When a case goes to TPR trial, what has happened in your experience? - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: If a case you're involved in has gone to TPR trial, what has been the outcome? Please also comment
Parents rights were terminated. 16 100.00%
Parents rights were not terminated. 1 25.00%
Parents were given child(ren) back immediately. 1 25.00%
Parents were given the opportunity to continue fighting for custody. 3 75.00%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 4. You may not vote on this poll

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 09-16-2008, 01:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If a case you were involved in (as foster parent, friend, relative, etc) has gone to a TPR trial, what was the outcome? Please vote regarding all relevant circumstances that you know of. Comment and please note that multiple answers at once are acceptable; check all that apply.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 09-16-2008, 06:07 AM
 
azedazobollis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: New England
Posts: 543
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Of the 15 babies we had as foster placements, 9 went to trial to TPR and all of those cases TPR was granted.

Christine. Unschooling mom to Hollis, Zobey, Zeda, Anna, and Wednesday. We have a lot invested in this whole family thing with marriage kids and a mortgage. You don't just give up on the whole deal when it gets difficult.
azedazobollis is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 09:49 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
The only case i'm super familiar with is my baby's case, and TPR was granted (baby was four months old.)

Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:50 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Is your case going to TPR? If they are going this early (How is she again? Under six months i think?) i would think they have good reason to...i can't imagine they'd be asking for TPR without thinking they have a good chance at it being granted (anything can happen, obviously)....have you talked to the baby's lawyer? Do you know what s/he is recommending? In my baby's case, i knew that the county sw, the agency sw, and the lawyer were all recommending TPR, and i couldnt see the judge going agains that without some very compelling reason.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 12:16 PM
 
BCFD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We adopted 3 children through fost/adopt (2004, 2005, and 2006) as newborns. TPR was granted for all 3 children around the 6-10 week timeframe after being placed with them. However, we knew at placement that TPR was a sure thing because of both birthmother's past history with CPS.

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
BCFD is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 12:21 PM
 
AkRotts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Chugiak, Alaska
Posts: 408
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
The only case i'm super familiar with is my baby's case, and TPR was granted (baby was four months old.)

Katherine
Wow! You are lucky that yours went so fast! That is awesome!

In our case TPR was granted in March and the adoption finalized August 1 (the twins turned 2 on August 17: ) The state was really happy that they had gotten everything completed by the time the twins turned 2

Mom to, Cassi,, 25 yo daughter, 4 yo twins, Carson & Camryn 3 yo Caitlyn and my wonderful 14 yo neice, Carlie
AkRotts is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 12:26 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by AkRotts View Post
Wow! You are lucky that yours went so fast! That is awesome!
Yeah...we're lucky. I was told when he was placed (three weeks old) that it would likely happen based on prior TPRs, but you never know. I'm sure it helped alot that they didnt know where the mom was, and she never made contact with the baby. He was basically abandoned, so no point in NOT TPRing. I thought the adoption would be finalized in August, but our worker is behind in writing my homestudy, so we wait. Grr. Hopefully before october.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 12:33 PM
 
BCFD's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: California
Posts: 1,706
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Yeah...we're lucky. I was told when he was placed (three weeks old) that it would likely happen based on prior TPRs, but you never know. I'm sure it helped alot that they didnt know where the mom was, and she never made contact with the baby. He was basically abandoned, so no point in NOT TPRing. I thought the adoption would be finalized in August, but our worker is behind in writing my homestudy, so we wait. Grr. Hopefully before october.


Katherine
This sounds like all 3 of our cases. TPR was granted on all 3 of our children within a very short time frame (4 or 5 months). Nobody ever came to court and birthmom's basically disappeared (they have since resurfaced and we have a GREAT relationship with both of them - thank the universe!!!!). Our cases were very open and closed.

An incredibly thankful SAH Mommy to 3 fiendishly enchanting girls 11/04,10/05, & 12/06. 
 
BCFD is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 01:30 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Where's the "OTHER" category? I know a few people (in the next county over) who were given permanent legal guardianship of their foster children. Basically, subsidy stops and they can make all decisions but there has to be visitation with the birth family until the children 18. The guardianship can only be ended it it's proved that the GUARDIANS are unfit. The birth parents are not able to get their children back unless an appeal proves that there were procedural problems during the TPR hearing. One friend's child has to have overnight visits every two weeks with her birth family (grandparents, not the birth parents.)

