Custody vs. Adoption
I am so sorry this is so long but I really need to have my ducks in a row on this...

They have decided to not file for permanency for Peanut since we have filed for custody. I am so mad and we have a meeting with our attorney tomorrow to talk about our options and what to do. We can withdraw our motion but then I worry that the fictive kin (the one that has been ruled by the magistrate as not in his best interest) will file and then she would be the only option so the judge would grant custody to her. I am so mad at CS b/c I really feel like they are failing Peanut.

I didn't know before this week that our GAL can file for permanency - so maybe we can talk her into that. It does not appear in Ohio that we have the standing to do so.

We only filed custody because we felt the state was about to make a huge mistake by moving him to the other family - which has been proven over and over since then... and we have basically been told had we not filed they would have moved him to the family that said they saw nothing wrong with mom and would let her have unsupervised visits with him in her extremely unsafe home!!!

I know we have discussed this before and I know the main points and that I don't want custody but I need to articulate it to our lawyer and I want to make sure I hit EVERY point particularly why it is not in his best interest!! You all are definitely the best sounding board I have on this.

These are reasons TPR should be granted and why we do not want her in his life...I am open to sending her letters but she is not stable enough for a relationship with him
1. Mom has not seen him since early Dec. - that's right she still has lice. She is coming up on the 90 day abandonment!
2. Mom does not make sound medical decisions for him and questions things even after being told by doctor - has said she does not trust pediatricians.
3. Mom is not allowed to be alone with him - she walks away from him and he has fallen off a couch when she walked away from him.
4. Mom does not like us and is rude to us despite repeated efforts by me (for the first 6 months) to build a relationship with her.
5. Mom throws every obstacle at us that she can - have to get court permission for vacations, gets mad about clothes we dress him, complains about food, etc.
6. She has not worked ANY of her case plan - he is 15 months old now and has been with us since birth.

Why legal custody is bad:
1. She retains rights to make medical decisions
2. She can make religious decisions (we would like to baptize him and raise him in our faith)
3. He will not get true permanency - if something happens to hubby and I then custody would revert back to her
4. She can stop us from obtaining a passport for him and traveling with him (we like to cruise so we would be sad if we could not do this anymore - clearly not a deal breaker but just another way she could control our life)
5. He would not have our family name - yet another reminder to him of his situation. In addition, he would have to explain this all the time why he does not have the same name as the rest of our family. Another reason why this would not be true permanency for him.
6. No subsidies...could we do it without it? Sure but he is still little and we don't know all of his medical issues yet.

Here are some questions I still have:
1. She would not be able to pay child support - would they still order it? This seems to be the only way that at some point down the road we could file for adoption.

2. Medical - would we be able to put him on our insurance - reading the plan it says our children, adopted children and foster children but he would not fall into any of those categories. But with our income he would not qualify for medicaid so then is it based on mom and would we have to work with her all the time to keep it?

Am I missing anything?

I really want to make sure when we walk in there I have thought of everything to ask and talk about!!!
I honestly would want TPR or nothing. I don't want to spend 18 years with joint custody. I don't know if you want that either. Also, by telling CPS you won't be going for guardianship they will be forced to TPR. That's just my feeling.
so in my state the "custodian" can file for TPR -- would that be the foster parents? "custodian" is different from "guardian" because the list of who can file for TPR includes both custodian and guardian. In my STBAS's case I met the relative requirements so technically I could've filed for TPR but our lawyer didn't recommend it since it would've made DHS mad. I don't know if anyone ever does it. So does Ohio have anything like that? Here is the excerpt from our state's code:

Note that a custodian may also file a termination petition. See Section 232.2(11) for the definition of a custodian - a step-parent, relative within the fourth degree of consanguinity who has assumed care of the child, or a person appointed by the court as custodian. This may result in a conflict of interest between a custodian seeking to terminate parental rights for adoption of the child and the States responsibility to reunify. [emphasis mine]

If they are trying to push this back on you then maybe they would actually not care if you filed for TPR (if you could).

I do agree they are totally dropping the ball and that they should ultimately be the ones doing it though.
Where we are custodian and guardianship determine everything on your list of negatives. We solely make all medical decisions, we changed names, we apply for passports, we make religious decisions and educational decisions and visitations is at "our discretion and sole supervision".

