Ethics for Custody Battles Between Foster Parents

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A custody battle can be a difficult time for all involved, but especially for children. Learn about the ethics for custody battles between foster and birth parents with help from a psychologist in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Parenting Tips
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Video Transcript

This is Dr. Jeff Gardere, “America’s Psychologist,” on the proper ethics for custody battles between birth and foster parents. Quite often, when children are placed into foster care and into the homes of foster parents, a new family and new dynamic is formed. Quite often, the children and the foster parents may develop an affinity and a deep bond. But still, the children usually miss their birth parents, and may in fact be reunited with them in the near future. So, this now sets up a conflict between the foster parents and the birth parents. However, in this battle, there are no winners, only losers, and the primary losers are the children, who now must deal with yet more issues of separation and grief. So, hoping to minimize the emotional assault on the minds of the children, the following are some guidelines that both birth and foster parents should follow when it comes to dealing with the children and determining final custody. First, birth and foster parents should never badmouth one another in the presence of the children. This will only serve to confuse them and cause emotional conflict. Secondly, birth and foster parents should not try to emotionally bribe the children, in that it will make them just much more confused. Before any decisions should be made, children should be consulted, as well as the foster care agency with their social workers and psychologists, as to the best decision for the children. But, most importantly, birth parents, foster parents, and the foster care agency, no matter how well-intentioned they may be, should realize that the needs of everyone else. This is psychologist Dr. Jeff Gardere on the proper ethics for custody battles between birth and foster parents.

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