The Department of Economic Security will make efforts to identify and approve an adoptive family for a child upon filing a petition or motion to terminate parental rights. Following are the guidelines that DES must follow in adoption placement.
CPS Policy for order of placement for children who are not Native American:
- Significant persons, including foster parents
- Non-relatives without a prior relationship to the child
For children who are Native American, the order of placement preference is determined in accordance with the requirements of the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA):
- A member of the child's extended family
- Other members of the child's tribe
- Other Native American families
The above order of placement preference must be followed, except under the following circumstances:
- The child's parents have relinquished their parental rights and have requested anonymity. In this case, preference shall be given to placement with other Native American families.
- The child's tribe sets a different order of preference.
- The tribe chooses not to intervene in the case and the state court finds that there is good cause to change the order of placement preference.
A child is eligible for foster-adoptive placement if:
- His or her permanent plan is adoption.
- No relatives or significant persons can meet his/her needs for an adoptive placement because; they are unwilling or unavailable to do so, they have been denied certification, or they have been assessed as "unable to meet the needs of the child".
The purpose of the adoption hearing is to finalize the adoption, or grant permanent guardianship or permanent custody to the child?s new family. This concludes the temporary nature of the prior relationship between the child, the foster family, the relative, the guardian, or the adopting family.
This hearing legally executes closure and concludes the decision-making and monitoring roles of the court. The new parents are assuming the permanent role of parental care, custody, and control of the child. They are making a commitment to the child protection system, the court, and the child that they will provide for the child?s safety, health, education, and well being.
If any party should not consent to the final order, the contestant to the adoption hearing order should be filed at least 30 days in advance of the final hearing. If this occurs, the courts prior to the final hearing will schedule settlement conferences.
The CASA volunteer and caseworker will submit reports to the court which should confirm that all issues necessary to conclude the case are completed. The caseworker will include a copy of the signed adoption assistance agreement with the report.
After reviewing the reports and questioning the necessary persons, the judge will formalize findings and conclusions that will legally confirm the permanent placement of the child and formalize case closure with the CASA and caseworker.
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