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When does this become a helpful thing to do?
We just feel like there is no one fighting for this baby. We have no GAL and no Casa. Our worker has been good up to this point, but it seems like she has gotten more willing to just wait it out. We were this close to things going forward with filing for termination, and birth mom started doing slightly better (after a full year of no progress) so I am assuming that is why are just waiting now. She is great at playing the system... she has been arrested multiple times during this case, and is facing jail time if she doesn't comply with her service plan. She just seems to always get a slap on the wrist, and now there are several other organizations/programs involved who seem very eager to give her good reports.
Every time I talk to my worker she tells me next week she will get things going... it's been 3 months of hearing that.
I am planning to contact the CASA group for our county and see what I can find out because they did have a Casa for us for a brief amount of time. After that we may consult with a lawyer and just see what our rights are after having him for this long. Any thoughts?
Am I reading it right that you want to hire a lawyer because the case is not going as fast as you want it to?
That is likely futile, and a waste of your money.
If cw is not saying "we're returning this little guy next month", you need to just wait it out. You would not be out of line to directly ask the CW what her plan is for this case. That's what I'd do in your situation. Ask why there has been a delay when she said 3 months ago that they were going to "get things moving" (although, to be fair, what does that mean to your CW?)
Ask around here for general timelines to adoption. Very few happen that quickly.
My daughter had goal change at 11 months in care, but TPR was not granted until 18 months in care, adoption finalized at 22 months in care. My now 5 year old son was considered a VERY quick adoption. Goal change at 13 months in care, TPR granted at 16 months in care, adoption finalized at 18 months in care.
My youngest's case was a nightmare. Goal change at 17 months in care. TPR granted at 25 months in care, adoption finalized just shy of THREE YEARS in foster care.
Take a deep breath and try to relax. You are at the point in a case that I despise-- you know you're likely going to adopt, but nothing is changing yet. If cw has told mom that they are moving toward adoption, that is likely why she seems to be doing slightly better. It will stop, most likely, and that might be what CW is waiting for.
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For us, hiring an attorney and intervening did not move things along. They still got an extension after a year of doing next to nothing. But, what it did do was allow us a voice in court in front of the judge. Our attorney could ask questions, etc. The judge asked us questions. It also showed the judge and everyone involved that permanency for little guy was there, if TPR happened....which is the ultimate goal.
After a year, I would definitely hire an attorney. It sounds like time. I would ask other foster parents who you know have adopted who they recommend. It helps to have someone who knows the other attorneys and judge well. Just know that it might still be a wait and see, but your worker and everyone else will know you now have a voice in the case.
Thanks for the responses. I really appreciate it.
jmd5294 I appreciate your timelines and insight. I don't think we would feel this way if we hadn't been told multiple times that the next step was legal screening and that would happen any day and it still hasn't happened. Also, our agency was the one who said they were moving toward TPR after birth mom had two unsatisfactory reviews. We weren't expecting it to happen that quickly at all! And we were told that there was plenty of evidence to terminate. And now it feels like they are letting her do better to see what happens?
We aren't planning to rush out and hire a lawyer right now, just wanting to know what is wise and how to plan in case this continues to drag out.
It has been very hard and disappointing, especially since our foster son has been getting more attached, and cries and doesn't want to be left with birth mom at visits. :(
Going by your siggy you've only had the baby for 13 months? That doesn't even hit the 15/22 rule, not that states follow this anyway.
Bmom may be getting extensions if she is showing any effort at all in working her plan.
13 months isn't long in the foster world. Goal was changed to adoption at 11 months in care for us. TPR didn't happen till 28 months and we are still waiting for adoption to occur.
I've seen on here where some states move quickly with infants. Others take longer.
Before hiring a lawyer it would be best to check out the rules for your state regarding this. Each state is different.
Another thing to consider is, how would CW take that? Personally, I'd be afraid of them saying you aren't supporting RU and moving the baby.
HereWeGoAgain
Going by your siggy you've only had the baby for 13 months? That doesn't even hit the 15/22 rule, not that states follow this anyway.
Bmom may be getting extensions if she is showing any effort at all in working her plan.
13 months isn't long in the foster world. Goal was changed to adoption at 11 months in care for us. TPR didn't happen till 28 months and we are still waiting for adoption to occur.
I've seen on here where some states move quickly with infants. Others take longer.
Before hiring a lawyer it would be best to check out the rules for your state regarding this. Each state is different.
Another thing to consider is, how would CW take that? Personally, I'd be afraid of them saying you aren't supporting RU and moving the baby.
The 15/22 was one of the things we were considering talking to a lawyer about. But it seems the more I read about that, the more it doesn't seem to be taken seriously like you said.
Our worker said her honest take on the case is that he won't be returned home. I just hope she is saying that with no ulterior motive. I also think they shouldn't have told us this was going to happen quickly. They made it seem like there wouldn't be any bumps in the road. I should have known better I guess.
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I am curious why you don't have at least a GAL. I thought GALs were attached to each case. **Sorry I;m new to Foster Care but that is what I was told or at least my understanding.
I am curious why you don't have at least a GAL. I thought GALs were attached to each case. **Sorry I;m new to Foster Care but that is what I was told or at least my understanding.
This depends on area. Where I'm at all children have a GAL.
Where I am GALs are only in rare circumstances. Also, to Sparkle, I know it is hard, but I have had my FD Pepa for almost two years too, and while they keep saying things will happen, they never do. I would love to hire a lawyer, call a GAL, Call a CASA, or whatever. But around here I don't have GALs or CASAs available to me, and I am almost certain that if I hired a lawyer that would work against me with the CWs. It seems here like you have to stay on the CWs good side. I know (trust me) that what you are going through is hard, but it is so normal for foster care. What is happening is classic. Not good, but classic.
Here I contacted our training center to ask these types of questions. They offered apt of support. Do you have any options such as these?
As pp mentioned the training/fp support center highly discourages hiring a lawyer prior to being assigned one by the adoption worker.
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I really appreciate all the advice. It's good to know (although frustrating) that it can take a while. This is our first placement so it's hard to know what to expect. I just wish I had someone to really talk to about some things and get info. Like I said, our worker is good but it's hard to get a lot of clear info from her on what is going on.
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