Legally Kidnapped

Shattering Your Child Welfare Delusions Since 2007


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Moscow Officials Sued For Allowing Gay Couple to Adopt

Russia’s Investigative Committee has accused social welfare officials in Moscow of criminal negligence for allowing a gay couple to raise children they adopted nearly a decade ago.

Russia banned gay adoption, along with “homosexual propaganda among minorities,” in 2013.

More >> Moscow Officials Sued For Allowing Gay Couple to Adopt

‘High Number of Requests for Adoption of Children in Iran’

An Iranian official says there are currently 10 requests for adoption of per child in Iran, particularly after single women were recently authorized to apply for.

Montazer Shabar says the high number of requests has prolonged the process of adoption.

More >> ‘High Number of Requests for Adoption of Children in Iran’

Preventing Ky. family separation through Families First

MOREHEAD Preventing family separation and reducing the number of children entering the foster care system is the goal of a child welfare act explained in one of nine statewide forums held recently in Rowan County.

The Family First Preservation Services Act, passed in the 2019 regular legislative session and signed into law by Gov. Matt Bevin, implements child welfare reform by redirecting federal funds - Title IV-E funding- to evidence-based, preventative services for children, parents or caregivers.

More >> Preventing Ky. family separation through Families First

State board to rule on future of Children Services strike

Montgomery County’s Children Services division and the union representing its workers have been called to an emergency hearing on Sunday before the State Employment Relations Board.

More >> State board to rule on future of Children Services strike

One Family's Journey Through Guardianship Hell

The last time Patricia Femia saw her mother, Ada Vocino, was February 14,  2013 — Valentine’s Day. But this was anything but a heartfelt meeting. The two women were in the Morris County Courthouse in Morristown, N.J. and were there for war.

Patricia was Ada’s only child. Until a few months before that day in court, Ada’s life had revolved around Patricia and her family. They’d lived together in an apartment Patricia built into her home in 2007, as Ada — a wartime immigrant — wanted. Previously, Ada helped raise Patricia’s sons and daughter.

More >> One Family's Journey Through Guardianship Hell

Rosenbaum trial: Laila had bruising 'all over'

This week, Laila Marie Daniel would have turned 6 years old. Instead, a mound of stuffed animals and balloons mark her grave in a corner of Berea Cemetery as jurors heard testimony about breaks, bruises and her last excruciating moments on Earth.

Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum are on trial for murder, assault, battery and child cruelty in the death of Laila, their foster child. Jennifer Rosenbaum has said the child had choked on a piece of chicken the night she died.

More >> Rosenbaum trial: Laila had bruising 'all over'

Private Companies Are Cashing in on ICE's Detention Centers

When employees at Wayfair, a swanky furniture and interior decorating company, discovered earlier this month that they had unknowingly been responsible for providing bedding to immigrant detention centers run by Customs and Border Protection (CBP), they demanded that executives break off ties with the agency. When the higher-ups refused, the employees staged a walk-out in Boston.

It's a strange disconnect, that this company that sells accent chairs and floral-patterned credenzas was connected to the latest iteration of American concentration camps. But the truth is that there's a lot of money to make in the immigrant detention business, and plenty of the companies cashing in are household names.

More >> Private Companies Are Cashing in on ICE's Detention Centers

Project PA: Just uncovered documents give 'Kids for Cash' victim hope in getting kids back

There are late-breaking developments in our Project PA story we first brought you last week.

Joshua Fromel is one of the thousands of victims in the “Kids for Cash” scandal; it’s called one of the biggest cases of judicial misconduct in American history.

More >> Project PA: Just uncovered documents give 'Kids for Cash' victim hope in getting kids back

Baby H is in her fifth foster home and family services has stopped communicating with family says grandfather

Baby H, the B.C. infant who was seized from hospital after medical staff reported her mother was neglecting her 90 minutes after having a C-section is back in a stranger’s care after her aunt asked for a break.

The child, who is now five weeks old, hasn’t lived with her parents in that time and has been bounced from foster home to foster home to an aunt and now to another non-Indigenous foster home, says the grandfather.

