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A few questions regarding DHS


Forum: Adoption

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  #1  
May 4th, 2011, 04:53 PM
The Jen's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 4,608
Hi! I'm Jen, married to Jon, and mommy to Izzie (3), Nik (20 months), and baby #3 due in July!! I have a few questions regarding a situation I recently learned of.

A close friend of the family has a 20 year old daughter (we'll call her A) - A's mother, has a 4 year old son, so it would be a half brother to A. A has lived with and been raised by her father (friend of our family). The mother, a few days ago, dropped the 4 year old off with A and told her "Take him, I don't want him anymore" The mother has a history of drug abuse and I guess at one point in the past dropped the 4 year old off to A to babysit him and didn't return for a week. A has tried to find someone to take on the care of the 4 year old, as she is unable to care for him as she is herself a college student and recently got her first apartment and works a retail job. A has contacted DHS and in the next few days will be dropping him off with someone (a social worker I would guess?).

My questions:
*In order to take on care of this 4 year old - would you have to be certified as a foster home? Can this process be expedited?
*Would the mother have to sign away her rights, or would it be considered that she abandoned him and she loses her rights due to that?
*Could the mother at any time say she wants him back and just come get him?
*Wouldn't they try to work with the mother to get her to keep him? I don't know her full circumstances, but I do know that she has a history of drug abuse, that she is not currently employed, and that she has previously walked away from this child and her daughter.
*What kind of requirements as far as space/housing are there for DHS - for instance, we live in a 3 bedroom house, with our 3rd child on the way, so obviously, if we were to attempt to take this little boy into our home, he wouldn't have his own bedroom...
*What are the financial expectations of a foster family? Is there financial support offered? (I know this probably varies by state...)
*Is taking on a 4 year old through the foster system with no fostering experience something we should even consider with a 3 year old, 20 month old and a newborn on the way?
Anything else you think I should know?
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  #2  
May 4th, 2011, 05:45 PM
tawny63's Avatar Super Mommy
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Pullman, WA
Posts: 731
The easiest way for you to gain custody would be w/o involving DHS. Is it possible for you to get into contact with the mom and go through a private adoption? That would cost you an atty and court fees. I believe once the state is involved you have to at least have started the foster parents classes. I think that state requirements can vary widely, but I think in WA state, the kids must be same sex to share a room. HTH.
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07/09: mixture of acupuncture, herbs, hope, and prayers
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  #3  
May 5th, 2011, 04:08 PM
The Jen's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Maine
Posts: 4,608
Thank you for that information, that is helpful! I learned today that the state is telling A that they won't take him...not fully sure why, but that doesn't really make sense to me. I have talked a little with dh about it, but he isn't sure. We don't really have the space and with a new baby coming so soon...lots to think about and consider. My heart is telling me to do it though :/
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  #4  
May 6th, 2011, 09:13 PM
SarahBethsMommy's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2007
Posts: 4,847
There is no reason the state would not take him unless she said something like, "Keep him until mom comes back to get him."

I know that in some cases DHS would give custody to a person who already knew the child if they thought the child would be better off and safe in that home. Those families do still have to go through training, but keep the children while they are going through it all.

Taking on another child seems like it would be really difficult for you guys. There are a lot of really great foster homes out there and if you don't feel like this is something you should be doing, then don't do it. He will be cared for. Fostering is anything but easy.

I hope that helps!
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