“Amy” had been on both sides of the system—as a foster parent, then a parent whose children were taken by CPS. She had two children placed in foster care when she was in her 40s. Initially her girls were in foster families but after nineteen months, her parental rights were terminated and they were placed up for adoption. Amy is a counselor as a profession, and self-described as middle class. She said, “CPS had a personal agenda to take my children. They were not being abused in my home. I had adopted them and was requesting services for them and the state did not want to pay for the services they had agreed to when I adopted them.”  She felt that the system worked against her, her family, and her daughters. She felt the only thing she may have been able to do was move away because the state had already denied the therapy services her daughters needed. The system did not treat her children well, “They split the girls up. Did not allow contact with each other or their two brothers who were adopted by other families.”  The foster families, the judge, and other advocates all believed what the CPS workers were reporting. Amy insists these allegations were always false. “The system needs to shut down and start over with oversight from outside places that have no financial gain.”  The court workers “are all paid through the same funding pot. They only listen to CPS, I was never allowed to tell my story.” She thinks her story is somewhat representative of the way other parents are treated (even though she was an adoptive parent herself). “I have heard so many stories of people who had similar experiences. No rights, not allowed to share their story, gag order to protect CPS. Lies. CPS offers no proof, just their opinion which is considered truth.”  When asked what the purpose of the foster care is, Amy’s cynicism was clear, “Steal children to place for adoption for $$$ for the state.”

Amy added more to her story that is incredibly insightful:

“ I was never allowed to tell my side. My children wanted to come home, then suddenly one came to a visit with a burn on her hand and when I asked her what happened she wouldn’t tell me and suddenly she didn’t want to come home anymore. I was a foster parent for 4 years, had 21 placements, and ended up adopting 2 of them. I believed the lies CPS told…until CPS turned on me and lied about everything. Saying my house was unclean, even though I had workers in my home weekly. Saying I didn’t give their “in home” support a chance, when I had them in my home over a year and all they did was play board games with my mentally ill children. They didn’t want to offer mental health help, were upset I was requesting services for my kids. They only wanted to talk with me, not help my kids. The system is messed up, full of lies, workers who are burned out and don’t care, just want the kids out. More adopted kids; more money the state gets.”