A piece of legislation has been presented to one state that would impose state oversight on the transfer of child custody from one party to another. The matter has received widespread media coverage, and the practice of private custody transfers has been termed "re-homing," after the process by which pet owners find new homes for animals that they have adopted but no longer wish to care for. Readers in Florida and elsewhere will continue to follow the family law matter, as states debate how to address this growing problem.
Re-homing most often takes place after a family has adopted a child, only to find that they are unable to provide for the child's needs or handle behavior problems. The agencies and organizations who facilitated the original adoption are not usually willing to "take back" a child whom a family cannot or will not care for. This leaves both the child and the adoptive family with few options.
In some cases, families feel that they have no option other than to turn to social media or other outlets to try and find a more suitable home for their adopted child. When a match is found, the adoptive parents sometimes sign over their rights without conducting any form of investigation into the fitness of the new parents or guardians. This can be extremely dangerous to the child.
The proposed legislation would ban child custody transfers that are conducted outside of the state's oversight. The hope is that parents who want to transfer their rights will be directed to do so using the established state guidelines, which include screening of the prospective parents and follow-up visits to ensure that the child is settling into the new home. Readers in Florida and across the nation may have been unaware of this issue, and will wait to see how the family law matter is handled by legislators.
Source: concordmonitor.com, "Bill aims to ban unregulated child custody transfers, a process known as 're-homing'", Allie Morris, Feb. 17, 2016