More >> Baby H is in her fifth foster home and family services has stopped communicating with family says grandfather

‘This Cannot Be My Life’: The ‘Nightmare’ of Foster Care in Indian Country

Brian Melendez’s life was about to change forever. In the winter of 1987, a domestic dispute erupted in a house on the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony in Reno, Nevada. As law enforcement and social workers descended on the scene, an already bad situation turned into chaos.

“I didn’t understand what was happening. All I knew was that there was arguing and fighting, and that my mother was all bloody and people were in handcuffs,” says Melendez.

More >> ‘This Cannot Be My Life’: The ‘Nightmare’ of Foster Care in Indian Country

Saturday, July 20, 2019

RI woman had to adopt her own biological son; bill to change that failed

Sara Watson and Anna Ford decided on their son’s name four days after he was born. But when they went to fill out his birth certificate and name him “Eli,” they received some unexpected news.

“The hospital staff said, we’re really, really sorry but you can’t put your name on this birth certificate,” Watson recalled.

More >> RI woman had to adopt her own biological son; bill to change that failed

Will Texas Keep Fighting Foster Care Reform?

It’s been more than three years since a federal judge ruled that Texas dumps some of the state’s most vulnerable children into a foster care system “where rape, abuse, psychotropic medication and instability are the norm.”

Following a 2015 trial in a lawsuit brought by children’s advocacy groups, federal district judge Janis Jack of Corpus Christi also concluded that state leaders can’t be trusted to reform the system on their own. Her blistering, 260-page verdict delivered in December 2015 accused state officials of deep-sixing an internal review that revealed “staggering” failures in child abuse investigations. She scolded one state witness who attempted to manipulate department data, including lowering child fatality stats. The judge chastised another state expert who, in an attempt to debunk the plaintiffs’ claims, further traumatized a teenage girl who’d already been battered by the system.

More >> Will Texas Keep Fighting Foster Care Reform?

Women adopted from South Korea learn they're sisters and grew up 30 minutes apart

Two women who were born in South Korea have developed a close bond after learning they're actually sisters and share the same biological mother.

More >> Women adopted from South Korea learn they're sisters and grew up 30 minutes apart

Montgomery County Children Services workers on strike

Montgomery County Children Services workers’ strike began at 12:01 a.m. today.

More >> Montgomery County Children Services workers on strike

JUDGE: Killing The Indian Child Welfare Law Would Hurt People Like Me

Stories like mine do not get told. I was only in the fifth grade when I was removed from my classroom and taken from my family by a state social worker. A 10-year-old who is ripped apart from his family — never having the chance to say goodbye to his mother or grandmother — develops a scar that never goes away. But it is a scar that many bear because, like me, they are members of Native American tribes.

For decades, our own government did not agree with how Indian families like my own raised their children, and removed us from our loved ones to be raised in a culture that was entirely alien. I cycled through a total of six non-Native homes over the course of five years. I was forced to accept six different religions and six different cultures, impacting everything from my spiritual values to the food I ate. I was treated as unworthy of love, as an outsider, as though my background meant I was undeserving of the family that every child deserves. I waited countless nights alone in foster homes thinking my mother would come rescue me. She never did. In fact, it was recorded in my file that I was banned by the court from any contact with family members.

More >> JUDGE: Killing The Indian Child Welfare Law Would Hurt People Like Me

Friday, July 19, 2019

Safehouse no longer accepting children from Social Services

Operation Safehouse, a non-profit that helps runaways, homeless youths, and other youths in crisis, is placing a moratorium on accepting placements by the Department of Public and Social Services after an employee was attacked.

SafeHouse Executive Director Kathy McAdara said a child placed at the shelter by DPSS attacked the manager of the Riverside shelter without provocation last Saturday. The resident also destroyed Safehouse property, McAdara added. Law enforcement had to be brought in before the child was finally removed from the shelter.

More >> Safehouse no longer accepting children from Social Services

DCFS placed boy in foster home with sex offender, he was abused: lawsuit

A new allegation claims the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services placed a child in a home with a convicted sex offender, and he was sexually abused. That’s according to a pair of lawsuits filed by the Cook County public guardian against DCFS, the foster mother and the sex offender.

“DCFS is supposed to run a background check," public guardian Charles Golbert said. “They did not do that in this particular case so they ended up placing a 12-year-old boy with a convicted child sex molester.”

