I just represented a great aunt. Her sister brought two kids here from another state, because she was caring for three grandchildren and wanted her sister to take care of two of them.
The Massachusetts Great Aunt filed for a guardianship HERE, not the other state. Her sister [who may have been collecting a bit too much money if she wasn’t caring for all three children] got angry and filed an abuse and neglect report with DSS.
DSS sent an investigator, who decided that Great Aunt had too many pets and was too eccentric – and removed the kids. Despite the children’s out of state grandmother and great aunt and mother and father all fighting to get these kids back – DSS sent them from Massachusetts to New York while the case was being fought.
A small investment in services would have prevented this outcome. But there is no definition and no concrete list of what DSS must do before taking a child. None. DSS gets to do “what it deems necessary” – I say tighten up that standard.
And all that time, we taxpayers paid for eight attorneys [four trial, four appellate] – and these children were denied contact with their relatives. If their New York adoption disrupts, the grandmother and great aunt who fought to raise them will not even be told.
I also represented two sisters sent here from New York to be adopted. Their adoption did disrupt. They were never again adopted. I have represented them now for going on eight years. One aged out – so I don’t get paid to assist her legally any more, but when she calls me as she recently did seeking to change her name back to her name at birth, of course I helped out.
Adoption can be good, and the best outcome – but not always. And there is now much research that kids taken from their homes and never adopted just are not doing well at all. See: http://www.boston.com/news/loc…
I do have at least one idea, that might help at least some of them: That is, a kind of “empty nester corps”: http://bluemassgroup.com/s…