I did not know this was possible. So, there is this case of a child in foster care. The Dept of Children and Families is recommending that the child continue on in their care and flippantly adds in that the parents can lose their rights based on their level of communication with one another. That’s the DCFs basis for “terminating parental rights.”
Therefore, a grandparent is seeking a kinship adoption with plans to allow the parent who has been stable and involved in the child’s life from day one to raise that child. It gets complicated.
Certainly, offering the child a stable, safe, loving home is preferable to the instability of foster care. A kinship adoption keeps the child with their natural family. In this case, an original birth certificate can be obtained so that when the child is older, it will be accessible to them. Advocates suggest asking that the birth certificate not to be amended. The official world may think you are insane because changing an adoptee’s name is the more common approach.
For the grandparent that is willing, always it is better for a child, long term, to be somewhere stable and away from the family court system. However, as a family member, be very careful if your plan is to adopt “on paper” but give the children to a parent who’s rights are terminated. In court, you will have to commit to raising them. If you do otherwise, and it becomes known, you could lose custody as well.
It is also true that with kinship placement adoptions, the courts will be more lenient on contact with a terminated parent, than they would be in another type of adoption. After all, it is unrealistic to expect family members not to have contact with one another and the purpose of a kinship adoption is to keep the child in contact with their natural family. This is simply a different kind of adoption compared to the child going to strangers.
In complicated situations such as this example, it is best to obtain an attorney. If they are willing, have the parents sign guardianship or voluntary termination so you as the grandparent can take custody of your grandchild. It isn’t uncommon for foster families to fight the change, when adoption is so close. They will cite the child’s attachment to them. Also DCF will challenge you as to why you didn’t ask for the placement of your grandchild, at the time the child was removed from their parent(s).
By establishing that you would be willing to take guardianship or even adopt, if needed – the social worker can change the plan for this child to “adoption or concurrent work towards a reunification with adoption possible if necessary, before an actual termination occurs.
Bottom line – all children need to stay with family whenever possible.