Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Ups and Downs of Foster Care Adoption

Life is a roller coaster, no doubt about it.  But there is something about adoption that makes you feel the extremes even more.  I have been pregnant, I know those emotions well.  I have been unable to conceive (obviously before the pregnancies and corrective surgery) and have experienced those emotions, as well.  But nothing prepares you for adoption. 

International adoption comes with a lot of waiting.  Hoping. Waiting.  The heartache of meeting your child then having to leave them.  Then finally you get them. 

Foster care adoption.  Is a whole different animal.  You get that child and then pray for their safety.  There is no guarantee in the foster care system.  Birth parents could do some of the worst things you can imagine (or allow those things to happen), not care, not comply, and then at the last possible moment show a slight interest and everything is simply reset.  Birth parents do not have to get their lives together to get their children back.  The only have to meet the minimum standards of compliance.  Doesn’t that sound fantastic?

In some cases reunification is the best option for the child and the family.  In some cases it is definitely not, but still happens.  Then in many, many cases the process is simply dragged out as long as possible.  So the child spends years in the foster care system, because no one cared enough to give them a permanent home and stability. 

That is right…no one cared enough. 

  • Not their birth parents, who could comply and do their required services to get their children back. 
  • Not the foster parents, to advocate for them and push people to get things done.  {Now I do want to say that foster parent rights are severely lacking and foster parents can only do so much} There are many fantastic foster parents out there that fight for the children in their care every day. But frankly many foster parents don’t care enough.  They just care about the check.
  • Not the case worker, who has almost all of the power to make a difference in these kids’ lives. But usually does not because their case load is overbearing and they are pushed to the brink of burnout which has resulted in a hard, jaded person.
  • Not the court system, who just pushes files around from one stack to another.  Half of the time not reading the atrocities within the files.  Just looking at forms of what services have been done and what services need to be done.  Never taking an interest in that child or their well being. 

Back in June, Little Lady had her parental rights terminated.  It was a beautiful moment for us, because our hearts could just beat for a moment without having the cloud over our head that this beautiful little girl (that is ours in every sense, but the legal sense) would be given to a woman that has no business having children. 

We have simply been waiting on the foster care system to process our adoption packet and get that filed with the state. 

Um, scratch that.  Upon looking through the adoption packet, one person found a page in a visitation record in which birth mom said that her boyfriend was named _______.  She was pregnant at the time with Little Lady.  So the case aid, not the case worker, transcribed that the unborn child’s biological dad is likely that person.  Even though birth mom never put bio dad’s name on the birth certificate and she told the case worker his name once. The man she named was NOT this boyfriend.

So when rights were terminated, rights were terminated on that man that birth mom specifically named as the father once, and ANY AND ALL POSSIBLE FATHERS.

Turns out that last part is not good enough.  Child protective services here in Illinois will not let our adoption paperwork proceed because that one boyfriend was mentioned and could possibly be the bio dad.  They want a specific court order that says his rights are terminated before they proceed.

The court (State’s Attorney and the judge) say that he would fall under any and all possible fathers declared in the court petition and declaration.  So they are not setting a court date to terminate this man or doing the necessary public posting to process his termination.  The office of legal council in child protective services is not allowing us to proceed without it. 

So we are stuck in the battle of pride between two offices.  None of this would have been an issue, had our case worker properly reviewed the file  and notated his name, as she did the other man.  Or had child protective services noticed this man’s name the two previous times they reviewed the file to even get to this point. 

So once again a child is stuck in the foster care system because the court doesn’t care enough to swallow their pride and stand up one way or another; because child protective services won’t suck it up and admit that they approved the packet without his name specifically written and agreed to termination and are now saying everything has to be redone because they didn’t see this the TWO times they had reviewed the file prior; because our case worker does her work at a bare minimum requirement.

BUT there is one big difference.  This girls’ foster parents are not going to take this!  We are going to fight for our daughter.  We want to make this adoption final.  We want the paperwork to match what our hearts have been saying for the past 2 1/2 years…this girl is a Young and belongs in our family!


  1. How frustrating for you Kim. I wish there were more people like you in the world willing to fight for others. You are such a wonderful and kind person.

  2. Love you, dear, and your giant heart. Love that you are fighting for your daughter, and sad that it's so hard sometimes.

  3. Visiting from Pour Your Heart Out. You will be in my thoughts and prayers that soon everything will be worked out and this precious little girl will be yours in every sense of the word.


  4. I wish the case workers could read this post. You definitely poured your heart out. I love that you have already made her a Young. She'll know this kind of big, true love for the rest of her life. She'll always know that you wanted her and fought for her.
    Much success to you and your family with this!

  5. This is BEAUTIFUL. Even though it's awful. Does that make sense? I'm almost crying at the end. How freakin' stupid that they would tack on this extra "maybe" who doesn't know she exists, more than likely!! Sigh. This is part of why I never worked in foster care, I had enough issues on the other side as a therapist for the kids who were IN foster care. Which made me want to work there. I'm rambling, but goodness, I SO hope beyond hope that she becomes a part of your forever family and stays in her forever home really soon.

  6. I'm an emotional wreck today so this post really pulled at my heartstrings. The Husband and I have been discussing adoption or foster care for awhile now, but he was very ill relatively recently and the chances of our being able to adopt (in Italy, where we live) are pretty low. I really hope that you manage to sort through all the red tape and make her a part of your family in every way.

  7. Keep fighting for your little girl!
    There needs to be more families fighting for those kids who get lost in the shuffle... I hope the mess is solved quickly and she is where she belongs for good.

  8. How frustrating! You would think "any and all fathers" would be enough!

    You are so strong for getting through this whole long process!

  9. Oh good gosh! You must feel like your heart has been ripped out and stomped on and your hair is on fire because you are so enraged at the lack of concern for your sweet girl. I know I would. God chose to put her in your life for a reason. And blessed you with the strength to fight. I am so sorry the road is so difficult though. I didn't realize you had come upon yet another twist in the road. I'll be keeping you all in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. I hope you have a finalized adoption soon.

  10. Oh wow! It just shouldn't be so hard to care for a child. She is so lucky to an advocate in you and your husband! Keep fighting!

  11. As long as your littlest's mother is not capable of raising the child, and there are no immediate family members available, I think you still have the right for the kid. Good luck on your adoption!

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