OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) – A new law could reshape the way child dependency cases are handled in Washington state.
It could lead to more children staying with family members without those relatives being required to adopt them.
Under the current practice, the state forces relatives to adopt children when neither parent can take care of the child.
If family members don’t wish to adopt, the Department of Children, Youth and Families removes children from those placements and puts the child up for adoption, even if those relatives still want permanent kinship guardianship.
Children’s Home Society says the state has prioritized termination of parental rights instead of using other options.