In my county, the state wins most TPR trials. They're usually pretty sure they'll win before they go to court. Many birth parents end up relinquishing their rights before the TPR trial begins (that happened with my son's birthmother and the parents of my first foster infant.)

With my son and his sisters, their birthmother relinquished, and they TPRed their birthfather (who isn't able to care for a child.)

I do have another friend who's TPR trial was continued three times so it lasted over a year.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 01:55 PM
 
alicia622's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: 44° 48' N 68° 50' W
Posts: 4,568
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Looking back at al the cases I worked on in a past job I believe every time the state went for TPR it was granted. When we went to court for DS, the TPR order was granted from the bench- neither bparent showed for the hearing.

Alicia DH Mike DS Gage Lola & Zeus Fishy Dishy, Charkey and Shark
RIP Sidney 1994-2010 RIP Charlie Brown 2008-2010
alicia622 is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:01 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
Where's the "OTHER" category? I know a few people (in the next county over) who were given permanent legal guardianship of their foster children. .
I know that in my county, this is generally only done for older teens (since they have to consent to adoption if they are 14)...who may want the stability of a permanent family but dont wish to be adopted. I do know that with the MDC mom i posted about before, who's son was murdered in FC, they took her newest baby and allowed it to be adopted, but the older girl who was abused in FC (who was i think around 4), the judge allowed PG with the foster parents, i guess as a concession for her child getting killed while in FC : . But i would say PG is much more unusual in most cases, esp of younger kids.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 02:05 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I forgot to add, that a boy that i was "matched" with (unofficially) through my agency (fostered by my agency) was supposed to go to TPR in Feb, after being in care two years. The parents did just enough right before each court date to get it continued. Well, in Feb it was continued, and TPR never happened, and then my worker said that last she heard he was moved to another foster home and that FH was asking for PG, even though thats not usually done for a ten yr old. What a mess. He was supposed to come to me months ago. :

I bet that TPR is more likely to be granted for newborns who have "no" relationship with the parents (taken at birth or shortly thereafter), than kids that have lived with the parent for a longer period of time. I was also told that the courts really want early permanancy for infants, making decisions earlier than they would for older kids (a year in the life of a seven yr old who lived with mom for the first five or six years of her life is much different than a year in the life of a one yr old with foster parents since birth)...some states (i've heard) have this 15 month rule where they really keep the kids in FC for 15 months before TPRing, even if everyone knows that is what will happen, but i guess thats not the case here in MI.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 03:38 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
I know that in my county, this is generally only done for older teens (since they have to consent to adoption if they are 14)...who may want the stability of a permanent family but dont wish to be adopted. I do know that with the MDC mom i posted about before, who's son was murdered in FC, they took her newest baby and allowed it to be adopted, but the older girl who was abused in FC (who was i think around 4), the judge allowed PG with the foster parents, i guess as a concession for her child getting killed while in FC : . But i would say PG is much more unusual in most cases, esp of younger kids.


Katherine
Unfortunately these children are ages two and three. It's really sad. I'm not sure why permanent legal guardianship is so common there. Especially for such little children.

My foster daughter has been in care for 11 months now (with me for 9 1/2.) It doesn't look like the case will drag out but you never know.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-16-2008, 11:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Is your case going to TPR? If they are going this early (How is she again? Under six months i think?) i would think they have good reason to...have you talked to the baby's lawyer? Do you know what s/he is recommending?
Yes, our case is set for TPR trial for Sept 26. They were going to allow the case to drag on, but new info surfaced the day of the last hearing and DHS decided to move for TPR. She's almost 3 mos old; we've had her since she was 1 mo old. As far as the baby's lawyer, everyone keeps blowing me off about getting the name/number of the GAL. I've been waiting on a birth cert for 6 weeks now (can't get a penny of support until then), haven't been able to get GAL info, haven't even met the worker, and had her openly admit that she's not holding bparents to the rules simply because she's so confident TPR will go through. She told me that the prosecutor personally expressed that the judge has "indicated" he'll accept the TPR. Don't know what that means... I'm getting ticked about the lack of effort on the state's part, but I feel like I'm walking a fine line. I don't want to make anyone angry or insinuate that someone isn't doing their job since they will have a hand in whether or not we get to adopt her. And yet I'm her advocate, and this is a baby who deserves a fresh start. I need to meet with that GAL so that he/she can meet the baby and know exactly who she is - so they don't feel she's just another piece of paper. So far, I'm struggling to get a name, let alone the HV we're entitled to by the GAL prior to trial.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
However, we knew at placement that TPR was a sure thing because of both birthmother's past history with CPS.
Same here; there's a strong history w/CPS throughout the parents, grandparents, and other family. Two children were termed on this past April while mom was pregnant with new baby #3.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BCFD View Post
Nobody ever came to court.
That's what scares me; they show up. However, they blew up in court and were beligerent; the attorneys and judge actually had to tell them to knock it off and sit down already. I guess that damages their case??

