John and Lydia

Teenage siblings, John and Lydia, were living in foster care after their parents' rights had been permanently terminated. Their foster mother was a single woman, employed full-time in a local factory. This woman loved these two teenagers and feared for what would happen to them once they turned 18, which was not far off. 

John_and_Lydia.jpgAlthough she would have dearly loved to adopt them, there was no way that she could afford to house, feed, clothe, etc. these teenagers without the assistance of her foster care stipend. The stipend would end once the kids turned 18. At the same time, she was aware that teenagers had a tough time finding adoptive homes, especially when one of them is low functioning and will require continued care and supervision beyond age 18. Still, she recognized that adopting them was a financial impossibility for her.

The CASA volunteer, who was only appointed to the case at the time of termination of parental rights, recognized how bonded these teenagers were to their foster mother and how much the foster mother had done for them and could do for them in the future if only she had the financial means. The Advocates for Children staff were aware that there were local, state, and federal funds (Adoption Assistance) available for just such cases. The CASA volunteer informed the foster mother of this and she inquired about these funds with the Department of Child Services family case manager. The family case manager informed her that her county had no funds available for this.

Advocates for Children staff knew that adoption assistance was a prospective adoptive parent's right by law, and therefore made further inquiries on behalf of these teenagers. They did not want to have to leave this home at age 18 and wanted to have their foster parent as their legal mother. Sure enough, it was established that the Office of Family and Children could not deny prospective adoptive parents this financial assistance. The CASA volunteer connected the foster mother with an attorney with expertise in the area of adoption law and this was effective in encouraging the Department of Child Services to offer an adoption subsidy to this foster mother, which enabled her to adopt both of these teenagers.

As a result of the CASA volunteer's intervention, the adoption was finalized and these two teenagers now had the security of knowing that they had a home forever and a "mom" whom they love dearly.



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