Trisha Justin seeks advice in resolving the following dilemma: A child care worker is sent to the home of a woman who has abused her child. The child is taken into protective custody and eventually given to a foster mother until the biological parent is able to care for her son again. Three years pass and the biological parent has done everything to get her child back according to the laws of her state. The foster mother has gotten used to the child in her home and wants to adopt him. She is skeptical of giving the child up for fear that the child will be abused again. What would you do? Your responses are appreciated! The webmaster has posted his own response.
An interesting and painful dilemma. I would encourage the consideration of the due process principles discussed in this website’s decision making framework (see link). Under the principle of substantive due process, a natural mother has a fundamental right to enjoy custody of her child(ren) unless the state has a compelling reason for ending it. Here, the natural mother has appeared to honor all of the requirements imposed on her by the state to regain custody. Perhaps the cooperation of the foster parent could be sought in keeping up an on-going relationship with the child.