Often, foster parent adoptions go very smoothly. Everyone in the system, foster parents, child welfare workers, the state's attorney, and guardians ad litem, agree that the adoption of the child by the foster parents is in the best interests of the child.
But sometimes the desire of foster parents to adopt a child who has been in their care is opposed by the child welfare system. This may be the result of a variety of factors – a hostile child welfare worker, a county policy, opposition of the biological parent, or the intervention of a relative. When this happens, foster parents need swift, experienced legal advice and representation. Kathleen has worked extensively in foster care adoptions and understands the dynamics involved in this type of adoption.
In all foster parent adoptions, there is the issue of Adoption Assistance. The benefits for a child can be considerable – medical insurance coverage, monthly cash grants to help with special needs and other expenses. Frequent changes in federal and state rules and policies regarding Adoption Assistance make it very difficult for foster parents to know exactly what benefits their child might receive. Foster parents need to understand the Adoption Assistance program and advocate strongly for the benefits their child deserves. It often helps to have a strong advocate to make sure the child receives as many benefits to which the child is entitled under this program.