View Full Version : finding someone in foster care system

02-01-2015, 02:29 AM
This scenario might be a little strange, but bear with me. As a quick side note. This is for a fanfic so setting is not too relevant.

I have tried to find articles or books even slightly related to this scenario with little lucky. What I have is this: two characters who are siblings. Ages 18 and 20. They come from an abusive household. Mother suffers from early onset dementia and is out of the picture. The father (abuser) left long ago as well. What happens is that the siblings find hints of actually having a third, younger sibling (through a private journal or something, not sure). The mother had a third child but due to the abuse put the third child into the foster care system to protect him. She did not tell anyone about this and instead pretended she miscarried due to the abuse. This particular plot point involves the siblings trying to find this third child.

Quite a few questions...

- is this situation plausible at all? What would make the mother put the third child into the foster care system as opposed to adoption? I assume that if an abuse report was made, all three children would have been taken. My idea was to put him into the foster care system because it would make the child harder to find if the father ever found out about him.

- how would the search be conducted? Where would they start? What ideas could I use to make the search harder? What documentation do they want to look for if they have no name or date of birth and how can technology play a role? Any ideas that would actually require them to travel would be best. (In this fandom it is unsurprising to find someone out of their home for a long time and telephobes are especially hard to reach.)

- when they find him, what happens then? Can they ask for custody since they are considered legal adults? What if the father steps into the picture?

That's all I can think of for now. This is the plot point I am most lost with and am willing to discuss and answer questions with anyone who might be able to help.

02-01-2015, 03:09 AM
Where is the story set?

02-01-2015, 04:12 AM
Where is the story set?

This is a fanfic setting that has no established information on the foster care system. If it matters, the fandom is pokemon. /cue embarrassment

02-01-2015, 04:23 AM
Yes, a lot depends on where and also when this occurs. And how old the two brothers were at the time - which, for me, would cause the biggest problem. What reason would the mother give for only putting the one in care at a time when the other two would be so young so as not to remember him or their mother's pregnancy?

Without admitting abuse, the foster care system wouldn't protect the child from the father - he would have as much legal right to know as the mother.

As to how to conduct the search, again, depending on location and time period, it could be as simple as proving relationship to the authorities or as difficult as locating a birth parent. It would all depend on the laws for that place at that time.

02-01-2015, 09:22 PM
Agree with ShadowWalker. Also will add this...

- Kid #3 would have been adopted, no question. Kids under the age of 5 have high 'rehoming value'. Therefore it would be a story of finding 'the adopted kid' kind. Unless they were 'damaged goods' of some form (disabilities etc.)

- Unless the mother literally did a 'doorstep basket' thing, Social would know the mother, and would investigate - tracing recent births at hospitals, etc. There's a good chance they'd also look into the other two kids - then it would come out.

Honestly, this plot as it stands isn't that plausable. However, with a couple of tweaks this could be...

Kid #1 and #2 are 12 and 9 years respectively. During the pregnancy of kid #3, Social start their sniffing. One thing leads to another, and all three are taken into care. Parents too crap - no chance of them going back ever.

Kid #1 and #2 are too old to be adopted, and they're too close to each other to be placed in different homes. (Multi-kid foster carers really rare). Therefore, they grow up in a couple of children's homes.

Kid #3 was a newborn when taken. They've got high 'resale value'. Therefore, they've been adopted. Kid #1 tried to kick up a stink when they heard, but was lied to and shouted down by the Social. (They do this alot with the kids in their care). Kid #3 vanishes - perhaps growing up in a completely different part of the country.

Kid #1 never forgets. When Kid #3 reaches 18, the other two start their digging...

02-01-2015, 10:17 PM
Is there a reason it needs to be the official state-run foster care system? Where I live (in the US) there have been multiple cases of an at-risk baby or small child being handed over to relatives or friends, with the understanding that when things are better, the mother will come back to claim the child. If the pregnant mom moves often enough, say every few months, Social Services will not be tracking her unless there are reports of potential problems from neighbors, the older kids' school, etc. She could have the baby at home (gasp!) with the help of a midwife she's lied to, and move into a new place un-pregnant, with nobody the wiser, although depending on the ages of the kids, they may suspect. If they are young enough, though, they may not realize she's pregnant. Or maybe while Mommy was sick, they stayed with Grandma and did not see their mother's obvious pregnancy. (If Mommy is fat, it may not show much.)

When such things happen here, often Mom is in dire financial straits, being abused and fears for her life, or has drug or alcohol issues.

Just to add another plot possibility, there have also been cases in my general area where a pregnant women with drug or alcohol issues has sold her healthy baby for very little, like enough to get high for a few days, and moved to a new crappy rental, the new neighbors having no idea she just had a baby.

Your older siblings would track down this baby the same way private detectives find people. They ask difficult questions of people who don't especially want to talk to them. They pore over public records. They figure out when this kid would have entered kindergarten and seek school pictures, looking for a resemblance. They talk to the mom, the father, the neighbors, Grandma, the people who sold Mom drugs, the kid who worked at the corner store where she bought cans of soup for the kids, everybody who knew or saw this woman, her current friends and neighbors, her drinking buddies, trying to get a lead on what she did with the baby.

Maryn, whose sister was offered 10K for her blond baby boy