Assembly Member Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) introduced AB 1794. Read the full press release here.
Asm. Gipson Introduces Bill Strengthening Family Connections for Adopted Youth
SACRAMENTO, Calif (February 28, 2022) – Democratic Caucus Chair, Mike A. Gipson (D-Carson) introduced AB 1794, which would allow children and young adults adopted through the child welfare system to maintain critical connections to their biological family and community.
Often, when parental rights are terminated in child welfare cases, the adopted child loses all familial ties, including with siblings. AB 1794 looks to address the gaps and inconsistencies in implementation of current law surrounding siblings who are separated by adoption.
“Ensuring that those in the foster care system have access to the essential bond of a blood relative is a basic right any child deserves,” said Assemblymember Mike A. Gipson. “To bring clarity to the lives of those who have faced so much uncertainty is God’s work. I am grateful to be continuing the good work that the Children’s Law Center of California (“CLC”) has done to better the lives and brighten the futures of youth in foster care. We have plenty of work to do. But, this is a step toward a better foster care system.”
Additionally, in some circumstances, a child/nonminor dependent may re-establish a relationship with their biological parents when an adoption fails. It makes sense for these children, who want to live with their birth parents, to have an option to reinstate the biological parents’ rights; however, there is no mechanism for this process to occur. AB 1794 provides a path forward for these families.
“Maintaining and strengthening familial bonds, like those with siblings, is crucial to child well-being and permanency outcomes for children in foster care,” said Julie McCormick, Senior Policy Attorney at CLC. “We are grateful to Assemblymember Gipson for his continued leadership in promoting and preserving family connections and applaud the introduction of AB 1974.”
“Bonds between siblings are often the only familial links our clients have. Yet, many of our clients report losing contact with their biological siblings who have been adopted,” shared Lindsay Verity, Non-Minor Dependent Attorney at CLC. “As a result, our clients sometimes do not know their own brothers or sisters’ adoptive names or how to get in touch with them. AB1794 will repair families who have been torn apart by the system and preserve these vital sibling relationships.”