Your Rights As A Father In Foster Care
Becoming a father can be overwhelming at any age and in any situation, but for a teenager in foster care, it comes with an additional set of challenges. You can negotiate them with planning, preparation, and the help of your attorney or social worker.
If you are a teen father in foster care, like other teen father, you have full parental rights unless a judge decides that you may harm your baby. This means that you have the right to visit with your child and even ask the court to give you custody of your child.
It can be difficult to coordinate visits with your child if you are a father in foster care, but your foster care placement should make reasonable accommodations for you to make sure you can visit - like allowing you to come home after curfew if your baby lives so far away that you can't get back before curfew. If your group home, foster parent, or other placement is not willing to work with you to make sure you can see your baby, contact your attorney for help.
You also have a right to visit with your baby even if your baby and/or his mother are not in foster care (unless a judge orders otherwise). Like all fathers, you also have the right to ask the court for custody of your baby if you think it is in the baby's best interest to live with you. As a practical matter, if you are a father in foster care it might take time for you to find a placement for you and your baby, but your agency should look into this option for you. You should speak with your attorney if you're having any problems exercising your rights as a father.