As a foster parent, it is only natural to love and care for your foster child as if he or she was your own. In providing that care, sometimes legal rights must be exercised in order to properly care for your foster child or to seek adoption. Whatever your wishes and needs may be, it is crucial that you seek the help of a skilled firm to help your family resolve any legal conflicts and help you obtain the legal authority you need to keep your child safe and happy.
We are vigilant about putting our legal knowledge and skills to use on behalf of your family, to help you obtain a favorable outcome. We understand that as a foster parent, you are trying to do what is best for the child you have cared for and love, and we want to help you keep your family unit together.
Know Your Rights
Each state has its own Foster Parent Bill of Rights, establishing the legal rights of foster parents, both for their protection and the good of the children. Foster parents are generally allowed most of the same rights as natural parents in that they can make most decisions for the child’s benefit, including after-school activities, punishments, behavioral rules, and so on. However, the welfare agency has legal custody of the foster child, not the foster parents.
Foster parents have the right to:
- Be treated as a member of the foster child’s welfare team
- Receive training and support while serving as a foster parent
- Obtain their foster child’s biographical and medical information
- Receive notice of placement plants or court proceedings that could affect their child’s placement
- Assist with planning visitation with a child’s natural parents or siblings
- Communicate with other professionals working with their child, including therapists, teachers, doctors, etc.
- Priority consideration if a foster child becomes available for adoption
In addition to these rights, foster parents also have the right to expect fair and adequate financial reimbursement to help care for their foster child. It is also within the foster parents’ rights to refuse the placement of a child into their home or to request the removal of a child from their home. These rules are intended to protect the dignity of those who choose to serve as foster parents and should be honored under any circumstances. If you feel your rights have been violated as a foster parent, our family law attorneys can help.
Foster Parents and Adoption
When a family takes a foster child into their home, it isn’t surprising that they would come to think of him or her as a part of the family. If you wish to adopt your foster child, there are legal steps that must be followed. The foster parents must file for an adoption, terminating the rights of the natural parent or parents. Our attorneys can sit down with you and your family and help you determine what needs to be done to make your foster child a part of your family.