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In my posts about my work speaking up for abused and neglected children I have mentioned those kids who are adopted once their parents’ rights to them have been terminated. Not all children get adopted, some go to relatives’ homes under third-party custody agreements and some actually go home to their parents. When CPS removes kids from the home, there are reasons. Issues such as mental health or sobriety make it unsafe for the children. The court tells the parents to get the


I just concluded almost three weeks of trial to terminate the parental rights of a father whose three children were removed from the home (a cheap motel room) three-and-a-half years ago. Well, two were removed. The third was born during the dependency and she is now two-and-a-half. This has been an amazingly complex case that has surprised everyone with its twists and turns (“Oh, THAT case”) and has churned through seven or eight social workers, fifteen or more different publ

Small Victory

The year end produced some good news, but I didn’t learn of it until just the other day. One of my foster kids was adopted by her grandmother after two and a half years in care. The case showed the complexities and glitches in even the most straightforward dependency cases. N***’s 17-year-old mother was homeless when she gave birth and the biological father was one of two teenagers with gang affiliations. The mom picked one as the dad for the birth certificate. Mom (in depend

Adoption Day

The idea of making new families is completely out of character there. The tiny courtroom sits on the third floor with a view of Third Avenue and the Pioneer Square area. A glass wall separates it from a waiting area where happy, nervous people and fidgety babies and children laugh and chat. One at a time the families file into the courtroom while the people in the waiting room watch through the glass hoping to learn something of what would happen to them. A chalkboard next to

Advocating for Children

May 7, 2008 I had to go through an application process, provide references, be interviewed, undergo a background check, take twenty-four hours of training (plus twelve more hours every year). All that does is teach you what you don’t know. Then you make a choice from among dozens and dozens of gut-wrenching cases involving drugs, alcohol, insanity, and just plain criminal behavior. I have a leg up on most of the other volunteers. I have a background in investigations so readi

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