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Does DCFS frown on open adoptions?

When my son was born, DCFS took custody. His bmom went through a legal battle to be able to place him with a family through an agency (us) and won. We had visits from our agency SW and the DCFS SW for several months. Our agency's policy is open adoption (which is what we wanted), but I didn't know how DCFS felt about it. I was very worried that they might try to disrupt the adoption because they might think that contact with the bmom was not in his best interest.

Anyone have experience with this? Our adoption is finalized and we are done with family-building, but I am just wondering.


Asked by Iamgr8teful at 3:43 PM on Oct. 27, 2009 in Adoption

Level 25 (23,279 Credits)
This question is closed.
Answers (5)
  • I know of several open and closed adoptions through foster care. There is no one size fits all, but it depends on the dynamics of each birth mom, birth dad, other birth relatives, children, type of neglect or abuse involved. It depends on whether the adoptive family was first the foster family or they got involved after termination of parental rights. In some cases, birth families are given the option of continued contact, but they tend to go on with "life as usual". I've heard of situations where children were only going to be matched with PAP's who were dedicated to maintaining sibling contact, and others where it was better not to keep contact. It's different in each case. I don't think there's a "book" to adoption thru foster care, but that decisions are based on each case.

    Answer by doodlebopfan at 4:30 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • When I worked CPS it was frowned on if there was a chance the child could be abused again. Sometimes it wasn't an issue and sometimes it was. If the adoptive or foster couple continued contact, against agency advice, and that child was injured....the placement family is looking at serious legal trouble. It just depended on the situation. Nothing is all black or all white. And every county in every state has different supervisors, different directors, and different ways of viewing things.  Personally, I am for taking each situation as they come and recognizing each case as a unique situation with unique individuals and needs involved.  That doesn't mean all case managers/agencies see it the same way.


    Answer by frogdawg at 7:53 PM on Oct. 27, 2009

  • I agree that there is probably a great deal of variation as to what various social workers with CPS or DCFS tend to believe is best for a child. I have heard that some birth family members have tried to stay in touch with a child in foster care and were told to "go away and forget about them." But, I believe that increasingly more SWs are beginning to realize that in many cases maintaining some contact with birth families can benefit children.

    Answer by Southernroots at 3:58 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • I believe it depends (as previous responders have stated) that it varies widely upon the case and what will assure the child's safety.

    My son's adoption was thru CPS in TX and his adoption is VERY open. BUT we partly raised his biomom and she is not legally but heart-wise adopted by us as well.

    Our next 2 girls are not adopted yet but the 7 y/o will NOT have an open adoption with her biomom - we offered and the workers said NO NO NO NO but then I found out that she'd kidnapped her and all kind of other stuff.... Our 8 m/o has the same biomom so adoption will not be open with her but could possibly be with the biofather (not likely but possibly) and will certainly be with the bio-half-brother as he already visits her in our home.

    Answer by AAAMama at 5:45 PM on Oct. 28, 2009

  • Our SW's gave us recommendations based upon what they knew about the biological family. With our first, they said that if we ever do visits, to NEVER leave them alone with him. Not one member of the family. Knowing them from visits, I wouldn't do that anyway. Our second, some of the family has some of the kids, and they told us which family members would be fine to have ongoing contact with them if we so chose to. They actually were very supportive of at least maintaining letters and possibly pictures so contact would be easier later if live. Both of our cases were drug cases.

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:43 PM on Nov. 4, 2009