Placement Question: Siblings together vs. grandparent placement?
We adopted twin girls a few years ago (toddlers) and we just found out that they have a baby brother (bio sibling) in foster system. The reunification is not panning out with birth parents (drug issues again) and we've inquired to adopt since goal is going to adoption and we already have an approved homestudy etc. However - a grandparent has stepped in to do homestudy for placement. We think it would be so sad if siblings weren't living together and this is a closed adoption situation due to termination of rights etc.
In a situation like this, do the adoptive parents with 2 bio siblings overide a grandparent placement or is it the other way around? It seems like we were being considered and now all of a sudden feel like we're not getting updates or calls. What can we do?
In my state they would choose grandparents over siblings. I think the ranking goes something like this:
- biological parents
- biological grandparents
- biological aunts/uncles
- fictive kin
- sibling placement
- current foster parents
- adoptive parents who are not related nor have any connection to child yet
There's no real logical or scientific rationale for it. For example, there exists an assumption that any blood relative is better than a foster parent who has an emotional attachment with the child. They don't compare pros and cons for the child much, despite the stated rationale being "in the child's best interests". Instead, they just run down the list of who has the most "rights" to a child and then they hand the kid over to that person.
I second the advice to put your desires in writing and send it off to the case worker (and their supervisor) asap. That way they can't pretend they never knew you wanted the kid nor can they lie and say you told them "no."
You may also want to see about getting visitation. In the end, even if you don't get custody, visitation might be acceptable. Moreover, if something changes and grandparent can't care for the kiddo anymore, the visitation will be good reason for the case worker to choose your family to adopt.
An aunt came out of the woodwork for our baby when she was born 3 months ago. I just found out that had they(the coalition) done that aunt's home study prior to the baby leaving the hospital, she very well could have ended up going to live w/ the aunt. We have her 3 siblings and everyone knew we wanted her to come live with us and her siblings if she came into care.(My foster kids/her sibs knew she was going to be born since they still had visits and were already calling her their sister.) There had been NO extended family interested in the kids(or able to pass a home study) in the almost 2 yrs we'd had them. Then they drop this bombshell. We're told that the only reason she isn't pushing for the baby is because the baby is already bonded to her sibs at this point.
They are doing a home study on the aunt in case there are any future children. She wants them and gets "first dibs." We've decided that we can't take anymore babies, but it still seems wrong that we can so easily be pushed aside.
Mommy to DD(15), DD(13), DD(9), DS(4), DS(3), DD(1), and foster mommy to DD
I think it is the new 'priority' that kin have to first be explored and ruled out before other placements can be considered. There is always the chance that the grandmother won't pan out because of history, background checks, etc.