The worker did go over the timeline of this child's situation and the numerous opportunities the little guy's foster mom has been given to adopt him. She's turned down every chance but doesn't want him adopted by anyone else either. Apparently, the subsidy, or lack thereof, is the sticking point for her. If she adopts him, she would lose the monthly foster care payment from the Department unless he's determined to have special needs, which at this point several evaluations state he doesn't have. If he had special needs and would get a subsidy after adoption, then she would have finalized already. She says she can't afford to keep him without the extra money. On the one hand I feel bad for her because it must be hard to think about giving up the child you've been raising for four years due to money. On the other hand, most people don't get paid to parent their own kids, and when you adopt that child becomes your own kid. Plus, I have a couple of friends who have children with significant special needs and it seems wrong to want your child to fall into that category. Finally, it's really not that much money per month and I think I'd sacrifice just about anything to keep him if I were in her situation. It's sad all around.
The legal questions aren't entirely answered to our satisfaction at this point either, but we're going to keep looking into it before the disclosure meeting.
Ultimately, everything is still up in the air for now.