Placement of Children With Relatives - Oregon

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Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 419B.192; 419B.116

If the court finds that a child needs placement or continuation in substitute care, there shall be a preference given to placement of the child with relatives and persons who have a caregiver relationship with the child. The Department of Human Services shall make diligent efforts to place the child with such persons and shall report to the court the efforts made by the department to effectuate that placement.

The term 'caregiver relationship' means a relationship between a person and a child that meets the following criteria:

  • The relationship has existed for at least the following time:
    • For the 12 months immediately preceding the initiation of the dependency proceeding
    • For at least 6 months during the dependency proceeding
    • For half of the child's life if the child is younger than 6 months old
  • The person who had physical custody of the child resided in the same household as the child.
  • The person provided the child on a daily basis with the love, nurturing, and other necessities required to meet the child's psychological and physical needs.
  • The child depended on the person to meet their needs.

'Caregiver relationship' does not include a relationship between a child and a person who is the nonrelated foster parent of the child unless the relationship continued for a period of at least 12 consecutive months.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 419B.192; 419B.654

In attempting to place the child, the department shall consider, but not be limited to considering, the following:

  • The ability of the person being considered to provide safety for the child, including a willingness to cooperate with any restrictions placed on contact between the child and others, and to prevent anyone from influencing the child regarding the allegations of the case
  • The ability of the person being considered to support the efforts of the department to implement the permanent plan for the child
  • The ability of the person being considered to meet the child's physical, emotional, and educational needs, including the child's need to continue in the same school or educational placement
  • Which person has the closest existing personal relationship with the child if more than one person requests to have the child placed with them
  • The ability of the person being considered to provide a placement for the child's sibling who is also in need of placement

If an Indian child needs placement or continuation in substitute care, the child must be placed in accordance with the order of preference established by the Indian child's Tribe or, if the Indian child's Tribe has not established placement preferences, is in accordance with the following order of preference:

  • A member of the Indian child's extended family
  • A foster home licensed, approved, or specified by the Indian child's Tribe
  • A foster home licensed or approved by a State agency and in which one or more of foster parents is an Indian
  • An institution for children that has a program suitable to meet the Indian child's needs and is approved by an Indian Tribe or operated by an Indian organization

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 419B.192

If a child or ward in need of placement or continuation in substitute care has a sibling also in need of placement or continuation in substitute care, the department shall make diligent efforts to place the siblings together and shall report to the court the efforts made by the department to carry out the placement, unless the court finds that placement of the siblings together is not in the best interests of the child or the ward or the child's or the ward's sibling.

Relatives Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 419B.654; Admin. Rules §§ 413-120-0730; 413-120-0760

If an Indian child needs adoptive placement, the Indian child shall be placed in accordance with the order of preference established by the Indian child's Tribe or, if the Indian child's Tribe has not established placement preferences, according to the following order of preference:

  • With a member of the Indian child's extended family
  • With other members of the Indian child's Tribe
  • With other Indian families

In regulation: When identifying potential adoptive resources for a child or sibling group, the caseworker must consider the needs and the best interests of each child and assess the knowledge, skills, and abilities of each potential adoptive resource in the following order of preference:

  • A relative as defined in rule 413-120-0000(68)(a)-(c), including any of the following:
    • Any blood or half-blood relative denoted by the prefixes of grand, great, or great-great
    • A parent's sibling or their adult child or the child's sibling, stepsibling, or first cousin
    • A spouse of anyone listed above
    • A sibling through a putative father
    • A stepparent or former stepparent if the child had a relationship with that person
    • A domestic partner or former domestic partner of the child's parent
    • The adoptive parent of a sibling of the child
    • An unrelated parent of a half-sibling who resides with the half-sibling
  • A person who, as defined in rule 413-120-0000(68)(d), is not related to the child but has an emotionally significant relationship with the child or family
  • When a child or sibling group has a current caregiver, the current caregiver and a relative
  • A general applicant

The department will consider relatives among all family members who have expressed an interest and may choose up to a total of three families for adoption home studies.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

Citation: Admin. Rules § 413-120-0760

The child's caseworker must comply with the following requirements:

  • Make reasonable efforts to identify and place the child with an adoptive resource in a timely manner
  • Request input about the knowledge, skills, abilities, and commitment a potential adoptive resource needs to best meet the current and lifelong needs of the child from the following:
    • Professionals who have worked closely with the child, when applicable
    • The child's attorney, court-appointed special advocate, Tribal representative, and substitute caregiver, when applicable
  • Receive and review adoption home studies in a timely manner
  • Following consultation with their supervisor, identify up to three potential adoptive resources following the order of preference in rule 413-120-0730 to be considered for adoption placement selection who meet the following criteria:
    • Meet the standards of an adoptive home
    • Have the knowledge, skills, abilities, and commitment to raise each child
    • Have the capacity to meet the current and lifelong safety, attachment, and well-being needs of the child or sibling group