Minnesota Put Its Foot Down For Family Rights In Foster Care Cases
Relatives and the Foster Care System:
A new decision published In the Matter of the Welfare of the Children of: J.L.G., D.M., and J.T.B. has made strides to improve Minnesota’s foster care system and the placement of children with relatives. In the past two years, advocates for protecting family rights in foster care cases has grown immensely. This Minnesota Court of Appeals decision has listened to those voices and stood up to keep families together. The decision requires the court, not the county, to order that a relative is not a foster parent option.
In the Appellate case, a grandmother was denied being considered an adoptive parent for her three grandchildren, although no court order stated so. In fact, the social workers encouraged Anoka county to support the grandmother as an adoptive parent for the three grandchildren. However, Anoka county denied her request and put the grandchildren in the unpredictable stream of the foster care system. The practice that a county can deny a relative’s request to be an adoptive parent has seemed to come to an end. The Minnesota Appellate Court stated, “In adoption-placement cases, the district court must issue a ruling expressly excluding a relative as a suitable placement option in order for that relative to be considered “ruled out by the court” pursuant to Minnesota Statutes § 260C.07, subdivision 2(5).” This decision upholds existing Minnesota law, which requires counties to consider relatives first for foster care options.
CHILD PROTECTION ATTORNEYS
At Gierman Law, LCC, we aggressively advocate Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, etc. to be considered placement options first for their family members. We strive to keep families strong and together. Please reach out to Wanda or Ross with any questions or concerns regarding adoption or child protection.