Quote:
Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
In my county, the state wins most TPR trials. They're usually pretty sure they'll win before they go to court.
I think that's the case here, too. I know, as I said earlier, the prosecutor feels really confident in this case that the judge/referee will grant the TPR.

Quote:
Originally Posted by queenjane View Post
Some states (i've heard) have this 15 month rule where they really keep the kids in FC for 15 months before TPRing, even if everyone knows that is what will happen, but i guess thats not the case here in MI.
A woman I met today (here in MI) has a baby through a private agency that she's had since he was 2 days old (he's now about 4 months old) and she was warned that it will be an 18 mos process before TPR trial. She was shocked at how soon ours is happening. Everyone I speak with, including DHS workers and other reps, are always shocked that this is happening so quickly. It seems too good to be true; I fear someone will "catch" it and demand it slow down. I just want this over with (and I've only just begun). I don't know if I could ever do this again willingly; I commend all you foster moms.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 01:42 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
I've been waiting on a birth cert for 6 weeks now (can't get a penny of support until then)
I needed my fs's bc to travel to Canada, and they never could get it for me (secretly i also wanted it because i wanted the unamended copy to keep for him)...they said that since 9/11 it can now take up to *six months* for the bc to be entered into the system and be available...unbelievable. He was almost four months old at that time....we ended up being able to just get a letter from the agency stating he was born in Detroit, but still....

why do you need a BC to get support (and support from whom?)...so you are fostering, but because its considered kinship you dont get any help at all? That sucks. Does she at least have a medicaid card? Are you able to get WIC?

Be prepared that even if the TPR goes through...it may take months and monts for the adoption to be finalized. Thats where we are at now, i was already homestudied, TPR occured in late May, early August would make it six months that he's been here....and here it is middle of September and i'm not sure when it will be finalized, all because my worker failed to ever write up my homestudy, and she's "working" on his child assessment profile. Obviously its a relief to know that he is TPRd and the adoption WILL happen (honestly, i dont even think of him as a foster child now...i almost left the state on vacation w/o even telling the agency, because i totally forgot that i couldnt do that, i had to leave them a vm msg)....but its still a pain that legally he is *theirs* and not MINE. If something happened to me, he could go back into the system instead of staying here with the family he is attached to and who loves him. So even in the very best of scenarios, with everything happening quickly...it still seems like forever for their to be permanancy.

I can't wait to find out how your TPR trial goes...just think a short time ago we were all warning you that the baby could go back at anytime, and in just a few days you'll find out if she's yours forever! (Keep your fingers crossed that the date won't be changed/cancelled/pushed back.)


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 02:58 AM - Thread Starter
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Katherine-

First off - shoosh you! 'Ner you say such a thing as cancelled, changed, etc! My life is revolving around that date - I'm literally thinking in terms of before and after the trial date. So if it's changed....I'm comin' after you for cursing me!! () As for the birth cert, I applied within 7 days of receiving custody of her with the DHS in our home county (we're dual countied with this case) for the lower-end, non-licensed stipend. That was 7-31-08. I was informed immediately that I had to provide either a BC or a SS# for the baby. Forwarded the info on, was told it could be up to 3+ months. Our county worker told me she could hold onto the stipend case until 9-15-08. Needless to say, we just received the letter today that denies our benefits because we "failed to provide documentation." Bull, but whatever. We're in the process of becoming licensed fc, but we were told we can expect to wait 6-9 mos for that to complete. Everything is done except the homestudy on that, yet we'll still have to wait. It didn't seem worth it to me, but the licensing supervisor advised us to continue since we never when the rules regarding subsidy can change. If it somehow includes little ones, I guess I have to be licensed.

We were provided with a medicaid number for her, and she's able to get WIC. And you know, as angry as it makes me, it's probably a blessing. We can honestly say that we supported her without additional funds. We supported her on our own. That must count for something at the adoption process, right?

