screw it up! These boys have already been through a lot, and coming from a loving and stable home for the last 1.5yr I want them to know they are going into a home that loves them and want them here.

6. Would the fact that both my husband and I are able to stay home and provide a could income be a consideration into our ability to adopt the boys? Also, if we adopt the boys, because of my husband's military service/disability any and all children we have (biological and adopted) will be able to go to 4 years of college or any trade school for free. Does the state look into these kind of things for placing kids?

Sorry this is so long. But thanks for reading all of this and answering any of my questions!
Dawn


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:12 pm 
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Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:23 am
Posts: 5347
Location: Farm fields of Illinois
Your Adoption Connection: International, foster and private adoption.
1. Since my husband and I are biological family, will we have a better chance of being approved to adopt these boys even with my husband's health (he has PD)?

Quote:
Right now, I'm not sure what PD is (depression of some sort?)....but yes, you have a great chance, from what I've seen from other families. Our former next door neighbors did just what seems you may be doing. It was the strangest adoption set up I've ever known...but basically, bm was a jerk, didn't give a whip about her babies and when it all came down, an out of state DCF called them from the blue and asked if they wanted to be the foster parents-then, they have become THE Parents, though bm's rights haven't been terminated, they've been told they never have to have visits with her (after about 2yrs of having them) and she will never, ever get them back. It's been great for the kids (who were sorely neglected) and great for my neighbors who, BTW, are nearly 60yrs old.


2. Would the state allow the twin boys to be adopted by non-family members if no one else in the family are able to take them, but the other siblings are adopted by family? I'm just wondering if the state would be more willing to let us adopt if no one else in the family is also able to take the twin boys.

Quote:
Non-family can be sought, but I think it's law the system has to eliminate any bio family connections who are interested-first.


We all know splitting up the sibling group isn't the best, but no one in the family can take all 6 kids. We know that at least if they stay in the family even split up, they will always be able to maintain contact with each other.


3. With the bio mom rights having been terminated (in the case of adoption) how does that effect when it comes to family events? If we are at an event and bio mom shows up, do we have to leave? What about their bio grandpa, would we have to leave if he was at the event? Is this something that the judge would inform us as to what to do?

Quote:
Yes, I think it is. As in my neighbors case, they never have to have visits with her again. If she were to ask, THEY have the decision, not her or the courts.


4. We heard that the twin boys told their mom at one of their visits (when she actually showed up) that they didn't want to live with her anymore, they were tired of what she was doing. They have been living in a stable and loving home for the last 1.5 years with my other cousin (foster family), even with their feelings about their mom, will it be harder for them to transition to our home because they are leaving a stable environment?

Quote:
It may be. May be not. Just remember, in terms of bioperson......not ALL foster/adopt kids yearn for the bios. I've seen this more times than not. I think some cw'ers would like to think all kids yearn for that bio connection, but not all do. Some are even relieved NOT to have to deal with bios again. If they've been attached to the stable home, this might be more difficult----but they're older and might understand more than say, the little ones would.


5. Are there any good books to read that might help me get prepared to raise 8yr old twin boys? I always thought I wold start with a newborn and be able to start off "easier", but with these boys I feel like I will be jumping into the middle of the river with both feet!

Quote:
You will be and it will be more difficult---more than likely. I do NOT think 'Adopting the Older Child' is a good book. Debbie may have some better suggestions for you. Join a support group who deals with older child adoption. These people can become your best resource, friends.


I want to do this, but I also don't want to screw it up! These boys have already been through a lot, and coming from a loving and stable home for the last 1.5yr I want them to know they are going into a home that loves them and want them here.

6. Would the fact that both my husband and I are able to stay home and provide a could income be a consideration into our ability to adopt the boys? Also, if we adopt the boys, because of my husband's military service/disability any and all children we have (biological and adopted) will be able to go to 4 years of college or any trade school for free. Does the state look into these kind of things for placing kids?

Quote:
They may. Just depends on who's sitting behind the desk, KWIM?


Good luck and keep us updated!!!!!!!

Sincerely,

Linny

_________________
There is an instinct in a woman to love most her own child - and an instinct to make any child who needs her love, her own. ~Robert Brault

Adoption Specialist for
Adopt America Network


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 1:29 pm 
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I'm New!

Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:34 pm
Posts: 17
Your Adoption Connection: Just beginning the process
Hi Linny,

Thanks for your replies.

PD = Parkinson's Disease. He got it from being exposed to toxic chemicals while serving in the Navy.

I'll keep you updated. Right now it's just waiting until March for the next court date. I hate waiting! LOL!!

Dawn


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Unread postPosted: Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:28 pm 
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Honorary Member

Joined: Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:23 pm
Posts: 1437
Location: Connecticut
Your Adoption Connection: Director, Forever Families Weekend
Adoptive parent
Quote:
1. Since my husband and I are biological family, will we have a better chance of being approved to adopt these boys even with my husband's health (he has PD)?

