Stephen J. Buhler, Attorney at Law

Trouble adopting for Utah woman

Child custody and adoption can sometimes get a little messy, and it is important to always keep in mind the best situation for the child. Some specialists believe that children are better off with their kin, if that option in available. However, some maintain that children may be better off in a foster care setting, depending on the family.

A Utah woman is running out of time in the race to adopt her brother's children from their foster family. She believes she was mislead by the Division of Child and Family Services regarding the process of adopting her nieces and nephews

The children were placed in the custody of their grandmother after their mother failed to appear in two meetings with the DCFS. Shortly after, the youngest of the children was found wandering a neighborhood street by a police officer. This prompted the state of Utah to order custody of the children.

According to records, a juvenile court judge recently ruled that the children should continue living with their foster family, with whom they have formed a strong bond over the past five months. After one uncle failed the adoption background check, the woman began the process for obtaining custody of the children.

The aunt maintains that she was not told about the window of time in which she had to finish the home inspections and background checks. That window of 120 days, according to DCFS officials, is the amount of time in which kin is given preference of the children.

Adoption can be a very complex thing, and the best interest of the child or children should always be the highest priority. In these cases, hiring an attorney who is familiar with family law may help things be more smooth for both you and the children.

Source: The Salt Lake City "Utah aunt fights clock to adopt children from foster care," Lindsay Whitehurst, Oct. 22, 2012

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