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Can Foster Parents Automatically Adopt A Child Placed in Their Care

Foster parents have no legal standing to pursue the adoption of children placed in their care without the consent of the child welfare agency that has legal custody of the foster child, or unless they can establish that they stand in loco parentis to the child.

For example

A former foster mother lacked standing to pursue adoption or visitation proceedings relative to children, who were removed from her home pursuant to a court order following allegations of abuse, where the former foster mother had not been awarded legal custody of the children, and, at the time she filed her petition seeking visitation or custody, she was no longer a licensed foster care provider. The former foster mother did not stand in loco parentis to the children, as would confer standing to pursue a petition for adoption or visitation of the children. Furthermore, the former foster mother had not assumed obligations incident to a parental relationship, and, although she had physical possession of the children and discharged duties as to the children's day-to-day needs, it did not follow that she was in loco parentis or had undertaken the rights and responsibilities that existed between a parent and child.

If you are a foster parent and have questions about seeking the adoption of a child placed into your care by the child welfare agency, contact an experienced attorney. We've handled these cases for 8 years as a court-appointed master. Don't trust your case to just any lawyer, call Shaffer & Engle Law Offices, LLC.

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