Finalizing the adoption of Stephanie Rivero and Ryan Cameron’s two foster sons meant more than providing closure for the Merced family. The couple would finally be able to make medical decisions for the 5-year-old, who has a life-threatening genetic condition and is scheduled for surgery this summer.
But the procedure may have to be delayed as family courts across the state have largely closed because of the coronavirus crisis. The family’s adoption hearing, originally scheduled for April, has been repeatedly pushed back and is now tentatively set for June 27.
“Having a child with significant medical needs and surgery coming up and not being able to make those important decisions for your child is heartbreaking,” Rivero said. “If we don’t have the adoption before then, we can’t be the ones that make the decisions, even though we’re his parents and we’ve done the research. We’re his strongest advocates.”
They are among thousands of foster families in California whose adoption plans have been thrown into chaos with family courts closed because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Times is withholding identifying details about the foster children in this article to comply with privacy laws.
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