You rescue groups who are winging it with a hope and a prayer without having a thing in writing and the most spurious of all legal structures in place, filing the wrong tax forms and routinely ending up getting stiffed on adoption fees — why? Why are you doing that? Why not make it easier for me to help you by exercising just a little bit of adult judgment ahead of time and getting your stuff in one sock?
Let’s start with adoption and foster contracts.
Now, let me start by saying that the “adoption contract” does not have to be in writing to be enforceable. Technically. In most states — and yes, there’s some recent law on this that may change things — but in MOST states in MOST circumstances, what you’re doing is selling a piece of property.
I know, I know. But you can deal with facts or you can deal with the whole “adoption” concept — just telling you what reality is. And a sale of a piece of personal property worth less than a certain amount doesn’t have to be in writing to be enforceable. Most places, that’s $500. Your mileage may vary.
That said — get it in writing. Both adoption and foster contracts. The reason is that you’re going to be knocking on my door asking for pro bono work AND for equitable relief from a court and I just am not happy about that if you’ve already got it all screwed up when you probably KNEW you ought to get it in writing but you’re “too busy” doing rescue to beg borrow or steal one from another group and yet you want ME to work it into my schedule after it all goes south. Gee, thanks.
Get. It. In. Writing.
It’ll settle outside of court faster, Animal Control will be more amenable to help, and life will just be much much easier if you don’t ask me to prove up a long series of he said/she said litanies, concomitant with finessing the whole hearsay issues AND avoiding having to subpena your entire Facebook account.
Go to this excellent website and use the ones that a very capable rescue attorney has spent a lot of time thinking about. Check out The Lexus Project’s model forms. (http://thelexusproject.org/resources)