My cousin has 2 young sons that were recently taken from her and put into foster care. I can not have children of my own and would like to adopt them. What do I need to do? She also has 4 other kids that have been raised by various family members and 1 that was taken from her and put into foster care and then adopted by his foster parents.
Criminal Defense Attorney
There are a lot of things that have to occur before an adoption of these children take place. First there has to be a legal finding that terminates the mother and father's parental rights. You should contact an attorney to consult with. You can also inquire with the local juvenile court office about placement of the children in your physical custody during the pendency of the juvenile court case. Be prepared to undergo a home study and investigation as the suitability of your home for even temporary placement of the children. Providing foster care is an important first step.
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I am an adoption attorney in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. I am not licensed to practice in MO or any state other than Pennsylvania. You should know that adoption laws vary from state to state. The fact that the children were removed from your cousin recently is helpful. Often, there is a requirement for the state or county agency to do parallel planning for the children, even as the public agency is attempting to reunify the boys with their mother. In instances where a parent has had other children removed from her custody due to abuse or neglect, there may be NO requirement that reunification be a goal of the county agency. Certain preferences for kinship placements (relatives) may come into play. I would recommend contacting the childrens' caseworker immediately. You will likely need to go through a foster/adoptive parent homestudy process. The best resource for you is the website: adoptionattorneys.org. Click on MO on the U.S. map and you will find a list of credentialed adoption attorneys licensed in MO. They are all Fellows in the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. I wish you good fortune in your journey to become a permanent part of the lives of your cousin's sons. Best of luck to you.