New adoption law clarifies parental rights

New adoption law clarifies parental rights
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There is always something new to learn at the Ingram home and with six children, all with their own personalities, they definitely keep their parents busy.

“Being a mother and a wife are two of the most important things to me,” Kelli Ingram said.

The Ingram love children.

“As far back as I can remember I wanted to be a mom,” she said.

Kelli Ingram says it’s a calling that she and her husband Trey adopted. They have also fostered several children and one mother in particular wanted them to adopt her child.

“My wife and I cared for a little boy for 19 months from the time he was three weeks old,” Trey Ingram said

Trey Ingram is the co-director with Speak UP Voices with Foster Care. He says they were told they couldn’t petition a court for the child and neither could the mother because the child was in custody of the Department of Social Services- even though the mother had not lost her parental rights. 

“As a parent that scares me to think that the state might try to take parental rights without going through the judicial process to do so,” Trey Ingram said.

So, although the Ingrams did not get an opportunity to keep the child, they decided to fight and pushed for a proposed bill to make changes in how the law was interpreted.

“The children who have no voice, they’re all around us and we feel a great responsibility to care for them and be their voice,” Kelli Ingram said.

Now, after more than a year of pushing for a new law, it is official.

“Parents were being told you can’t choose adoption, your only option is fight D.S.S or relinquish your rights to D.S.S.,” Trey Ingram said.

The new law allows the parent to put the possibility of their child being adopted on the table, too.

“To be able to place that child for adoption with someone that’s known to the parent is a huge plus,” Trey Ingram said.

Copyright 2018 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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