There is a legal difference here between "joint" custody and sole custody and guardianship (I would NEVER settle for joint where parents retain decision making powers) and a temporary order or a permanent order. Transfer of permanent custody and guardianship is being used more because legally, there are too many children in our area that will never be released for adoption.
we chose TPR/adoption over KLG for most of the exact same reasons.

i refuse to live with bmom having control over my life. we also do cruises frequently. she did sign (willingly) for us to take him on one with us in sept. it was just a struggle to get her into CPS office to sign the papers since she knew they would request drug test. as it was, she went, signed and refused test.
i know if we KLG she would use that as manipulation, say, if she wanted to "borrow" money. she has used her older son as manipulation even before he was removed. she real quick learned we would bypass her and go thru his dad to get him on weekends... :evilgrin:

i think i would def try to go thru the GAL.

i really agree that KLG in NOT permanency. where i am, the courts PREFER adoption if the child is under 13.
goal for us changed to adoption in dec. everyone was on board except bmom and bdad lawyers. they, of course, are trying to push us for KLG. we said no way. let the state do their job!

good luck!
I think everyone will agree adoption is better than guardianship bc it IS. Sometimes its the only option though, like in our case. We got legal custody of Xena and make ALL of her medical decisions (we are also in Ohio), parents can choose what faith they want her to be (luckily Xena's parents are Christian like we are) and they have a right to reasonable visitation. We cannot change her name, we are allowed to move we just have to notify the county with address/phone changes. It's intended to be permanent in nature and we have little concerns that her parents will even try to get her back (and if they do its VERY unlikely they would ever win). For us it works. We would have MUCh rather done adoption but custody was next best thing. I would do custody and all the drawbacks any day if it means we won't lose her. If you filed for custody it makes sense they are no longer doing tpr. There is no need once you have custody childrens services is no longer involved and its on you to file for adoption. It sucks and I'd be upset too but I think you made the right move since it is preventing her from going to family.
Oh, forgot to mention, Xena will get Medicaid until 18. Not sure if its because if her medical issues though. And they can still file for child support regardless of whether or not they can pay it I believe. What does child support have to do with adoption? I've heard after a year I can file o adopt but I honestly don't much about it...paperwork says parents need to consent if we do file for adoption. The only financial support we were offered for guardianship was Ohio works first. They have a child only grant that is not based on income but you have to be willing to go after parents for child support. We decided not to mess with it so I'm curious about how that would affect if we can adopt down the road.
I was going to add, I just read recently that there is separate TANF which includes Medicaid, may be an Ohio thing, for children who are in custody of kin but not adopted. So, I'd think that would apply to OP.
Forever Mom to Chubbs

Former Foster Mom to:

Blue Eyes
TemporaryMom said...
I was going to add, I just read recently that there is separate TANF which includes Medicaid, may be an Ohio thing, for children who are in custody of kin but not adopted. So, I'd think that would apply to OP.

I don't think we would qualify b/c we aren't kin. This wouldn't be kinship so I don't see how any of that would apply....but a good question for our attorney.
We are in Texas and just agreed to guardianship this allows us a monthly subsidy in addition to ordered chid support we get Medicaid until 18 and college tuition assistance. 18 months of no support we can ask for termination.
After meeting with the attorney we are going to pursue a few things...

but it looks like we will have to decide - custody or withdraw our motion and force their hands.

Truthfully after meeting with our attorney - I am leaning towards custody...
1. CS would be out of our lives!!!! That is huge.
2. It would be decided in May and he feels that we could move forward with adoption in a year.
3. We get all medical decisions
4. Visitation would be at our discretion and we would be allowed to put the same supervision restrictions on her that CS does
5. We can travel with him - and even get passports
6. We could legally change his name if we wanted but since adoption would be likely in a year we probably wouldn't do it.

The biggest issue will be medical and subsidies....we are checking to see if with custody we can put him on our insurance. We think that maybe the legal bills vs. the subsidy might not make continuing with CS a good idea.

Finally - if we just settle this with custody in May - then CS is out of it and won't have to try to find family or give her services, etc....
If you file for custody and win. Can't you then file for TPR?
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