For the past several months...closer to the past year - I have been working very hard towards preparing to take in my 3 year old niece. She is in the foster care system..

Long story short: She was removed from my sister as a new born baby. Now she has been removed from the father, and it's looking like they will both likely lose their parental rights.

She has been staying with a friend of the father's. She has been well cared for and is happy. She's grown attached to her. The caregiver has her calling her "Mommy."

I did a background search on her and she has a criminal record of criminal impersonation, and theft, and back several years ago she got cited for not properly having a child in her care in proper car seat restraints...

I'm torn...because this woman really loves my niece. They've grown attached. But she never took the foster parent classes. Never got licensed. Never got the training that HAD she gone through - she would have KNOWN that the foster care system always tries to place children within the family first. And that if you are volunteering yourself to become a foster parent in any capacity, you are not magically the parent. You are there to care for the child temporarily. Yes sometimes it leads to adoption but that is not the goal of the courts. The courts WANT to reunify children with one or both of their parents in ALL cases WHENEVER possible. And if they cannot do so, next of kin is first in line...that would be me.

On the other hand, my niece has been with her for about two years now. The last year she has been her primary caregiver. I do worry about how she will adjust and is it in her best interest.

One thing that I will do is make sure she has a positive relationship with both of her parents within safe boundaries and parameter, and make sure she forms relationships with her relatives on both sides of the family. I'm not completely sure that this woman who is taking care of her will do the same thing....

Am I doing the right thing? Is it in her best interest to come with me? Or is it in her best interest not to be uprooted again...any and all opinions are welcome. The ball is in my court. I am the person the courts are looking at. I have worked so hard to make this a reality...

But the question of what I have or haven't done is irrelevant. The question is: What is in the best interest of the child...

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I like Dr. Bob's answer. I didn't even think about the possible bio-parent stresses.

Look what religious belief has led to: pogroms, sectarian warfare within religion and against competing religions, belief in unscientific nonsense. If we're living in an increasingly crappy world, it's certainly not because people have shed beliefs based on prejudice, wishful thinking, contrary-to-science nonsense.

What is the upside to religion?

I don't see how religion enters into any of this. Drugs do. Particularly meth. My niece is in foster care because of drugs. Period.

????

In this case religious belief perhaps has led to @Belle wanting to take in, protect, and care for a child in need.

Anyways, let's not hijack the thread.

Yes...let's not hijack the thread with this one of the stupidest comments yet:

In this case religious belief perhaps has led to @Belle wanting to take in, protect, and care for a child in need.

I suppose that when she converts back to atheism again...she'll abandon the child into the street? Or maybe the lingering religion-radiation in her blood will stick around for a while...compelling her to keep the child against her dark-evil-selfish-atheist-nature! Adopting a child is certainly something she never thought about when she was an immoral non-God believer. Except of course...for the fact that she's been considering doing this for a long time and only recently has had the chance to do it. Talk about the lowliest scummiest  form of confirmation bias? Do you have any idea how offensive this all sounds Dr. Bob?

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