How may i fight Department of Social Services who are trying to put my 4 children up for adoption?
1 attorney answer
There are a number of requirements to be made before children can be adopted. First, the Department of Social Services cannot remove children from their home without a court order and a hearing to determine whether there were grounds to keep them in DSS custody. (If this is what happened in your case, an attorney should have been appointed to represent you, unless you are able to afford to hire one yourself.) Parents are to work a case plan and appear before the judge on a regular basis so that there is judicial oversight on parental progress, and to see if DSS is making reasonable efforts to reunify the children with their parents. Second, DSS cannot put children up for adoption unless a parent absolutely refuses to follow the case plan to alleviate the problems that brought the children into custody in the beginning. Parents have a year to cooperate and attempt to reunify with their children. Third, after that year, the Department has no authority to put children up for adoption until a trial in which the judge rules that there are grounds for terminating parental rights AND that it is in the best interest of the children to terminate. Then and only then are children eligible for adoption. If you have been through this process already and the Department is seeking to terminate your parental rights, you have a right to an attorney appointed to represent you. I am not sure why you are seeking someone to help unless you have been through this process and are looking to retain an attorney. If that is the case, you need someone in your area who is familiar with juvenile law and has experience in termination cases.