While foster care arrangements are generally designed to be temporary, these types of cases do not always remain this way. In fact, it is not uncommon for foster care families develop a bond with the children they care for, which is often a driving force for seeking permanent custody. If you are a foster parent, or plan to become one, and would like to learn more about what rights you might have, read on to learn more.
What is Required of Foster Parents?
A foster parent is an adult who is not related by blood to the child they raise and care for while under the direction or supervision of a welfare agency. Generally, foster parents look after children for monetary compensation.
The qualifications for becoming a foster parent vary slightly from state to state. That said, the following requirements typically apply to those who wish to become a foster parent:
- He or she must have a reliable source of income
- He or she must participate in mandatory parent training courses
- He or she must not have any felony convictions
- He or she must be at least 21 years of age
Additionally, a foster parent is often allowed to work outside of home, though it must not interfere with their ability to raise the child. Although foster parents are expected to have a regular source of income, it is not a requirement.
By legal standards, the relationship foster parents have with their children is unique. They act like any other parent, but share parenting responsibilities with a welfare agency, which holds legal custody of the child. That said, some of the rights foster parents have are similar to that of a natural parent, including:
- Contract rights that stem from the agreement made with the welfare agency
- Punish a child as a parent would and to the same extent
- Receive payment for services
- Possibly be able to terminate natural parent rights
The rights of a foster parent can be terminated by the welfare agency at any time. In some circumstances, a foster parent will also find that their rights fall below that of a natural parent.
Terminating a Natural Parent’s Rights
Foster parents can seek to terminate the rights of a natural parent. For them to do so, foster parents must:
- Institute adoption proceedings
- Institute custody proceedings
- Receive a judicial court order
If you wish to be a foster family, seek the assistance of a skilled family law attorney to help you throughout this process.
Foster Family Rights in Henderson
Regardless if you are looking to seek permanent custody or are simply interested in becoming a foster parent, the Henderson legal team at Ford & Friedman is ready to assist you. Our trusted family attorneys have experience in a vast range of legal issues involving foster family rights and are prepared to assist you, so you can obtain the results you are seeking.
Contact our office today at (702) 904-9898 to schedule a case review with a compassionate attorney.