An unknown author said that “family is a little world created by love.” Does this comport with the old adage that “blood is thicker than water”? Well, maybe not. Any practitioner of adoption law can sadly tell the tale (and truth) as old as time: child gets removed from biological home. Child is placed with foster family. Child bonds with and flourishes under the care of foster family. Parental rights are terminated. Foster family desperately wants to adopt foster child. Eight, nine, ten or more months, if not years pass. An out of state relative who may or may not know the child, suddenly expresses interest in taking the child. Child is abruptly removed from the foster home and placed with relative. The DNA of the relative trumps all bonding, security, stability, progress and love the child has experienced. End of story, albeit a sad one. The “kinship preference” gives relatives preference over all others for an out-of-home placement of a child in the foster system. “Kinship” refers to relatives as well as family friends. States such as Ohio and Kentucky utilize this and recognize the importance of family bonds. Placing a child with kin should always be the first preference, assuming […]
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