In the United States alone there are more than a half a million children who end up in foster care every year. Without those good-hearted individuals who are willing to step up and take care of these children, it would be a drastic burden on the localized governments to take charge and make sure these youngsters have a place to stay. If you are a foster parent, you may feel like there is enough respect for what you do that you would never be faced with the need for a lawyer. However, as a foster parent, there are many times in which consulting a family law attorney could be in your best interest.
1. If you intend to adopt a child. - It is not at all uncommon for foster parents to initially foster a child with the intention of adoption down the road. If you have this in mind as a foster parent, it is best to seek the advice of a family law attorney right from the beginning. It is all too common for lack of legal representation to lead to a child being taken out of a foster parent's care even after they have been there for several years. In some cases, the foster parents have even already been lead to believe that they will be adopting the child by local child welfare or social workers.
2. If you suspect a child abuse or endangerment charge. - Children who come from non-nurturing environments are often very familiar with how to work the system, and some will use child abuse claims to get out of a foster situation they don't want to be in. If you even start to suspect that there could be claims made against you by your own foster child or otherwise, contact an attorney immediately--no matter how far-fetched the claims may be. Having an attorney to represent you against allegations from the beginning will give you a better chance of seeing a positive outcome in an allegation claim.
3. If you are having problems with birth parents. - If you are never given sole custody of a child through adoption, even as a foster parent you may still be left to deal with birth parents and their rights.This could mean dealing with visitation disagreements, choices about the child's education being challenged, and even clashing when it comes to medical care. If you are a foster parent who has to contend with a difficult birth parent, it is a good idea to garner advice from a family law attorney.
Contact a professional like Gilbert P Kaback to learn more.