I'm still terrified of one particular family member coming through at the last minute. She has the sibs, and she was offered this baby several times. Several times she declined, and we're now past the 30 days. The state personally has issue with her getting this baby, so I don't expect it would go through. I was told it would become a competition of home to home, and we would definitely be able to provide a better, more stable, more secure home than this family member. Still, like you say, it's difficult when you're in this limbo. I just want it over.

As for lingo, we've already begun calling her our adoptive daughter. I find I get less questions and less attitude when we state it that way. And it's true....officially in a few weeks. I get so tired of the questions; we have a bio 11 mos old son in addition to the 3 mos old baby girl. Those two, when we're out, get so many questions. "Are they twins?" No. "How far apart are they?" Eight months. And then The Look; that puzzled, that's-not-possible look that begs an answer. Sometimes they ask, but if they don't, I just stand there smiling watching them squirm and calculate. If I'm feeling nice, I'll throw in, "She's our adoptive daughter." If I'm feeling particularly b****y towards the intrusiveness, I'll throw in, "Yeah, we're happily married." Usually ends all conversation.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 09:15 AM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I've got my fingers crossed that everything will go smoothly for you.

I don't know why things take as long as they do. There's no reason, that I can see, that your licensing should take another 6-9 months. The homestudy, in most states, doesn't take THAT long to complete. Then the state does it's part but how long should that really take?

Post TPR, in my state, adoption takes way too long. In my son's case, his mom relinquished in May and they did a non-contested TPR of his father in early June. I was finally able to file my adoption paperwork in February and the adoption finalized in May of this year. So basically 11 months from TPR to permanency. I knew he wasn't going anywhere but still it was a long time.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 11:38 AM
 
Sierra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Haven't read the other responses yet, but voted and wanted to say that the only thing the above poll doesn't show is the appeals possibility, which certainly extends the uncertainty about the future.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
Sierra is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 12:20 PM
 
pumpkingirl71's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Southeastern MA
Posts: 1,287
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In my state, birth parents have the right to appeal and that guarantees that they will be able to continue to fight for custody. In our case, the birthfather did appeal. This gave him two years to work to get dd back. But he missed one of the hearings and therefor his appeal was null and parental rights were terminated. He really had no ground to stand on, as he had not been meeting the terms of his contract. I am not sure what he wasn't doing (the social worker was very open about the fact that the was not in compliance, but never hinted at why) but I am almost positive that he refused to submit to required drug tests.
pumpkingirl71 is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 01:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sierra View Post
Haven't read the other responses yet, but voted and wanted to say that the only thing the above poll doesn't show is the appeals possibility, which certainly extends the uncertainty about the future.
When parents appeal, are they once again provided with a court-appointed attorney? Also, does the case freeze if it goes into appeals? I know that in my state, very few appeals are accepted.

All of this would be so much easier if kids could just stay safely in their homes....I just found out this morning from the worker that the birth mom is upset with me, feeling like I'm trying to "tell her how to take care of her child." I've done no such thing; she's really feeling threatened and grasping at straws. At one point in life, she was my best friend. She was my funny, sweet, loving best friend who was unfairly abused by her parents. How does life twist and turn into this mess? I'm finding myself grieving the loss of her from my life; it's for the best, and the baby is sooooo worth it, but it's a loss all the same.

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 02:20 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
I was told by my agency that they have never lost an appeal. And that when an appeal is filed ALL the judge looks at is whether the agency followed procedure, not whether the parent should get the child back. They said an appeal is almost never successful here.

OP....i was thinking about the issue you just posted, about the loss of your friend. That has got to be hard.....


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-17-2008, 02:28 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I think appeals, in most states, are all about procedure but I've heard of some that have dragged on for a really long time. It's really sad. I've heard that, in a lot of places, visitation resumes until the conclusion of the appeal.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 12:06 AM
 
Sierra's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 6,364
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bens_mommy_2005 View Post
When parents appeal, are they once again provided with a court-appointed attorney?
Yes, I believe it is a court-appointed attorney. With dfd's case it got complicated because when she filed the appeal, she didn't have grounds, thus decided to file on the basis that she had inadequate representation at the termination trial, or something like that. I'm assuming she had a different attorney at the appeal hearings, but I don't know because we now live in a different state and thus couldn't attend.

