Asked in Adoption and Family Law for Alaska

Q: Foster parents rights to adoption what are the legal options?

We have had a child for 3 years since she came out of the NICU at 41 days. She was born addicted to heroin. Her mother has only seen her three times in almost three years. They have 15 months to show improvement. No relatives were found in Alaska to take her and out of the blue one shows up a great grandfather. Now they want to have her and our OCS has cleared it. Her drug addict mother lives with him so she would be going back to her. He USED to be a CPS worker. He raised her mother when she was a child. Both her mother and grandmothers are drug addict thieves. She is leaving in less than two weeks. We need to know every route we can take to get her back to us. She has sever emotion problems from the drugs and medical problems an elderly man cannot keep up with and her mother would not be able to deal with.

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1 Lawyer Answer
Stefan Otterson
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  • Family Law Lawyer
  • Anchorage, AK
  • Licensed in Alaska

A: You should first do everything you can to work things out with the social worker. If possible, you should try to get the guardian ad litem to advocate in your favor. If you have no luck with the social worker, go up the chain to his/her supervisor, and on up. OCS has broad discretion to make placement decisions, so you're at a big disadvantage if you have to challenge them in court. If all else fails, you can intervene in the CINA proceeding to file a motion for placement, and ask for a hearing. Also ask for an order that OCS not make any changes pending a decision on your motion. You would have to show that the OCS placement decision is an abuse of discretion. You will probably want legal assistance, as this is a very difficult case to present.

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