Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption: Where does the GAL fit in

Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption: Where does the GAL fit in PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption: Where does the GAL fit in

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1. Termination of Parental Rights and Adoption: Where does the GAL fit in? The most important steps to know in the TPR process and how the GAL plays a role

2. Termination of Parental Rights An example? In order to be freed for adoption, a child’s legal relation to the biological parent must be severed

3. TPR as the Permanency Plan About 32 % of our cases go through TPR Usually not ordered when family members are placement Most permanent plan Takes the longest to achieve

4. Opening a TPR File New timeline starts- Ideal intervals, not always actual DSS files a petition- what is alleged? GAL has to be reappointed….new appointment order! GAL served with petition for program and child Date set for pre-trial

5. Timelines: JA vs. JT

6. Pre-Trial Hearings Usually held well in advance of TPR Address issues of jurisdiction and service- you will be served! Appoint attorneys for parents GAL is not required to be there, no report Set a day for TPR hearing

7. Preparing for a TPR Hearing Interviews Child Foster parents Observe visits Therapist The child’s understanding of adoption? In the child’s best interest? Child Do they want to be adopted? Do they understand what adoption means? Report

8. TPR Hearing- Important to Remember GAL needs to be at the hearing GAL will likely testify Court is only addressing one issue: TPR Hearing could have several witnesses; be more than one day Child may want to be present Documents from professionals are important Pictures are fine to present to court

9. TPR Hearing: Two Parts Circumstances That Are Grounds for Termination Abandonment Abuse/neglect likelihood Mental illness or deficiency leading to incapacity Failure of reasonable efforts Loss of rights of another child Failure to provide monetary support Failure to establish paternity Child in care 12 of 22 months Felony assault of child or sibling Murder/Manslaughter of sibling child Circumstances That Are Not Grounds for Termination Felony conviction/incarceration Sexual abuse Failure to maintain contact

10. TPR Hearings: Two Parts Part Two- Best Interest of the Child Child’s Wishes! Age of the child Likelihood of adoption TPR will assist the permanent plan because The bond between the child and the parent can be characterized as follows The bond between the child and the current caretaker can be characterized as follows Other relevant considerations

12. The Appeal Process Parents have a limited time to appeal- 30 days Appeals process has 180 day timeline Can potentially be appealed to the NC Supreme Court

13. Post-TPR: What Happens Now? Recruit for adoptive family if needed Adoption Committee DSS; GAL Post-TPR Reviews Paperwork We’ll get notice of filing and approval Clerk of Court approves adoptions Keep in touch with SW or adoptive family!

14. Important for the GAL to Consider Child’s approval TPR into legal limbo Siblings/relative relationships Foster parents’ abilities

15. What Ifs…. The child says…. Do I have to change my name? I don’t want to be adopted Will I ever see my mom again? Will I ever see my grandparents again? The foster parents say… Am I going to get money when I adopt? I don’t really think we can adopt her What if this doesn’t work out when she’s older? Should we keep in contact with the birth parents?

16. Wrap Up Make sure you understand the TPR process Make sure the child understands Consider other permanency options Consider all information before recommendation of change in plan Help others understand the process

17. Questions and Comments

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