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Why Can't CPS Force Foster/Adoptive Parents to Keep Siblings in Contact?

When a sibling group is split up and adopted into various homes from foster care, why can't CPS actually force the various adoptive parents to maintain contact with the other siblings, so long as there is no threat from the other siblings? I have heard of some foster parents adopting one or two kids out of a large sibling group and then not wanting the children to have contact with the others and usually either give a BS reason or no reason at all. Shouldn't CPS have a legal document in place, stating that the adoption will only go thru so long as the adoptive parents maintain contact with the siblings they didn't want/couldn't take in? Bad enough these kids are get taken from their only known homes, but who the hell has the right to say they have no right to see their brothers or sisters just because they got adopted into different homes?

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 12:18 AM on Apr. 17, 2010 in Adoption

Answers (18)
  • If that was the case they would never be able to find homes for all these kids.
    BlooBird

    Answer by BlooBird at 12:28 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • I had the same problem before. It was even court ordered for the siblings to stay in touch, and they all violated it. One of the parents even moved out of state.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:29 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • If they violated the agreements, then maybe CPS should step back in and enforce it. Maybe even annull the adoption if the adoptive parents are uncooperative and remove the child so he/she can be placed with a more cooperative family. Regardless of whether they adopted these kids or not, they have no right to tell the child "Oh, we adopted you now and that means they're not your brothers or sisters anymore, so you can't see them."

    I read about a 12 yr old girl who sued for visitation rights to her baby sister who was adopted and a judge granted it, but the adoptive parents are fighting it, saying that since the younger one was adopted, the older girl was nothing to them or her now.

    For some of these kids, their siblings were all they had. Who gives these people the right to bar them from seeing one another for no real reason?


    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 12:37 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • At first I was going to say what 1st Anon said. I thought you meant keep them in the same home. But to just keep them in contact with each other (visits, phone calls, letters, emails) would definately be ideal! No child she be forced to completely separate from their siblings. I do undertand not taking them all in as a adoptive/fostive parent but keeping them from contact isn't really humane.
    MamaChamp

    Answer by MamaChamp at 12:56 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • Yeah, I totally understand that some foster-adopt parents just don't have the means to take in all the siblings, but for some to only take one or two and then bar them from seeing the others? Is it really that hard to allow them to see each other once or twice a month, to allow phone calls, letters etc?
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:06 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • It's such a messed up system it's sad. There aren't enough good homes for kids to go to in the first place. If you put even more restrictions on their lives it would be difficult to find anyone willing. Think about the kind of people that do foster care, let me tell you they're not the best parents most of the time. If you adopt a child and you are required to allow a teenage child into your home or to have contact with your family that had gang connections, uses drugs or engages in other destructive behavior would you adopt a child and bring that into your family? It's so sad unless you can find loving people that will keep them all together and make this their lives, which isn't very many people, there's nothing you can do. We have to be grateful that people are taking these kids and giving them loving homes in the first place.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 7:15 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • In my understanding, CPS could not force visits after the adoption, because the adoption itself severs all legal family relationships of the birth family. My (adopted) daughter and her sibs all went to different adoptive homes. We have sibling contact because we believe it is best for the kids. But under the law, they are not 'legally' sibilings. I strongly advocate for sibling contact, like others said because these kids have lost so much. The sibling relationship is the longest one in life.

    I think some adoptive parents are hesistant because of worries about bio family finding them. They also worry how siblings' emotional and behavioral issues will effect their child. If their child is starting to heal, they worry that contact will be a consant reminder of past trauma and will interfere with their child moving on.

    I agree that if you forced it, it would be even harder to get these kids adopted. to be continued....
    ForeverMom05

    Answer by ForeverMom05 at 10:42 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • continued....

    I think the answer is to educate adoptive parents on the importace and benefits of maintaining contact with bio siblings.

    Here are a couple of resources:

    http://www.nacac.org/adoptalk/sibling_ties.html

    http://stage.childwelfare.gov/pubs/siblingissues/siblingissues.pdf

    Helping our daughter maintain relationships with her siblings is one of the best gifts we could give her. I hope more and more adoptive parents will consider doing this.

    If in doubt, parents should imagine their child as an adult. Will this child be grateful or resentful that they were not able to see their silbings. I never wanted to my daughter to say, "You could have let me see them and you didn't????"
    ForeverMom05

    Answer by ForeverMom05 at 10:50 AM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • Obviously, if the other siblings are some sort of threat, then I can understand limited to no contact. But I have literally heard of some families who just wanted the younger siblings and then refuse to even allow the older ones to write letters or call the kids. Adoption doesn't erase their blood. Just because the law says they're no longer brothers and sisters doesn't make it so!
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 9:55 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

  • I can say I have known of situations where siblings remaining in contact was not in the best interest of anyone. Where say an older brother sexually abused his little sister or a younger sister who would tease her older sibling for being abused sexually. Or when siblings blame the victim of abuse for their family being separated. There could be a lot of reasons. I have known many foster families who have had a lot of sibling contact.  Even when it wasn't always the best idea.  Of course some foster families I knew were just flat out crazy.  I guess it takes all kinds.  But if I were a foster parent and there was no danger to my child I certainly would encourage the social worker who was the case manager to set up a play date so we could have some type of on going contact.

    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 10:10 PM on Apr. 17, 2010

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