Update: Child’s Best Hope Act

Representative Adkins, Heather Rosenberg, Alan Abramowitz

On January 13, 2016, the House Subcommittee on Children, Families & Seniors heard testimony from Heather Rosenberg, the president of the Tallahassee Area Foster and Adoptive Parent Association.  Heather is also an adoptive parent with her own story to tell about the importance of the court considering the best interests of the child.  Heather spoke in support of House Bill 673 – The Child’s Best Hope Act.  This important legislation allows judges to make decisions regarding adoption intervention using the child’s best interest standard as defined in Chapter 39.  Although there have been a few modifications to the bill, they have been to strengthen the focus on the child’s best interest.   The subcommittee voted unanimously in favor of the bill.

Heather said it best – “There are times when an adoption intervention is a good and beautiful thing – when it is done very early in a case and with the right intention – it has the ability to get the child out of the dependency system and into permanency quickly. This is exactly what we need and want. But when a child has been in a stable, loving home for many, many months or sometimes even years – there needs to be a mechanism in place for the system or the court to take that into account and weigh whether or not the child is best served by the intervention.  After all, this should be about what is good and right for the child – not what is desired by or benefits the adults.   A child’s best hope for a strong future where they get to grow up happy, safe, confident and secure lies in our ability to do what’s in their best interest.”

You can listen to Heather Rosenberg’s Testimony on the Florida Channel athttp://thefloridachannel.org/videos/11316-house-subcommittee-children-families-seniors/

You can read the bill here: http://www.myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Documents/loaddoc.aspx?FileName=_h0657__.docx&DocumentType=Bill&BillNumber=0657&Session=2016