More >> DCFS placed boy in foster home with sex offender, he was abused: lawsuit

Change underway for Illinois DCFS after controversial children’s deaths

Changes are on the way for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services after recent deaths of children in their care.

Between July of 2017 and June of last year, there were 98 deaths of children in DCSF care, 34 were under the age of 3.

More >> Change underway for Illinois DCFS after controversial children’s deaths

Woman Separated From Siblings By Adoption Takes To Social Media To Find Brother




A Stockton woman is on a mission to find the last of her seven siblings who were separated by adoption.

She’s started a blog and created a Facebook page and is now asking for the community’s help in finding her long-lost brother.

More >> Woman Separated From Siblings By Adoption Takes To Social Media To Find Brother

How Child Protective Services Can Trap the Parents They’re Supposed to Help

I woke to the sound of my 3-year-old daughter crying. It was a hard, bitter cry. If you have young children, you know the one — it punches through the walls and triggers your heart into a frenzy. I sprang up, ready to run to her bedside. But as wakefulness returned, the sound faded. My daughter was not crying for me. She wasn’t even there. She and her 4-year-old sister were taken from my custody more than a year earlier by the state of Florida.

In the United States, 7 million children are reported to abuse hotlines each year. More than 3 million of those allegations trigger a child maltreatment investigation. But that’s just the beginning of the story: Once a finding of child neglect has been made, parents have to try to correct the issue or issues that led to child protective involvement. Typically, that involves mandates for parents to undergo addiction treatment, find stable housing, secure employment, begin therapy or psychiatric care, and so on.
More >> How Child Protective Services Can Trap the Parents They’re Supposed to Help

Second Utah facility for troubled teens to close in a month

A company that runs treatment centers for troubled youth is closing a second Utah facility as officials investigate claims of sexual abuse, violence and several other issues with staff at a different facility.

Mount Pleasant Academy in central Utah is one of several youth psychiatric treatment facilities run by Sequel Youth and Family Services. Sequel representatives said in a statement last week that the school will be shut down within the next month, the Salt Lake Tribune reports.

More >> Second Utah facility for troubled teens to close in a month

Illinois Lawmakers Demand Child Welfare Officials Better Serve Spanish-Speaking Families

Illinois lawmakers and advocates are calling on state child welfare officials to better comply with a federal court order to serve Spanish-speaking families, an issue they say has become more critical amid heightened fear among immigrants of interacting with government agencies.

The calls come in response to a ProPublica Illinois investigation last month that found that the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has, for decades, repeatedly violated a 1977 federal court order that mandates the agency provide services to Latino families in their primary language.

More >> Illinois Lawmakers Demand Child Welfare Officials Better Serve Spanish-Speaking Families

Mistakes made by DFCS workers are focus of Rosenbaum foster child murder trial



Two Department of Family and Children Services workers testified in Henry County Superior Court Monday morning in the murder trial of Jennifer and Joseph Rosenbaum.

The workers detailed how the department did not screen the Rosenbaums properly before they were given custody of 2-year-old Laila Daniel.

More >> Mistakes made by DFCS workers are focus of Rosenbaum foster child murder trial

Norwegian Nightmare: 'Barnevernet' Preys On Children and Parents

One of the first things you notice about Norway when you visit is how beautiful it is. But there is a very dark side of Norway that most of the world knows nothing about. It's called Barnevernet, and it can be as cold and brutal as the Norwegian winter.

Barnevernet means "child welfare." It's Norway's network of local child protection service offices. But to its victims, Barnevernet means anything but protecting children.

More >> Norwegian Nightmare: 'Barnevernet' Preys On Children and Parents 

Aboriginal woman wins battle to keep baby after six court appearances

An Aboriginal woman has been allowed to return home with her baby after child protection services in Victoria made six attempts to overturn a court ruling that she was able to properly care for her child.

Advocates for the 28-year-old woman, who has foetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FasD), said child protection workers for the Department of Health and Human Services did not appropriately consider her disability in its initial assessment declaring her an unfit parent, and have suggested the decision to remove the child was informed by prejudice.

More >> Aboriginal woman wins battle to keep baby after six court appearances

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