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TofuScramble 01-28-2012 08:00 PM

adopting from another state question MA-AZ
I will prob have an answer soon, but I'm impatient and google isn't helping me, so maybe someone here has been in this situation :)

Leaving out the long story, my brother and SIL and I agreed that I would adopt their 2.5 year old boy. Right now my nephew is in child services custody (ETA: I don't know if "custody" is the correct term) and her caseworker asked if they had any relatives who would adopt him. At the time they weren't sure if my offer was still on the table (I had offered back when they were pregnant w/ him). But I just met up with them (in MA) this week and we talked about it and it's agreed.

She's going to see her caseworker next week and is going to ask, so I'll hopefully have an answer to my question then, but for now...

I live in Arizona, they live in Massachusetts. Right now he's in a foster home in MA (the family has no plans to adopt him so he will be placed somewhere else no matter what).

Because he's in MA custody.. am I bound by their adoption laws? My concern is on the child services website they don't allow more than 6 kids in the home. I already have 6 kids, so he will be my 7th... will that stop the adoption :(

Or because I'm in Arizona.. would it be Arizona law.. which so far I haven't found anything about a limit on the number of children in the home, and I meet all the other criteria.

I just have so much racing through my mind right now thinking about bringing this boy into our family- rearranging bedrooms and things we will do to bond.. I am really getting excited, but I don't want to get too excited if it's not going to go through.
Oh but I hope!

I don't want to give the whole back story, but I really really really hope this goes through! I know I have a lot of kids- but we're a big loving family and our hearts are big enough to love another kid in this house! :wub:

So if anyone has any experience in this, or any inside info, please share, thank you :goodvibes:

Chris10 01-28-2012 08:32 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
Hey Nina,
From what I understand, you have to follow both states' adoption laws to be in accordance with the ICPC. (For subsidies, you receive those from the sending state.) Some states allow you to have more than the maximum number of kids in the home in special circumstances. Adopting a family member seems to me like it would be such a circumstance. Good luck!

TofuScramble 01-28-2012 08:40 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
Thanks for responding!
I just read that on another site... eeek! I really hope there is some kind of loop hole because we are related.
Otherwise this will be my 4th niece/nephew that I never got to know :( Not that it's about me, it's about him, and I know he will fit right in with my kids, especially being around my boys' age!

pcjs 01-28-2012 08:46 PM

You will have to do an ICpc that includes a home study. It will take months if not longer. The sending agency needs to make a request and the actual adoption they would do it. It is pretty complicated but easily done,

Christina452 01-28-2012 09:17 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
I think this also depends if they voluntarily placed him in custody. In my experience family always gets precedence if they are approved (safe etc). Because you're family getting him moved shouldn't be too difficult. You can have your sister contact her caseworker and allow you in on the conversation then you could call the case worker. I would contact a lawyer to find out your rights. I was a family case worker in NY and in my experience they make tons of allowances to keep families together and move quickly to do so.

pcjs 01-28-2012 11:54 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
Sorry, I was on my iPad and couldn't type easily. Basically the social worker in the kids state needs to put in a request to your state/county via something called ICPC (another gov't agency) to request a home study via your state/county with a form called a 100A. Once that is done, the kids worker will need to get you approved via the court to foster and then place the kids with you. Then they do a 100B (in less they have changed the name in the past few years) to request your state approve the placement and provide supervision (worker coming to the house and sending a report monthly to the worker in the kids state. You will get a stipend from the kids state but will have to apply for medical in your state office or put them on your private insurance as it is very very very hard to use medical assistance except in emergency situations. You will want to get the child some play therapy as well as family to help everyone adjust. Usually a child has to be in a home via foster care for six months before a request for adoption occurs. The regular judge will have to agree to adoption if the goal is not currently adoption and the parents rights terminated for you to adopt (its not like a private where your attorney petitions the court) and they will have the hearings to take care of it. ICPC can take weeks to months to longer. I've had states with few workers/backlogged take years and others very quick. Sometimes the kids state can offer to pay for the staff time to expedite it.

TofuScramble 01-29-2012 09:33 AM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
Interesting.. I imagined in my mind the process would be similar to that. Though I didn't realize I'd be "fostering" him for awhile.. but I guess that makes sense.
I just talked to my SIL, brought my concerns with MA child limit, she talks to her caseworker Tuesday so we'll see what happens!

eta: I know he will need some kind of development therapy in general.. he's seriously delayed in all areas. He was neglected for the first 18 months of his life so I know he has some issues. I've wondered about the insurance thing. Once he's fully adopted I'm sure we can get him on my DH's insurance. But in the meantime, I'm glad they have a system in place.

pcjs 01-29-2012 09:45 AM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
He's in foster care and the court/state has jurisdiction. Parents lose many of the normal rights for adoption. Its not a simple process. Its doable, but not simple. They aren't just going to release a child from foster care with no supervision or someone checking in as its about the child's needs. Since you are a relative, the limits may be different. Its not as simple as mom saying, hey adopt, getting an attorney and you getting the kid.

TofuScramble 01-29-2012 01:52 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
Oh I know, I was in the foster system as a kid. And even at age 16 they wouldn't let me live back with my parents. Once I was 17 though, they "released" me.

And that was in MA, they seem to be very strict about these things. That's why I worry if I even have a chance at all :/

eta: thanks everyone for all the info :) I appreciate it!

pcjs 01-29-2012 07:40 PM

Re: adopting from another state question MA-AZ
You absolutely have a chance if you have a stable and loving home and can provide for this child. Based on your background, all the more reason to do it! Its not an impossible thing to do, but its not a simple thing either. I'd absolutely encourage you to try but just know it could easily be a year before he comes home to you. I don't want you to get your hopes up it will happen tomorrow. If this was a child not in the system, no biggie and simple but once kids get in the system it gets more challenging. I'd encourage you to do what ever you need to do to get this child and adopt. (but, I've had friends have to go to the ends of the earth to get their relatives out as for what ever reason the agency was being difficult and I've had others were it was great experiences... when working, I always tried my best as I strongly feel family first and it was my relative I would do what ever it took to get them).

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