Legal Rights

Parents’ legal rights in child welfare proceedings vary from state to state, and even in different cities. Work with your lawyer or a parent advocate to learn more about your rights. Rise’s interviews with lawyers offer guidance on your rights and responsibilities.

Fostering Connections

Parents’ relationships with foster parents affect their cases.

Recent research suggests that children in foster care who are placed with relatives do better than those placed with foster families. According to a study published in the journal Families in Society, children in kinship care endure fewer moves from home to home, are less likely to remain in care long-term (but also less likely to be reunified with their parents), and are less likely to end … Read More

Part of the Team

You have a right to make decisions about your child’s mental health treatment in foster care.

If your child is in foster care, you still have the right to be involved in his or her mental health treatment. Bronx Defenders lawyer Keren Farkas and social work supervisor Ariane Eigler explain how to advocate for yourself and your child.

Q: When children are in foster care, what rights do parents have to make decisions about their child’s … Read More

Beyond Shame and Denial

Keeping your kids safe from domestic violence

Domestic violence is considered harmful to children and you can be charged with neglect if there is domestic violence in your home. However, domestic violence cases also are complex. We spoke with Lauren Shapiro, founder anddirector of the Brooklyn Family Defense Project, and Derek Silvers, director ofFriends to Fathers, about parents’ legal rights and obligations if there is violence in their homes

Q: What do parents need to … Read More

Burden of Proof

Fathers must take responsibility to earn their rights.

Lauren Elfant, an attorney with Bronx Defenders, explains fathers; legal rights and responsibilities.

Q: How can new fathers protect their relationships with their children?A: When your child is born, you want the mom to put your name on the birth certificate and you want to stay involved. Regular contact with your children is very important. If you’re not on your child’s birth certificate, then you should … Read More

The Devil’s in the Details

What parents need to know about post-adoption contract

Almost three years ago, I signed a “conditional surrender,” giving up parental rights of my oldest child, who was eventually adopted. The agreement stated that I would continue to be able to visit my daughter. The adoptive parent broke the agreement and I have not seen my daughter in almost three years. Now I regret not fighting to keep my two children together.Here, Margaret Burt, an attorney … Read More