A young woman and her three younger sisters were adopted in December 2003 with adoption subsidy benefits provided on their behalf to their adoptive parents. Their adoptive father died in December 2012. Their adoptive mother died four years later. After the death of their adoptive mother, the young woman, now 23, assumed care of her three younger sisters (17, 17, 19). In January 2017 – a month after the passing of their adoptive mother – she went to the state courts in the Hudson Valley so she could become the legal guardian for her sisters. She was bounced around between Family Court and Surrogate’s Court for half a day until she was finally told to file papers in her attempt to become the legal guardian for all three of her sisters in Surrogate’s Court.
In August, 2017 – eight months later – the woman was then told to file for guardianship in Family Court. During this period her sisters’ original adoption subsidy payments from 2003 were suspended by NYS ACS in March 2017. In November 2017, the young woman was appointed temporary guardian of her sisters. In January 2018, she was appointed full guardianship of her twin sisters (now 18) but was denied guardianship of her (then 19 year old sister) who turned 21 ten days earlier in January 2018.
The purpose of applying for guardianship of her then 19 year old sister was to have the ability to apply for parent plus loans since her sister was a sophomore in college when their adoptive mother passed in 2016. Due to this huge mishap and the stopped payments by ACS, the woman requested a hearing to review the case at hand.
The delays that resulted from the current court structure caused a loss of social services benefits that the family was entitled to receive.