PRESERVE FAMILY BONDS:
Allow for Open Adoptions Out of Foster Care
A growing body of research shows that openness in adoption is beneficial to children.
But under New York law, a family court judge cannot order an open adoption for children adopted out of foster care after their parent's rights have been terminated, even if both the child and the birth parent want it and where contact would be in the child’s best interest.
After many years of advocates fighting for reform, the New York State Legislature has passed a bill that recognizes the importance for children adopted out of foster care to maintain connections with their biological families where appropriate.
Governor Cuomo needs to sign this bill.
The Preserving Family Bonds Act (S.4203A/A.2199A) gives judges the authority to decide if continued contact with the birth parent is in the child’s best interest.
Research shows that foster and adoptive children benefit from having an ongoing relationship with their families of origin, which include not only parents but grandparents, siblings and other extended family members. They develop a deeper understanding of their family history and themselves. They are able to build relationships of support that can help the young person to succeed throughout their life. If a child in foster care has an existing relationship with their biological parent, the state should not stand in the way of that relationship.
Other states, including Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, West Virginia, and Nebraska, already allow for open adoptions from foster care where continued contact is in the child’s best interest.
It is time for New York to embrace the national trend towards open adoptions and pass the Preserving Family Bonds Act.
Add your name and tell Governor Cuomo that the time is now: Sign the Preserving Family Bonds Act (A.2199.A/S.4203.A) into law!
Learn more about the Preserving Family Bonds Act
New York Law Journal: Bill Allowing Child Visitation for Parents Whose Rights Are Terminated Set to Become Law
The Preserving Family Bonds Coalition is a coalition of legal services providers and non-profit organizations that work with child welfare-involved children and families, including:
The Bronx Defenders, Brooklyn Defender Services, Brooklyn Law School Disability & Civil Rights Clinic, Center for Family Representation, Chief Defenders Association of New York, The Children’s Law Center, Coalition for Homeless Youth, Columbia County Public Defender, Families, Fathers & Children, Inc., Hour Children, Lansner & Kubitschek, Lawyers for Children, The Legal Aid Society, Linda Gehron, Esq. (Onondaga County), Monroe County Conflict Defender’s Office, Monroe County Public Defender’s Office, Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, New York State Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, New York State Defenders Association, New York University Family Defense Clinic, The Osborne Association, Rise Magazine, Sinergia, St. Lawrence County Conflict Defender's Office, Women’s Prison Association
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