Experienced foster parents, chime in!

OK, so I asked our CW about D's dad and the status of that, since the termination hearing for the other dad is coming up. FYI D is confident he knows who his dad is, bio mom seems confident as well. This man was in D's life prior to him coming into foster care, though I'm not sure how much...he says he "stayed with him on the weekends" but of course this could mean that it happened 5 times in his 11 years outside of foster care. Or it could mean every single weekend. Or it could mean...you get the picture. This man has not had any contact with D since he came into foster care, except for one phone call. To my knowledge. Not to say there hasn't been contact through Facebook; I'm smart enough to realize that could have happened.

Anyway. Apparently there is no dad listed on D's birth certificate, and DNA testing was never done. So paternity has not been established. Our CW is telling us that they don't need to do ANYTHING regarding D's dad. So the way it sounds is that since his mom has relinquished, D is technically free for adoption.

Does that sound right to you guys? It seems kind of wrong to me but I just really don't know. It seems like to me they OUGHT to establish paternity, like maybe they should have done it 2 years ago. I just don't want something to happen that delays our adoptions for another 2 years or something.

Any insight you all have is appreciated!


  1. Emily WilliamsonJuly 10, 2012 at 7:46 PM

    Where I live (Ohio) they are required to post notices in the local newspapers for the John Doe father. If they forget it delays things. Check with the children's services attorney to see if they remembered to do that.

  2. I am in Texas and it is required to establish paternity and terminate dad's rights before a child is legally free for adoption. If no paternity can be established (possible dad won't comply or can't be found through posted notices) then an attorney is assigned to represent "unknown father". Then they must terminate rights on "unknown father". This protects the adoptive family from some man coming forward years from now and claiming that he didn't know about the child and claiming his rights.

  3. I would be totally surprised if the state was not required to make some effort toward establishing paternity or severing on John Doe if dad cannot be found. In AZ, it is just like both of the others have commented previously (in TX and OH). I'm sure each state has their own methods and rules, but I'd be willing to bet that this is a federal issue and some minimum must be established regardless of what state you are in. I wouldn't be surprised if this is a CW not knowing what she's doing. Maybe ask the child's guardian ad litem? This is definitely something that could hold up an adoption.

  4. I would be shocked if they don't have to - now I have seen some crazy things about "legal dad" vs. "bio dad" in some states (ask mama foster) and so I suppose that may be the case but in most situations if not all they would have to at least terminate rights on all unknown fathers before an adoption can take place.

  5. In oour case in Louisiana, our oldest boy's paternity hasn't been determined, except for the fact that the other kids father is not his, and there is an assumed paternity of another man. All parental rights were terminated in December. It doesn't seem right to me either, but I guess in some cases it's easier for the workers to just give up than to track down every "assumed" father. Good luck, and praying for you guys!

  6. I will say this about our caseworker--her "nickname" is "The Terminator" because a lot of her cases (because the type of cases she handles) go to termination. So while I get that a lot of CWs don't have their act together, I think she has enough experience with stuff like this to know what she's doing. We'll still definitely look into it though for our own peace of mind.

  7. I'm definitely not an experienced foster parent but I have heard the same things about states having to track down the father so there is no question later. I really haven't looked into it here but I think it's smart to give yourselves peace of mind.


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