there was a post on one of the boards about problems with a foster to adopt...and it brought to mind the possible problem surrounding foster to adopts..namely the animal is in a home and essentially beyond the reach of the rescue. this is because many folks use the same contract for foster to adopts as they do for outright adoptions..they just say somewhere that the contract is not official until A,B,C have been completed.
rescues need two entirely separate contracts...one for adopters and one for fosters...no one can be both of these things at the very same time on the same piece of paper.
foster agreements must be crystal clear as to who actually legally owns the animal..this can be substantiated by not only the contract signed but also by the verifiable responsible actions of ownership of the rescue involved. like...do not send out animals with foster to adopt contracts that state said animal will be spayed/neutered by X date. all animals must be spayed/neutered, tattoo'd or microchipped and paid for by the rescue BEFORE the animal leaves rescues care. all vet care must be provided by the rescue to any animal in foster care..if foster families decide to cover some of the vet costs themselves, this becomes a donation to the rescue and requires a tax receipt. never let it be murky or unclear or open to discussion as to who is the actual legal owner of any foster animal. a foster animal is an animal belonging to the rescue. an adopted animal once officially adopted belongs to the adopters.
foster to adopts go sideways if we use them as a..well..hmmm...lets look and see. either the home is a good match for the animal and we are sure this home will meet our recommendations and expectations of care to be provided or they are not. we are adopting to homes who with our due diligence, we are assured meet the animals needs and comply with our contracts. we are not adopting on a wish or a prayer or even a possibly maybe.
I do not care how good a home may be..if I get the slightest inclination that the potential adopter may be hesitant about following thru or adhereing to the contract..could be they do not like the have to return clause..they may not like the cannot euthanize clause...or the part that gives us the legal authority to immediately claim any of our animals who may end up in a shelter somewhere..that adoption is dead in the water immediately.
when we allow or expect foster to adopts to do rescue's very most basic work like spay/neuters, tattoo'ing...how were we in fact the rescuers? it will look to any judge and jury that we took an animal in, did pretty much nothing at all and then passed him or her on to someone who did quite a bit more for the animal than the rescue actually did. and an unclear foster to adopt contract is not going to help all that much. the contract itself makes it clear that we intended to adopt the animal to this person, this person has done some of the owner type basic legal responsibility things...food, shelter, vet care...if they didn't meet our full not legally enforceable wishlist, the courts will not care.
foster are fosters.
adopters are adopters.
and neither is both at the very same time.