“Summer” is a foster parent in her middle thirties who fostered in a kinship-care arrangement in 2013. She and her husband have two children, and have cared for family twice, including the niece who is the center of this story. He has a stable factory job and she is training for public service (e.g. fire department).
“My niece was born to my sister, who was struggling with drugs. CPS got involved when the baby was born and my sister & I agreed that I’d care for my niece until she was able to gain custody back. CPS allowed me to bring my niece home at 3 days. She was treated as one of our own. Her grandpa visited her, her brother visited her, her grandma visited her. It was a beautiful, loving family. I saved this niece twice. My sister was going to get an abortion at 6-months pregnant and then I saved her from being placed with strangers and I brought her home to be with her family.”
“We were all she knew. At 15 months old she was kidnapped by her foster care worker and placed with strangers she’d never seen before. No family was ever contacted about her staying with them. We were her mommy and daddy, and now we were gone. They’ve not let us see her or talk to her since that dreadful day.” The worst thing that happened was “When she was kidnapped from our home, no prior warning, nothing. No court order, no warrant, no judge signature, nothing. We were made to believe all along that we were gonna adopt her, we were even working with the adoption agency. We have all the paperwork from their own mouth stating they violated their own policies and our state laws. I have their paperwork from their own mouths that my niece was well-cared-for and loved. She was placed with complete strangers, no other family members were contacted. She was there for 3 days with these strangers and they were trying to adopt her secretly. Ombudsman has opened a full investigation on them for this and our local news station wants to do an on-camera interview with our family. We haven’t seen her, talked to her, talked to no one. I’ve been fighting and trying to get our story out there to anyone who will listen. Something needs to be done about how the system handles these families and poor, defenseless children. She called us mommy and daddy. We were in the process of filling out adoption papers and bam, she’s gone in the blink of an eye. We need help and any advice on what to do because I will not stop until I die. ”
We will “never do” foster care again. “Our family has been tragically torn apart by this, by the system. No matter how much proof you have stating that DHS violated their own policies and state laws (in their own black and white paperwork) – they still won’t bring her back to her family. How is it that the system can just rip families apart for no reason? Why do they get away with things like this? They are not only hurting the families but these children suffer tremendously. I believe if there is no abuse of any kind, no one in jail, no drug user, alcoholic, sexual predators, etc., then why take a family-related child from a home when in all the paperwork it clearly states she was perfectly loved and cared for? My belief is that it’s all about MONEY! Foster children placed with relatives gives them NO money. A child placed with strangers and adopted by strangers gives them a profit of $4,000-8,000 a child and $2,000 more if child on meds or has a disability. It’s so sick this world we live in. These workers, court personnel, judges, etc., need to be fully investigated every year. They need to be cleared of everything in order to remove a well-loved and cared-for child. In my eyes, the system is completely corrupt, devils, demons that demand money and bonuses. Everything is broken.”
The purpose of the foster care system is to “care for, love, honor, trust, be there for one another, family, [be a] safe and warming home.”
Summer’s story is deeply moving and concerning. I have followed up with her for more information and am waiting for her response before adding thoughts.