We have written in the past about Social Security Benefits, specifically Survivor’s Benefits, and how they play a role in adoption of the minor receiving those benefits. What the author did not realize is that, in the case where the child is in foster care, many state welfare agencies seemingly apply for, receive, and take those benefits from the children, without any notice. Continue reading →
There is a growing need in North Carolina for foster parents to care for foster children, especially in Rowan County. In a recent article, the Rowan County Department of Social Services stated there were currently 160 children in their care, but only thirty-four (34) foster families in the county as of June 1, 2021. Continue reading →
June is National Children’s Awareness Month. This month brings awareness to children’s safety and well-being and provides the perfect opportunity to generate awareness on child abuse and neglect. Just recently, U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), co-chairs of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption, announced that they have reintroduced the Safe Home Act to protect adopted children from unregulated custody transfers (UCTs). Continue reading →
June is Children’s Awareness Month, and on the occasion a bill (S. 397) was introduced into the United States Senate titled the Safe Home Act. What this bill aims to do is curtail the “unregulated custody transfers” that occur incident to adoption. The bill defines this transfer as “the abandonment of a child by the child’s parent, legal guardian, or a person or entity acting on behalf, and with the consent, of such parent or guardian,” by placing the child with a person who is not the child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, adult sibling, adult uncle or aunt, legal guardian, or other adult relative; or an adult family friend; or a member of the federally recognized Indian tribe of which the child is also a member. There must also be an intent to “severing the relationship between the child and the parent or guardian of such child” without “reasonably ensuring the safety of the child and permanency of the placement of the child, including by conducting an official home study, background check, and supervision” and “transferring the legal rights and responsibilities of parenthood or guardianship under applicable Federal and State law.” Continue reading →
There are unfortunate times where one individual who has become fully insured for social security benefits passes away or gives up a child for adoption. In such cases, however, the Social Security Administration has enacted rules to pass on the benefit to the children. But exactly what happens when the child receiving a benefit is going to be adopted? Does the benefit simply end because he or she now has a new parent? Potential adoptive parents should speak to an attorney if they are considering adoption of a child receiving social security benefits. Continue reading →
IN THE MATTER OF: J.M. (No. COA19-421)
Under certain circumstances, a court will remove children from the custodial care and control of a biological parent and place them with a foster family. The court then develops primary and secondary case plans. The case plans consider the children’s best interests and whether the parent is deemed fit or unfit. Courts strive to reunify the children with a biological parent, but in cases where courts determine a parent is unfit, adoption and/or foster families are appropriate alternatives. The case below reveals key findings the trial court needs to make before ceasing reunification efforts between a Mother and her child. Continue reading →
The United States, as a whole, has only allowed same-sex marriage for just over two and a half years. It is law that same-sex couples have the right to marry in the United States of America, but there are some who still struggle with the question of what exactly that entails. Certainly, same-sex couples can be married now, but are they afforded the same rights as heteronormative marriages? Continue reading →
The name “Responsible Individuals List” may sound like an accolade to parents; however, this is a misnomer. For those unfortunate enough to find their family in the midst of an investigation of child abuse, neglect, and dependency the List is likely to be mentioned. It is important that anyone who finds themselves in this situation be aware of what the term means and the ramifications of being on this list. Continue reading →
1. What is the date of marriage? Prior to October 2014, same-sex couples could not marry in North Carolina. But what date of marriage will North Carolina recognize if the same-sex couple was earlier married or entered into a civil union in some other state before October 2014? The date of marriage is obviously critical in equitable distribution as marital property is created from the date of marriage to the date of separation. The North Carolina legislature has not dealt with this important date of marriage issue (civil union date) where the couple married (created a civil union) in another state prior to October 2014.
a. Arguably, the date of marriage is the date of the marriage license and ceremony in a state that recognized same-sex marriage on the actual date of the marriage. North Carolina should recognize that original marriage date because the couple could return to the state of the marriage and get a divorce.