There are many children of all ages waiting to be adopted from the foster care system. The Law Office of Faith Getz Rousso, P.C. can you guide you through the process from application as a foster parent to finalization of adoption. We recognize that foster parents are selfless & dedicated with a huge heart! Foster parents step into the shoes of a parent pending reunification with the child's biological family. Adopting a child in foster care will provide you with all of the same rights and responsibilities that a biological parent would have.
How are children placed in foster care?
If the Family Court finds that a child is not safe in their home, due to neglect or abuse, child may be removed from their home and placed in foster care to avoid imminent risk to the child's life or health. The Agency will try to place the child with a family member or friend that has been certified as a foster parent. If there isn't a family member who wishes to care for the child, then certified foster parents will be considered.
What is the goal of foster care?
The goal of foster care is for the child to be reunified with the biological parent(s) and returned to their care. If the Court finds that it is not safe to return the child to parent(s), then a relative of the biological parent will be contacted. If there are no family members suitable to take care of the child, the child is placed with a foster family.
How do I become a foster parent?
In the State of New York, you must contact the foster care agency in the County where you reside to complete an application. Once the agency approves your application, foster parent(s) must complete a 30 hour Model Approach to Partnerships and Parenting (MAPP) training. In addition to the training, you will meet with a social worker, have criminal and child abuse clearances, and medical clearances to be an approved foster parent home.
What is a permanency hearing?
The Court in New York State is required to schedule a permanency hearing 8 months after the child is place in foster care, and then every 6 months while the child is care. The Law Office of Faith Getz Rousso, P.C. can represent foster parents at the permanency hearings. At the Permanency Hearing the Court determines if the child should continue to be placed outside the biological parent's home, the appropriateness of the permanency plan, and whether the agency is making reasonable efforts to effectuate the plan.
When can a foster parent adopt the child in their care?
If the child is in foster care for 15 out of the most recent 22 months, the Agency may be required to file a termination of parental rights (TPR). After the biological parent's rights are terminated, a foster parent may file an Adoption petition. In the event the biological parent signs a conditional surrender to the adoption, then the parent's rights are terminated with an agreement for contact after the adoption.
When do I retain an attorney in foster care adoption?
In the State of New York, you have may have an attorney represent you as a foster parent. The foster parent and their attorney may take part in all of the Permanency Hearings and dispositional hearing. Your attorney can assist in creating a plan for contact after the adoption is finalized. Foster parents must have representation to prepare and file the petition for adoption and supporting documents. Your attorney will also appear in Court at the finalization of your adoption.
The Department of Social Services (DSS) or Administration for Children's Services (ACS) may provide a subsidy for your legal representation. for the adoption. If foster parents qualify for the subsidy, then The Law Office of Faith Getz Rousso, P.C., will request payment directly from the Agency.