I don’t think I’ve mentioned it but we’ve decided to consult with a private adoption attorney. I will be going tomorrow afternoon to meet with an attorney that came highly recommended from one of our foster mom friends. The county is rushing to have our adoption completed on November 7th, which is when they celebrate National Adoption Day. We are all for doing the adoption sooner rather than later for a bunch of reasons, the most important of which is the fact that our kids will not believe they are in a permanent home until this adoption goes through. We need the court date and the ritual to show them that we are serious. We aren’t going anywhere.
Along these lines, however, we do not want to rush it. We want to make sure the kids are healthy and have the counseling they need. Our minds will not change, but the assistance that we are given from the county could possibly change. And while we are fine monetarily, part of the way that we advocate for our children is to make sure they are getting whatever they deserve. We are supporting these children forever. There will be weddings and college and cars and summer trips. We want to make sure that, after being in care for almost five years, these kids are properly taken care of in the long term.
Our permanency specialist explained all of the post-permanency services that we will be eligible for, including respite care and case management. We will keep the kids’ health/dental/mental health insurance. We will have monthly assistance until they are 18. Even then we can petition to keep their health insurance until they are 21 if they are enrolled in school or there is a reason that they are not in school.
Being that this is our first placement, we do not know what Pennsylvanian counties can offer in terms of monetary assistance. There is nothing available on the internet regarding adoption assistance in PA other than it cannot exceed the amount that children were receiving in care. I know it is renegotiable if something major were to happen. However, in North Carolina the assistance is graduated based on the child’s age. I don’t know if this occurs in Pennsylvania. This is one of the reasons we are consulting a private adoption attorney. We would like an unbiased view of the adoption of these children.
With the county, once our adoption home study/profile is complete, my husband and I will have to meet with the county attorney to go over forms and sign the petition to the court for the adoption. This would have been the first and only time we would meet with an attorney that helps us with the adoption. And I’m not sure how much time we would have with that attorney or how unbiased they are. So off I go! If you have questions that I should ask I would be glad to have advice!
This has been the week from hell. Monday our county case worker visited for her “monthly” visit (more like every month and a half). Tuesday Little Man had his psych evaluation so his in-home counseling can start. Wednesday our oldest daughter had a dentist appointment. Today Little One had gymnastics. Tomorrow is Little One’s trike-a-thon fundraiser for her preschool and then rushing to the attorney before the kids get home from school. I am so glad that next week is clearer!