Laws Allow Children To Be Taken From Parents Over Unpaid Foster Care Debt : Consider This from NPR Parents who have their kids placed in foster care often get a bill to reimburse the state for part of the cost. NPR found that in at least 12 states there are laws that say parents could lose their kids forever if they fail to pay it.

We hear about one family in North Carolina who had a child taken away because of an unpaid bill. And NPR investigative correspondent Joseph Shapiro takes a closer look at the laws behind such cases.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

In Some States, An Unpaid Foster Care Bill Could Mean Parents Lose Their Kids Forever

In Some States, An Unpaid Foster Care Bill Could Mean Parents Lose Their Kids Forever

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Brandon Cunningham, 42, and his wife, Sylvia, 39, relax at home in Roberson, NC on Oct. 21, 2022. The Cunninghams had their parental rights terminated for one of their children because they failed to pay a bill to cover some of the cost of foster care. Phyllis B. Dooney/Phyllis B. Dooney / NPR hide caption

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Phyllis B. Dooney/Phyllis B. Dooney / NPR

Brandon Cunningham, 42, and his wife, Sylvia, 39, relax at home in Roberson, NC on Oct. 21, 2022. The Cunninghams had their parental rights terminated for one of their children because they failed to pay a bill to cover some of the cost of foster care.

Phyllis B. Dooney/Phyllis B. Dooney / NPR

Parents who have their kids placed in foster care often get a bill to reimburse the state for part of the cost. NPR found that in at least 12 states there are laws that say parents could lose their kids forever if they fail to pay it.

We hear about one family in North Carolina who had a child taken away because of an unpaid bill. And NPR investigative correspondent Joseph Shapiro takes a closer look at the laws behind such cases.

In participating regions, you'll also hear a local news segment to help you make sense of what's going on in your community.

Email us at considerthis@npr.org.

This episode was produced by Brianna Scott, Meg Anderson and Elena Burnett. It was edited by William Troop and Robert Little. Our executive producer is Sami Yenigun.