Did you know that, as a foster parent, you have rights?
Did you know that there is a thing called the “Foster Parent Bill of Rights?”
If not, you are in for a treat. Back in 2004, the Alabama State Legislature adopted the Foster Parent Bill of Rights. It became codified as Alabama Code Section 38-12A-2. The Foster Parent Bill of Rights places an affirmative duty on the Department of Human Resources to ensure that foster parents have certain rights. For the full text of the Foster Parent Bill of Rights, click here.
Perhaps the two most important provision are Sections 12 and 14.
Section 12 explains the Department of Human Resource’s duties to foster parents in the realm of Individualized Service Plans, or ISPs. In short, the Department of Human Resources, by law, must inform foster parents when ISPs are scheduled and give foster parents an opportunity to “actively participate” in the meeting.
Section 14 explains the Department of Human Resource’s duties to foster parents as it relates to court hearings. The teeth of this section requires the Department of Human Resources to provide timely “notice and an opportunity to be heard” at all court hearings. This provision mandates that the Department of Human Resources notifies the foster parent of a scheduled court hearing as soon as the Department knows about it. Foster parents are also entitled to be present at the hearing and provide meaningful input.
This right is critical to achieving the best interest of the child. Often, the foster parent is the adult who is best acquainted with the welfare of the child; often, the foster parent has spent 100 times as many hours with the child as any other adult. It’s crucial that foster parents are not only allowed, but equipped to articulate their opinion as it relates to the child’s best interest.
For more information on advocacy for foster children, please contact The Adoption Law Firm.
About the author
Sam and his wife Mary Beth were inspired to establish The Adoption Law Firm during the process of adopting their first son, Robi (read more about their experience on the blog, Go Get Robi).
Sam and Mary Beth were exposed to the great need for loving families to adopt abandoned children at home and around the world. They began to dream of a law center that could zealously advocate for children to be placed in loving homes. Eventually, that dream became a reality.
The Adoption Law Firm exists to zealously advocate for orphaned children to be adopted into loving homes.
Samuel J. McLure, Esq.
- Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
J.D., Cum Laude
- Huntingdon College
B.A. Business Administration – International Business
- Alabama Attorney General Candidate (2018 Election Cycle)
- The Adoption Law Firm (2011 – Current)
- Lifeline Children’s Services (2015 – 2016)
Senior Legal Counsel
- Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton, & Davis (Fall 2012)
Law Clerk – Corporate Litigation
- Jones Walker (Summer 2010)
Law Clerk – Banking & Finance
- Supreme Court of Alabama (Spring 2010)
Law Clerk Externship – Justice Smith
- Prof. Matt Vega – Jones School of Law (Fall 2009 – Spring 2010)
Research Assistant – Alien Tort Statute
- Office of the Attorney General of Alabama (Summer 2009)
Law Clerk Internship – White Collar Crime Division
- Alabama’s Political Candidates and Their Capacity to Care For Orphans, Alabama Political Reporter (April 25, 2017).
- The End of Orphan Care, Archdeacon Books (June 8, 2016).
- Absent Biological Fathers in Adoption: Noticing the Nuance of Notice, Faulkner Law Review, Vol. 6, Issue 2, pg. 305 (Spring 2015).
- Conviction and Contentment: Surveying Alabama’s Strategies to Care for Abused and Neglected Children, Alabama Today (May 22, 2015).
- State Constitutional Personhood Amendments and the Promotion of Justice in Alabama, Regent Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2012).
- Embracing Orphan Care & Adoption, River Region’s Journey, at pg. 22 (February 2012).
- What is the Cost of Adoption?, River Region’s Journey, at pg. 26 (February 2012).
- Adoption, Sav-A-Life of Montgomery, Inc., Vol. 26, Issue 11 (November 2011).
The End of Orphan Care, by Sam McLure
The End of Orphan Care, now available through Amazon, is perhaps the most comprehensive work on orphan care, to date.
Samuel E. Upchurch, Jr., Founder and Chairman of the Board Oakworth Capital Bank, states that:
“Sam McLure makes a scholarly case for Christians everywhere to follow the admonitions in James 1:27 to visit the orphans in their afflictions. McLure paints a picture which expands the definition of “orphans” and the meaning of “visit” and calls on the Church to care for the unborn, the fatherless and the at risk youth everywhere. I began reading this book to write an endorsement but, as one with an adopted grandchild, found much historical and theological support for adoption.”