An intervention or intervention adoption takes place when the biological mother or father of a child, whose rights aren’t yet terminated, executes a legal consent for the placement of their child(ren). Two main factors come into play with these cases- the best interest of the child and whether or not the parent’s rights are in-tact. In a recent case, two children of birth parent, Alycyia, had been flourishing in the care of a loving local adoptive family for almost two years. Suddenly, against Alycyia’s desires, the children were removed and placed with a distant family member miles away, out of the state.
Imagine being 2 and 6 years old, dropped off at school one day by your only known “family” and the next thing you know you’re picked up by a caseworker and driven hours and hours away without even saying good-bye. Although the family member out of state was biologically related to the children, the girls had created positive bonds and were thriving with the foster family, friends and teachers for the last 700 days. While living with their foster family, the girls were provided with stability, close contact with their biological family and also developed substantial positive attachments. Plus, may we not forget, it’s the birth parent’s constitutional right to choose placement under chapter 63 of the Florida State Statute. Such was the case for Alycia…
Florida Statute § 63.082(6) permits intervention in a dependency case where parental rights have not been terminated and parents have executed a consent for placement with qualified adoptive parents. In these cases, courts must not only ask whether a parent’s chosen adoptive placement is appropriate, but also whether that choice is actually in the best interest of the child.
Being that it was her right, Alycyia worked with the Foster family and the Ellen Kaplan legal team to intervene in the dependency case using Intervention laws designed to promote permanency through Adoption. How does it work exactly? Well, the parent whose parental rights are intact contacts an adoption attorney and executes consent for adoption of their child(ren) by (a homestudy ready) family of the parents choosing- can be a family member, nort relative, foster parent or any other qualified individual. When the birth parent chooses a pre-adoptive family with a favorable home study, the law office files a motion in the court to intervene (using the approved home study and consents from the birth parents). From there, a hearing is held wherein a judge either grants or denies the motion for the children to be placed with the family chosen by the birth parents.
For Alycia, her goal was to get her girls placed back in the DeSimone (foster) home where she, as their mother, knew would be best for each of their lives. It was an uphill battle. Ten days of trial later, Alycia was able to see her kids stabilized with permanency Effectuating their adoption with the DeSimones.
We sat down with Alycia to gather her story in hopes of educating other biological parents on the option of adoption through intervention:
- What prompted your desire to take part in an intervention?
A: My girls were removed out of state to an Aunt I did not approve of.
- What were your emotions during the intervention?
A: Mostly nervous, and scared. But it was worth it.
- Why were you choosing the Desimones to care for the children over the great aunt?
A: Because they [The DeSimone family] provide the best and most family like setting for the girls and the best option for a normal life. As their mom, I want that for them.
- Would things be different if you hadn’t taken part in the intervention?
A: A lot different, I would question their safety the rest of my life.
- Words of wisdom/advice for anyone involved in an intervention?
A: Go with your gut on what’s the best for your kids. Fight until the end!
- What was the outcome of the intervention adoption?
A: We won! The Desimone’s got the adoption granted and my kids get to have a normal family. Now I get to see my kids and the Desimone’s support my efforts towards bettering myself so I can be the best for my biological children. I couldn’t have asked for a better mom and dad for them!!
- If you were to think of one thing you could change involving the intervention adoption?
A: The length of the process was excruciating. I would change the agencies’ (DCF and GAL’s) outlook on being more supportive of birth parents.
- Would you recommend intervention adoption to other families in similar situations?
A: Absolutely. NO questions asked. I would do it all over again to get my girls where I wanted them.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a situation similar to Alycyia’s, we want to help! Every case is unique and comes with it’s own challenges and hurdles but we will be there for you every step of the way. Contact Attorney Ellen Kaplan via text or phone at 954-270-2787 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org
-insight, support and answers are just a text or call away!