Quote:
Right now, I'm not sure what PD is (depression of some sort?)....but yes, you have a great chance, from what I've seen from other families. Our former next door neighbors did just what seems you may be doing. It was the strangest adoption set up I've ever known...but basically, bm was a jerk, didn't give a whip about her babies and when it all came down, an out of state DCF called them from the blue and asked if they wanted to be the foster parents-then, they have become THE Parents, though bm's rights haven't been terminated, they've been told they never have to have visits with her (after about 2yrs of having them) and she will never, ever get them back. It's been great for the kids (who were sorely neglected) and great for my neighbors who, BTW, are nearly 60yrs old.


Yes, you have a better chance of being approved because you are biological family. The Parkinsons Disease is not an issue per se...like any homestudy, the social worker will want to know what your plan is for dealing with your husband's condition, what support system you have (financial, emotional, etc.), and what the prognosis is (for example, how advanced is his disease, etc.). I can't recall if you already have an approved homestudy, but if you do, then that part is already a moot point and you don't need to be concerned.

Quote:
2. Would the state allow the twin boys to be adopted by non-family members if no one else in the family are able to take them, but the other siblings are adopted by family? I'm just wondering if the state would be more willing to let us adopt if no one else in the family is also able to take the twin boys.

Quote:
Non-family can be sought, but I think it's law the system has to eliminate any bio family connections who are interested-first.


We all know splitting up the sibling group isn't the best, but no one in the family can take all 6 kids. We know that at least if they stay in the family even split up, they will always be able to maintain contact with each other.


If no one in the family will take all six kids, then they will most likely try to place all six with family members who agree to maintain contact, rather than move them to non-family all together. But there's no guarantee. Still, I think the odds are in your favor.

Quote:
3. With the bio mom rights having been terminated (in the case of adoption) how does that effect when it comes to family events? If we are at an event and bio mom shows up, do we have to leave? What about their bio grandpa, would we have to leave if he was at the event? Is this something that the judge would inform us as to what to do?

Quote:
Yes, I think it is. As in my neighbors case, they never have to have visits with her again. If she were to ask, THEY have the decision, not her or the courts.


You asked if you HAVE TO LEAVE if bio mom or bio grandpa are at an event. IMHO, not necessarily. You MIGHT have to leave depending on court determination regarding contact with bio mom (or SHE might have to leave) but I can't imagine any reason in the world why you would have to leave the bio grandpa. On the contrary, one of the reasons the system LOOKS for relatives to take the kids is precisely so they can continue to have relationships with extended family. I would think you would want to encourage that relationship with their grandfather to continue (why wouldn't you???) Unless the biomom is considered a danger to the children, it's not likely that you would be forced to cut off contact with her - and during the time period that they are your foster children (rather than adopted), you should expect to be required to have visitation (as that would be part of the program while the courts wait to see if she can work a plan and regain her rights to parent).

[and before the rest of you chime in...I'm not passing judgement on whether or not that's best...I'm just stating that it's likely to be the situation]

For number 4 I agree with Linny's response.

Quote:
5. Are there any good books to read that might help me get prepared to raise 8yr old twin boys? I always thought I wold start with a newborn and be able to start off "easier", but with these boys I feel like I will be jumping into the middle of the river with both feet!

Quote:
You will be and it will be more difficult---more than likely. I do NOT think 'Adopting the Older Child' is a good book. Debbie may have some better suggestions for you. Join a support group who deals with older child adoption. These people can become your best resource, friends.


Yes...and for starters I recommend day visits and then overnight visits (once approved) rather than a quick change to your home, with the support of a professional. The kids' caseworker should be providing transition support to the kids but you and your husband may want additional support. A support group is great but ALSO a professional would be helpful since you will be jumping in. Also, since the twins are already 8 years old, they are entitled to an opinion about whether they want to live with you (morally, even if not legally, although I would hope that they would be consulted either way).

I recommend http://www.emkpress.com for both their Foster Parenting Toolbox (book and online support) as well as the Adoption Parenting Handbook. You'll need both. And they have terrific resources on their website.

Quote:
6. Would the fact that both my husband and I are able to stay home and provide a could income be a consideration into our ability to adopt the boys? Also, if we adopt the boys, because of my husband's military service/disability any and all children we have (biological and adopted) will be able to go to 4 years of college or any trade school for free. Does the state look into these kind of things for placing kids?

Quote:
They may. Just depends on who's sitting behind the desk, KWIM?


The state will not care if your husband's service entitles the kids to free college because they state typically includes free college (and insurance, btw) as part of the foster/adopt program. But it won't hurt. Again, if you already have an approved homestudy then this is already a moot point.

The biggest issues in this situation will be whether or not you agree to maintain contact between the twins and their siblings and extended family and whether or not they want to live with you and your husband.

Keep us posted and good luck!


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