I am a foster parent and want to adopt my foster child. However, the agency is planning to discharge him to his mother. Can I do anything in Family Court to prevent this from happening?

As the foster parent of a child in care, you have a right to receive notice of permanency proceedings regarding the child as well as the Permanency Hearing Report that is prepared for the hearing, and to appear at the hearing. The plan regarding your foster child will be discussed at each permanency hearing regarding his case, and these hearings occur every six months. If you have concerns about the appropriateness of the permanency plan for your foster child, you can tell the judge.

It can be very useful to speak with your foster child’s law guardian before court to discuss your concerns about the plan for the child. If you don’t have the law guardian’s contact information, you can call the Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice office in the borough where your foster child’s court case is:

  • Bronx (718)579-7900
  • Brooklyn (718)237-3100
  • Manhattan (212)312-2260
  • Queens (718)298-8900
  • Staten Island (718)981-0219

You should remember that the law guardian is your foster child’s lawyer, not yours, and that he may not be in agreement with you as to the appropriate plan. However, if the law guardian is in agreement with you, he can be very helpful in bringing your concerns to the court’s attention, since he speaks for the child.