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2001 Jordan Institute
for Families

Vol. 6, No. 1
February 2001

The Link Between Adoption and Successful TPR

Jane Thompson, a child welfare attorney and a trainer with the North Carolina Department of Justice, has some insight into the link between agencies' ability to plan concretely for adoption and judges' willingness to terminate parental rights.

Through recent interactions with juvenile court judges, DSS workers, and attorneys, Thompson says she is "hearing more frequently of judges who are refusing to terminate parental rights because the child does not have an identified adoptive home or an adoption plan that looks successful. As more TPRs are done, more post-TPR reviews—required by 7B-908 and 909—are also being done. In fact they occur every 6 months until the child is placed for adoption and an adoption petition filed."

"Judges who see the same child come through several of these post-TPR reviews with no permanence achieved are beginning to balk at future TPRs where DSS has no definite adoptive home and has not even put an adoption search plan in place prior to TPR. Judges do not want to create legal orphans."

There are many things DSS's can do to locate adoptive home prior to TPR. Agencies must make every effort to succeed in this area so judges will believe granting a TPR not only severs the child from one family but will lead to a permanent home with another family.

Source: Thompson, J. (January 2001). Personal communication. Asheville, NC.

2001 Jordan Institute for Families