View Full Version : Q about Kinship foster care/adoption/payments...

04-28-2010, 11:05 PM
Bear with me as I get to my many questions :)

My mc was abandoned as a toddler and her aunt provides foster care for her--this is kinship care as I understand it. Kinship care gets paid to the relative providing it through monthly stipends, exactly like regular foster parents would receive, with the understanding that the state maintains actual guardianship.

Now, because all foster care is temporary, at some point her aunt would have to apply to adopt her, or run the risk of losing her to a permanent home, yes? I realize that these situations are highly variable, but is it possible that they would pay her to foster from the time the child is 3 years old until she's 18? As in, is there a limit to the foster care payments one can receive? I can't find anywhere that addresses this.

Also, would the aunt be pressured by a case worker to adopt? If they found her a permanent home, it's my understanding that the aunt would have the right to contest it--at this point would she be able to apply to adopt and most likely win?

In case it matters, this is the 80's, South Carolina.

Any info is helpful and thank you so much, brilliant AW's!

Kitty Pryde
04-28-2010, 11:30 PM
My friend in 70s/80s California was fostered, along with her 3 brothers, for many years (like maybe 14 years for the youngest kid) by their great aunt. The parents were drug addicts and unable to maintain a home or care for the kids. The great aunt didn't want to adopt the kids because then she would lose the money she got for fostering them. I tell you, that was a lot of government money going straight to Las Vegas casinos.

As far as the risk of losing the kids, in that case it is the sad truth that there were/are very very very very few prospective adoptive households willing to take in four troubled african-american siblings. The situation could well be different for a very young white child.

04-29-2010, 01:49 PM
Ok, when it's a close family member then the child will usually be placed with them. There is no legal requirement to adopt the child in a formal manner.

You do not get paid for adopting a child, and you do not get paid for taking care of a family members child (at least you don't here) although you can claim child benefit, tax credits etc for them if youare the primary care giver.

However, and I'm not sure how this applies to the states, but here you do get paid for fostering a child that is not from your family.

04-29-2010, 03:42 PM
I know someone who has their grandson, and they are granted parental rights by the courts, but it isn't adoption.

04-29-2010, 03:57 PM
Thanks so much for the information everyone.

My plan was to have her aunt keep her around so long because she's getting paid to, but I may have to reconsider and just have her adopt. The difference isn't crucial to the story, but is important for one scene. Also, I have no idea about case worker involvement so it's probably easier to write it as an adoption. Grr.

04-29-2010, 04:00 PM
Woman I know under under social workers, monthly meetings and don't get as much money as someone who fosters. Had the child in her care for neraly 5 years though.

04-29-2010, 04:52 PM
I am actually going through this right now. I'm trying to get temporary custody of my cousin's two children.

From what I was told by my cousin's lawyer who specializes in these types of cases, there are federal regulations that could force the state to adopt the child/ren out if things drag on too long. I don't know when these were put in place, though.

You do get paid a monthly stipend and certain necessities are reimbursable as well.

If you don't want your MC's aunt to adopt her, you could have her agree to temporarily foster her until they found her a permanent home, and then just not have them be able to find her a permanent home for whatever reason. And yes, the case workers WILL try and pressure her aunt into adopting. At least here in MA, they want the children to be placed with family members if at all possible.

If you have any other questions, I have access to several different case workers and lawyers. :D