Quote:
Also, does the case freeze if it goes into appeals?
I'm not sure what you mean by freezing. Here is what happened in our old state. Once termination of parental rights occurs, even if the case is under appeal, the child is a legal orphan until and unless something is overturned on appeal. Thus after the termination trial, the parent has no more rights to visitations, services, and so forth.

The appeals have to have procedural grounds. In other words, either something had to have been done incorrectly in the handling of the case (the state didn't offer the necessary number of visitations, a foster parent interfered during visitations, the proper services were not offered to the parent, etc.) -or- something had to have been done incorrectly in the trial (like the example I just gave about a claim of inadequate legal representation, or it could be something like evidence that was or was not allowed to be taken under consideration).

The appellate court does not consider the evidence of the first case except as the evidence relates to the grounds to appeal. In other words, this isn't a redetermination of the suitability of the parent, but rather a procedural safeguard to make sure the case had been handled correctly both in and out of court (both prior to the termination trial and during the trial). Thus, if the parent suddenly (I can't imagine) makes a complete turn around right after the legal termination of parental rights, it is not like the parent can appeal on those grounds. The appeals court couldn't even look at that progress because they are only evaluating the first case.

Apparently my old state was relatively unique in that they allow cases to be appealed twice at the mid-level appellate court. One can appeal an appeal. Only on *third* appeal would the appeal have to go to the state supreme court. My sister, an attorney at a state supreme court in another state, told me that in her state, once the mid-level appellate court denies an appeal, the only other relief the parent (or even a criminal in a criminal case) is able to seek is an appeal at the state supreme court. She made it sound like that is more typical.

pumpkingirl is in my new state, and I am really concerned and confused by her reporting that here in MA, the appeals court can actually re-evaluate the original termination decision without procedural grounds, and that they apparently can continue to take in new evidence during that period as the case continues to progress...as in, new progress by the parent would be considered in the appeal. Where can all this be verified?

Quote:
I know that in my state, very few appeals are accepted.
Yes, I hear these things can vary by region. Apparently, in my old state, the county I was in had very few parents actually appeal. However, once appealed, it wasn't unheard of for terminations to be overturned. There were great, very, very thorough judges at the family court, and most of them seemed incredibly fair (and compassionate) from what I could tell, so I am really unsure why the appellate court did overturn terminations sometimes. The only examples I have heard of were cases that were mishandled by the county foster care department prior to the thing going to trial (for example, apparently one appeal was granted because a foster parent had been present at the visitations, and the child's parent was able to successfully argue that the foster parent directly impeded progress). There was no evidence the appellate court judges were in bed with the family court judges, that is for sure.

Quote:
All of this would be so much easier if kids could just stay safely in their homes....I just found out this morning from the worker that the birth mom is upset with me, feeling like I'm trying to "tell her how to take care of her child." I've done no such thing; she's really feeling threatened and grasping at straws. At one point in life, she was my best friend. She was my funny, sweet, loving best friend who was unfairly abused by her parents. How does life twist and turn into this mess? I'm finding myself grieving the loss of her from my life; it's for the best, and the baby is sooooo worth it, but it's a loss all the same.
I am hearing you.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
Sierra is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
Thandiwe's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Where the wild things are...
Posts: 2,006
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So the trial is next Friday. Deep down, I want to attend. On the surface and when I think about it, I don't. My mom keeps telling me I shouldn't. She says it will be "rubbing salt in the wound" when things go down for my old friend; she says I shouldn't sit around to be witness to the ugliness that will ensue - it will just breed hostility. I know she's right. I fear being there and getting sucked in. At the last hearing, the bio father kept yelling at the judge, "Call Jennifer - she has the baby - call her and ask her!" If I'm right there, he'll suck me into it. I don't want to have to think on the spot about my answers and potentially influence the case. I feel like being there might jeopordize the situation if I am asked to speak unexpectedly. And yet I want to hear firsthand what happens. I'm nosy, for one, and also I want to be able to tell this baby what happened if TPR happens and she stays.

Will my being there make a difference? Should I go?

I have no direct reason to feel this way, but I kind of fear for my safety if I go. I already know the parents are angry with me just for having their child in my care. The dad has been physically abusive and is short-fused. He's a stalker by nature, and she has a bad temper, too. They've already shown no restraint in court. I guess I'm afraid because I know them, and they know where I live. If this gets TPR'd, I think they'll hit the roof.

Do you think it's important that I attend, or will my presence only be for my benefit?

