February 5th, 2008
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Categories: News, Media, Siblings

House Bill 1006 has passed in Colorado that will help foster children that have siblings in different foster homes and also when a sibling ages out of foster care. It is not uncommon for foster children to be separated in foster care. In some areas, foster siblings can find themselves separated by a number of miles making visits difficult and more likely not to happen.

In these situations, siblings are the only family that these foster children may have. A lot of foster children did not have biological parents that they could depend on, so they learned to depend only on each other. In most cases, the bond with foster siblings is a very strong one.

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The older children tends to be the parent so to speak, since there was not a biological parent around or able to parent. It can be very difficult and hard on the older children not be in the parental position once they enter foster care.

In Colorado, sisters (age: 17 and 9, when they came in care) were separated and placed into foster care due to their biological mother’s drug addiction. The older sister emancipated herself and went on to have two children. After she had her two children, the foster parents cut off contact between the sisters (age: 22 and 13, now). They have not seen each other for two years.

Young adults that were once foster children made a difference by going to the Colorado legislature to testify for foster siblings to have the right to remain in contact with each other. They were successful in their fight for the rights of foster children and have impacted the lives of current and future foster children.

Foster sibling relationships are another thing that gets lost in the foster care system and has become a casualty. This is another area were the children pay the price for their biological parents issues.

More reading:

How to Help Maintain Sibling Contact

Camp for Siblings Separated by Adoption or Foster Care

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2 Responses to “Colorado Pass Bill – Helping Siblings in Foster Care”

  1. condo-mom says:

    Is this a trend? Are other states following suit with laws about the rights of foster siblings to see each other? When you say that former foster children were “successful in their fight,” who exactly opposed this bill, and for what reasons? If I were a foster parent of children who were adversely affected by visits with their foster sibs, I guess it would be hard to feel positive about visits. What happens in cases where there has been abuse between sibs, or the siblings have a generally unhealthy relationship? — Rachel

  2. John says:

    Rachel, you are right. There is no guarantee that the sibs will be appropriate for each other or the families. Yes, the parent, foster or adoptive has to be the decsion maker. In the example, the older sister is doing a beautiful job of modeling really bad decsiion making for her younger sister, how is the foster family being evil for saying this is not a good influence? Any non-foster, non-adoptive family would make the same decsion. Lets not confuse best intrest of the child with the child knows best. John

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