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What do you think?

My SO and I are 32, we have my daughter (13), his son (14), and our son (5 mos), and for the past year we have been fostering my 1st cousin who is also 14. We were just informed that his mom is going to lose total parental rights in March and the caseworker has recommended long term foster care BECAUSE of my cousins age. He says its not really worth it to adopt a 14 yo seeing how he only has 4 more years till adulthood. I, personally, am not sure I agree with him. I have seen my cousin move from place to place and know for a fact that he has never had a sense of security running the streets with his mom and sister. I feel like adoption is the only secure thing he has going for him. Then he would know this is forever and not a part time deal like everything else. What do you think? (Cont. )

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Asked by jdrae13 at 3:22 AM on Jan. 16, 2009 in Adoption

Level 6 (131 Credits)
Answers (13)
  • ( Cont.) Also, his 16 yo sister is a spitting image of mom. Sex, drugs, no education, etc, and she wants to be involved in her brothers life but I worry about him being held back by that relationship. I don't want to keep them apart, but I just don't think it's wise to expose him to the lifestyle that I'm trying to save him from. What would you do?

    Answer by jdrae13 at 3:23 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Absolutely the boy needs a sense of belonging to a positive family unit.

    From what you've written, I would push for adoption.

    And don't shut the sister out but supervise their visits - the good influence may rub off on her.

    Good luck!!

    Answer by Wimsey at 4:13 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Who wouldn't want a permanent home and a family to call their own. Age definitely doesn't matter.

    As for the sister, why not just have her over to your house where visits can be supervised and maybe you can influence her by example.

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:49 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • The adoption is not as much about the process as it is about the meaning of it. It would symbolize belonging to him and that hes important to someone. YES. Do this for this child. He could say from now on that he had a mother and a father....forever. Good job mom!

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:27 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • First, that caseworker is an IDIOT! Of course he would benefit from knowing he could remain stable and have a loving forever home that he didn't have to be shuffled around from. GRRR I HATE STUPID CASEWORKERS!!!!!!! I would absoulutely INSIST they move toward adoption after mom is TPR' should also receive an adoption stipend for him as well. If you can put that away for him, it would help him later to get himself established once he's an adult.

    Answer by Anonymous at 11:28 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I agree that the caseworker is an idiot!! If you can adopt, push for it. It is not for the next 4 years but for the rest of his life. Everyone wants a family.

    Answer by luckyshamrock at 11:30 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Also, if you want to adopt and you have been fostering, talk to an adoption lawyer. The state may not go against the caseworker to allow for adoption. Go to every hearing regardless if you are needed or not.

    Answer by luckyshamrock at 11:31 AM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Older children can have very strong feelings about being adopted (both ways). I would ask him if it was something he would like. Odds are it will mean something to him and he will want it. Most children who "age out" of foster care wish more than anything that they had achieved permanency (although that's not what they call it). Most kids at 18 still need help navigating this world in terms of insurance, education, finances, etc. Not having a legal "family" to help in these areas can make life difficult for legally emancipated children. Nobody to co-sign for the first apartment, carry them on their insurance while in college, etc. There is a very small percentage of foster youth who prefer not to be adopted - very, very small.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 12:42 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • Oh, and to me it sounds like that social worker just wants less paperwork and court meetings to deal with (probably one of my more harsher comments on here)! Achieving permanency for a child is ALWAYS supposed to be the goal! Having long term foster care as a case plan should be the LAST resort! Ask to talk to their supervisor, the manager of the unit, keep going up the chain - this advice just doesn't jive with what national child welfare practice sets as their values and priorities.

    Answer by PortAngeles1969 at 12:44 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

  • I would report this case worker. On the state level. NO case worker should EVER say that ANY child is unworthy of adoption or that it wouldn't be worth it because of how old this person is. I know in the state I live in, if a child is older than 13 at the time of adoption, the state will pay for this child's entire college education providing they get accepted and go after high school. Interestingly enough, they do not pay if no one adopts the child. WTF! So it would behoove this child to have someone who looks into all his rights and benefits and someone who is willing to parent and be his advocate. I hope that for his sake that he has those people in you and your husband.


    Answer by frogdawg at 1:54 PM on Jan. 16, 2009

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