New Yorkâ€™s Appellate Court has recently ruled that its family court is not allowed to consider and grant an adoption of a child who is under the statesâ€™ care as the childâ€™s parent is no longer alive. This can be done only if the foster care agency approves the childâ€™s adoption, as reported by the New York Law Journal in an October 12th, 2012 news article.
Yary who is about six years old was taken from her mother a couple months after her birth in 2006, as he mother was unable to care for her. The motherâ€™s prior children were also taken from her care as well for the very same reason. The Bronx Family Court ordered the child to be taken away from her motherâ€™s care by the Administration for Child Services (ACS). The child was then placed into foster care with a foster mother. The child’s foster mother sought the girl’s adoption.
The state wanted the motherâ€™s rights to be terminated but before a decision was granted the mother died. The childâ€™s father was never a part of the childâ€™s life so she had no parents when her mother died. Thus, the ACS gave the foster care agency the power to agree to the childâ€™s adoption. However, when the foster mother and the childâ€™s aunt sought adoption then ACS claimed that the foster care agency was the one who could agree whether or not the child can be adopted. The Bronx Family Court held that it had the power to decide who could adopt the child as this was in the childâ€™s best interest.Â However, the Appellate Court reversed this holding, as the Bronx Family Court did not have the authority to do so.