61 Kids and the Law What happens if the judge finds the Petitioner proved the allegations? If the judge finds the Petitioner proved its allegations, the judge may find the child in need of Care and Protection and commit the child to DCF. The child may be committed until his or her 18th birthday or until DCF decides the ob- ject of the commitment has been accomplished, whichever occurs first. The judge may make any other appropriate order in the best interests of the child, including but not limited to any one or more of the following: 1. The judge may allow the child to remain with a parent or guardian or other custodian, subject to conditions and limitations imposed by the court. 2. Subject to conditions and limitations, the judge may give temporary cus- tody to: • any individual who the court finds to be qualified to give care to the child, • any agency or private organization licensed or authorized to provide care, or • DCF. 3. The judge may order appropriate physical, medical and/or dental care. 4. The judge may enter an order freeing the child for adoption. This elimi- nates the need for consent by the parent or any other person to the adop- tion of the child. It is based on the judge finding: • that the child is in need of Care and Protection, and • that the best interests of the child will be served by this order.   In this order, the judge may include a provision for some continued con- tact between the parent and the child. 5. Whenever the child is in a foster home, the judge may order that grandpar- ents’ requests for visitation be allowed unless such visitation is not in the child’s best interests. In determining whether the best interests of the child will be served by en- tering an order freeing a child for adoption (and thus terminating parental rights), the law states the court shall consider the ability, capacity, fitness, and readiness of the parent to assume parental responsibility and shall consider the proposed plan of the Petitioner. The law has a detailed list of circumstanc- es which a judge should consider in making a decision. For example, the judge should consider if a child had been abandoned or severely abused. Care and Protection Cases 6