 

joy.gif Wife to  geek.gif,  mama to  reading.gif,   guitar.gif, fly-by-nursing1.gif, and thumbsuck.gif - bonus mommy to  loveeyes.gif!  homebirth.jpghomeschool.gifnovaxnocirc.gif

Thandiwe is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:09 AM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by bens_mommy_2005 View Post
Do you think it's important that I attend, or will my presence only be for my benefit?
I've never gone to court (i honestly didnt want to deal with leaving the baby, driving to downtown Detroit in an area i'm unfamiliar with, with lots of detours and construction, paying for parking, only to sit around, wait to be called and not really have to be there, since nothing was really contested, for a short hearing).....but the advice that has been consistent on every foster parent board/list i've been on is always go to court (if at all possible)...it apparently does make a difference, and in your case, i think its important the judge see you and know you care about the baby. My baby's lawyer said that while i didnt need to be there because it was so open and shut, that in many cases judge's take into consideration the fact that a foster parent has shown up in court..it shows committment to the child...it helps them put a face to the name, etc.

I wouldnt be worried about the parents doing something AT court (lots of guards and whatnot, and anything they do would only make them look even worse)...would they interpret you being their as being against them? Surely, they could look at it like you being there FOR them too right? I dont think you have to even speak, though if you are asked to do so, you would just be giving very factual info about the baby, like how she's doing, is she developing normally etc. I dont think you'd be asked about the bio parents, yknow? But if you are.....your committment is with the baby.

If you truly dont feel comfortable going, its ok not to. But in your case i think i would. It might also help you feel like you are *doing* something, since its easy to feel so helpless in this process, and there's the extra benefit of being able to see firsthand if you are getting accurate info from the workers...plus you will finally get to meet the baby's lawyer.


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 12:03 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 510
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have always gone to court. I get the most accurate information that way, since the caseworkers don't usually have time to tell you all of it and seem to have the tendency to tell everyone what they want to hear.

I also felt like that is something the child would later want to know, when they say "my mom/dad couldn't possibly have done what they did" I can reply that I was at the court hearing, they said this, the judge said that, etc etc. And maybe that will help them.

Mom to ds 10/12 and dd 2/05 ribbonrainbow.gif

Blogging about living with xeroderma pigmentosum at www.pacificnights.org/ and about life in general at http://livingavibrantlife.blogspot.com/
DTmama1 is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:15 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
I've only missed one court date in the past two years (and that was because of a child care snafu.) I go because it allows me to see the birth parents, to hear what's going on, and to let the judge know how the child's doing.

I find out more information at the review team meetings than I do in court, but I need to be there. I haven't had a case go all the way to the TPR trial, though.

If you don't go to court, give pictures to the SW to bring with her. The judges like to have faces to put with all the information.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:19 PM
 
queenjane's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 3,199
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by BethNC View Post
I find out more information at the review team meetings than I do in court, but I need to be there. I haven't had a case go all the way to the TPR trial, though.
Ok, so what are those?! I dont think we have them.....? I think the only time the agency workers talks to the county worker is either on the phone, or at court.

I dont know if its because my son is so young, or because TPR wasnt contested but there were never meetings where the whole "team" (would that be the different workers, FPs, etc??) got together to discuss the case.

At least no one ever told me about them...? Wouldnt be the first time someone failed to tell me important info though!


Katherine

Katherine, single homeschooling mom to Boy Genius (17) geek.gif  Thing One (6) and Thing Two (6) fencing.gif and one outgoing Girl (12) bikenew.gif and hoping for more through foster care and adoption homebirth.jpgadoptionheart-1.gif 
queenjane is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
We have periodic meetings at the DSS offices. Usually every three months in the beginning and then they stretch out to every six months.

It's usually the social worker and supervisor, the child's GAL, the birth parent(s,) the parent's GAL (if they have one,) the parents lawyer(s,) foster parents, and sometimes assorted other people.

It's a good time to meet all the players, read the case plan (fps are given a copy to look at but have to give it back,) to tell what's going on with the children, talk with the birth parents, hear the next steps, and sometimes get yelled at by the parents.

Everyone is supposed to get notified by mail. Polliwog had one last week but somehow the letters never went out. So most of the players weren't there (including me.) My licensing worker went in my place and between the sw and her, I got most of the details.
Polliwog is offline  
Old 09-18-2008, 03:31 PM
 
Polliwog's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 3,999
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Ours are called Permanency Planning Team meetings.
Polliwog is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off