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New York Expands Eligibility for Kin Who Want to Foster Children []


By Rachel Nielsen, The Chronicle of Social Change, November 14, 2019

When caseworkers remove children from their homes and place them into foster care, it can be jarring and traumatic. A new law in New York aims to ease the transition by enabling a wider circle of family members and even non-relatives to become the kids’ foster parents.

That law, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) signed in late October, broadens the definition of relatives. Previously, only certain blood relatives of a parent of a child in foster care could petition courts to become the child’s foster parents.

Now, in addition to blood relatives, the courts will consider non-blood relatives, such as people related to the child by marriage or adoption, and even so-called fictive kin — “an adult with a positive relationship with the child,” such as a step-parent, godparent, neighbor or family friend.

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