In case you are new to our journey, this particular story is documented here, here, here. It then took left turns here, here, and then here. I ranted and gave more details here. So, if it took 3 left turns it should be back around the place it started right?
Well, actually, yes it is.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before in any of the above posts, but we've known about an issue with new baby's situation for a while. First, we are licensed for 4, not 5, so we'll have to get our license extended for 5 before we can take in the new baby. That in and of itself is not a big deal. Afterall, we've had that conversation with our caseworker easily 5-10 times over the last year and "officially" regarding this case during his last quarterly visit. That should not be too much of a big deal. (Extending it to 7 however, would be more of an issue!)
The remaining issue is a little rule/law that will prevent us from having the baby through a private adoption at all. I knew this rule existed. I confirmed with our attorney. I confirmed with our caseworker. It's there and not something that we can just overlook.
When you become licensed as a foster and/or adoptive parent (I'm guessing it really only applies to foster care now that I think about it...) you can only be licensed through one agency. This makes perfect sense. (and God knows I would never EVER wish to be licensed by different agencies at the same time! Two different caseworkers, sets of rules, etc. It's bad enough having different cases at the same time especially when they are in different counties!) Think about it - the state is trying to prevent a couple situations - all related to how many children you have and how you are caring for them. Theoretically, if you were licensed by two different agencies, you could figure out a way to have let's say 5 babies from one agency and 4 from another. If one agency licenses you for a particular parameter and you don't like it, you could go and get a different parameter from another agency. The state doesn't want that to happen and that's completely understandable. They want to know that who ever is responsible for licensing you knows the whole story and they are in control of which kids are in your home when.
Like I said, I completely understand that and agree with it. It makes it very easy to enforce when the rule is just a blanket one like that.
Then enters our situation. We are a currently licensed home through the state. The state refuses to get involved with the new baby (which, personally I don't agree with and neither do folks from the other counties around us, but I digress...). We would like to have the new baby and keep it with his sibling, #4. Bio parents would like us to have the baby. CPS would like us to have the baby. CASA would like us to have the new baby. Extended bio family would like us to have the new baby. Ad litem would like us to have the new baby. And on....and on...and on...
The only way for us to have the new baby, since CPS will not get involved and therefore place the baby with us, is for us to adopt the baby privately. Then enters the rule...we can't take in children that aren't placed with us by our licensing agency (the state). So, we CAN'T take in the baby. If they called me today to say that the baby was being born, I couldn't take the baby in. I'd have to deny it. Imagine the confusion that would place in mom and dad's head? We're denying their baby? The one we've gone back and forth over for months? The one we have legal documents already prepped for? The one they want to relinquish to us?
Yep, that's right.
So, although there are many folks "working on it" and I fully believe it will work out somehow in the end (which appears to be 3-5 weeks away!), right now we are sitting here.
And then comes the email from an anonymous person involved in the case (at least anonymous to you all...I know who sent it) who said that the only other option is to "have mom abandon the baby at the hospital with a note that says for it to go to us through CPS".
So let me get this straight. I'm supposed to tell the birthmom, the one who I've promised I would care for her children forever, the one who has been threatened by CPS if she calls them when the baby is born, that she needs to leave her baby at the hospital with a note to call CPS who should give the baby to us? Really? And all that is better than just getting invovled in the first place? In either scenario they'd end up with the same type of financial responsibility (which we know they are trying to avoid). Seems to me the best thing for the child is not to have his mother just abandon him when there is a completely better alternative ready and lined up.
And getting me involved? I don't think so. I can see it now...me on some courtTV reality show..."Ms. Mie - is it true that you told birthmom to abandon her newborn child so that you could have custody?" Mie: yes, well someone told me to do it". Yeah, I don't think so.
I don't know what's going to happen at this point. I wouldn't even begin to speculate how this will turn out. I'm really really hoping that one particular scenario doesn't play out - the one where we can't take the baby in that moment because of all that above and therefore the hospital gets birthmom in contact with a private agency again. I don't know - maybe that would work out because they'd get CPS involved?
We'll have to just see. If all the details weren't so darn confidential (and, involving real life people and kids!), I think this would be perfect reality TV material don't you?