Hi. First off, I have read many of the messages posted and would like to say.. " there are some great people here." God bless each of you and the children He sends your way. We go Sunday to pick up my niece, she is 13 and from another state. I have had no contact with her (in person), and little through mail, etc.. her mom and dad (my bro) are having their parental rights terminated by the state she is from and we were contacted by the state to take her. There are two other sisters but the DHS and therapist will not allow the girls to be placed together. There have been many problems with her ; behaviour, etc.. Natural considering her life circumstances. We were told our state must monitor us for awhile before giving the other state permission to close the case. Once this was done we will have to choose adoption or permanent custody. My first thought is wait and see how she feels after awhile (considering her age).. also, need to see what our medical insurance will accept.. one of the girls is being placed with one of my sisters and their insurance will not cover unless she is adopted.. haven't heard from mine yet. I don't have a lot of questions now, but prob will later ! We have had a hand in raising other siblings and their children, as well as a young man my son brought home who had nowhere to go... we are accustomed to having others live with us, however we have never had custody of or adopted. Anyone out there in like circumstances? Opinions on adoption vs perm. custody? We will have a little while to decide..just willing to listen to others thoughts as I pray about it myself. Thanks for your input in advance..
I'd double check on the insurance thing. By law most insurances have to cover any child for which you have "custody" or for which you are the legal guardian....this even applies to most plans under the ERISA mandate. Usually, it is based on whether you have financial responsibility on your taxes.
Hi Mama,
I have just joined, and saw your post when searching Google. I recently received permanent custody of my grandson (2yo). All I can do is share my experience, and I am hoping to get to talk to a few other people who have had some experience as well!
I chose permanent custody vs. adoption for several reasons. The main one being that if the parents ever straighten out their lives to the point that they could care for their son, I wanted them to be able to. Permanent custody allows that to happen. While they would have to go through the courts to regain custody, it would nevertheless be easier than reversing an adoption (can that even be done?). I still hold out hope that some day they will reach a point in their lives where they will be responsible. If not, I still have full rights to raise my grandchild as I see fit, to live as I see fit. It is sometimes a mess dealing with Social Services, but if I were in a financially secure enough situation where I did not need the support, this problem could be eliminated.
That is the other reason I chose custody. I needed the financial support, little tho it is It at least pays the day care so I can work to support him and myself. If I had adopted, social services offers no financial assistance, other than low income assistance. Basically, it came down to what I needed to do financially at this time.
Wishing you all of the best in your venture with your niece! At her age, I think waiting to see how she feels after a while would be a really good idea. In this state they have to reside with you for a year before permanent custody is granted, I believe. I don't know what your state requires, but you will be governed by the laws of your state, not hers, once she comes to live with you, I think. That's how it worked for me. My grandson came from a different county, and once he came to live with me he came under the jurisdiction of my county. Also, his other grandparents lived in another state, and could not be considered because my state did not want to give over the jurisdiction to the other state. But they had an alternative - me! :) PTL! I love him to death and can't imagine where I'd be without him! :)
Wishing you all the best!
i wouldn't advocate for custody versus adoption because in my state it leaves myself open to the parents bringing me to court whenever they want and me having to pay a lawyer, also @ 13 the child would be eligible for subsidy to @ least 21. including medical benefits, therapy, and other things she may need thru the state with custody you may be eligible for medicaid or to put her on your coverage. plus adoption thru the state gives children here a chance to go to college. custody is not permanent the parents have the right and say in how their child is raised in NYC, as far as schools, medical procedures, religion. i wouldn't advocate for it guardianship gives you a lil more say with the child.
I think that it depends largely on the state that you live in and their laws around stipends and permanency. Here in Washington state, they want a child to have permanency and will often push for adoption vs. guardianship (which is what I think you mean by permanent custody). At 13, though, they wouldn't push as hard.
Again, within the laws of my state, if you have guardianship, you can get a stipend (not very much, but something) for the child's care. You can also get a medical coupon to cover medical/dental/mental health care. Children adopted from the foster care system also receive benefits, and occasionally (depending on the documented behaviors) receive an adoption stipend, but that must be re-evaluated (and the amount may change) every 6-12 months, I believe.
At 13, I would wait and see how things are going. Talk to the child, see what she thinks. At 13, she may have some very definite ideas about what being adopted means. To many older children, this implies that they are choosing you OVER their parents. Family counseling to help you with this transition is a VERY good idea, especially since you haven't met this young lady before - a neutral family counselor will help you to establish good communication and try to work through what will surely be some big changes for her and for you.
Best of luck and kudos to you for being willing to take this young lady into your home and your heart!