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Disabled Parenting Discrimination in Family Courts

July 9, 2014 in due process, family court, family rights

I am a disabled parent who had five beautiful children. I was born at only 24 weeks gestation and had brain damage that caused cerebral palsy. I grew up enjoying a normal childhood in farming country, building dens, playing in hay stacks and having a free run of our village.

English: A collection of pictograms. Three of ...

A collection of pictograms. Three of them used by the United States National Park Service.

I married my childhood sweetheart at the age of 18, gave birth to a son. After five months, I took an evening job as a receptionist to support us as my husband went through university. A few years later and after giving birth to four more children and helping out in my husband’s electrical store, he dropped a bombshell, he didn’t want to be married anymore, he’d tied himself down too young by being with me. I thought at the time that was the worst day of my life but it was nothing compared to the custody nightmare that was about to follow. After obtaining a residency order in my favor, he locked me in our home and left with all our children, including my three week old newborn baby. I was absolutely frantic and called the police.

Police Discrimination

I showed them my court order but they informed me that as I had married the father of my children, all they were prepared to do was do a ‘safe and well’ check, despite the fact that my newborn was totally breastfed and dependent. After leaving, telling me rather curtly that ‘There’s more than one way to feed a baby’, I was forced to beg my ex-husband on the telephone for the return of our children. 24 hours later, he returned only my two year old and newborn, keeping my older children at an unknown location.

CPS Interrogation

From the moment the police had been called, CPS got involved and that was the start of a two year harassment campaign from them, most of it centred around my disability. They asserted incorrectly that I was not able to bath my babies because I had refused to answer what I viewed as discriminatory questioning about my parenting skills and I was told I had to consent to a social worker coming in to bath my children every day and if I didn’t, they’d be removed from me.

On one occasion they broke down my front door when I had gone out. People would turn up unannounced to ‘spot check’ me and they kept this up for a two year duration. I was court ordered to attend a parenting class but I refused to comply, saying that I had successfully cared for my children for years while my husband was working and didn’t need any classes. I asked why my able bodied husband was not asked to attend a class and I was told he didn’t need one as he didn’t have my disabilities.

On meeting me for the first time, the first words from the guardian ad litem’s mouth were “Oh goodness, how do you cope?” Not hello, or nice to meet you . I knew from that point that I was in for a rough ride.

Court Bias

When the case went to court, I discovered that the police had failed to honor my court order because ‘there were disability issues’. I was shocked and appalled that in the 21st century, people could still be deemed unfit to be a parent because they are disabled.

By the time all the interviews had been conducted, more than seven months had passed so when it finally went to court, the judge said the older children had been with their father for months and it would be cruel to move them so he awarded him custody – a delay that only happened because of the fact that I had to prove myself fit to parent and as a disabled woman I had higher standards to meet than your average able parent.

Fast forward a whole decade and my ex-husband was still pursuing me through the courts for custody. After being diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis in 2010, my health deteriorated. I had to have major surgery. This was brought up in court and it was asserted I was not ‘fit’ enough to be a mother, despite having hired help. I was also accused of abusing prescription drugs because I had to take medications. It was inferred by the Guardian ad litem that my children may be acting as ‘carers’ for me, in spite of my assistant’s employment with me. Shockingly, the court allowed all these accusations to be levelled against me. I was informed I had to answer questions about my disability because my health was the reason my ability to parent was under scrutiny.

I was allowed to keep my two youngest children but I shouldn’t have had more than a decade of my life trying to defend my right to be a parent just because I was born disabled.

No Disabled Parents Rights

I found out that there is no law to protect the relationship between a disabled parent and their children. The American’s with Disabilities Act doesn’t have a section on parenting and two thirds of dependency statutes allow a court to determine that a parent is ‘unfit’ on the basis that they are disabled.

Disabled parents frequently struggle to retain custody and are the only group of people where it is legal to discriminate against them. Up to 80% of parents with an intellectual disability will have their children removed. For physical disabilities the rate is 40% or higher and for those with physical disabilities going through custody disputes, 13% will be treated unfairly on the basis of disability. Parents who have psychological disabilities such as bipolar disorder or anorexia will very often have their children removed if they come under the radar of the authorities. In addition – sometimes a disabled parent will be denied the right to any visitation because of court judgements that are stereotypical and the court assumption that children will be forced into ‘caring’ roles with their parent, a view that doesn’t support what researchers have found.

After my experiences I have launched an official complaint with the government and I hope to create amendments to disability discrimination laws so that child custody cannot be decided on the basis of disability. I also hope to outlaw interrogation about disability so that in the absence of any real child protection concerns, disabled parents shouldn’t have to ‘prove’ they can be parents.

Sources:

Kidjacked, accessed July 6, 2014, http://kidjacked.com/

Americans with Disabilities Act, U.S Department of Education, accessed July 6, 2014, http://www2.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ocr/docs/hq9805.html

Parents with Learning Difficulties, Child Protection and the Courts, accessed July 6, 2014, http://disability-studies.leeds.ac.uk/files/library/Booth-parents-with-lea-diff.pdf

Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children, National Council on Disability, accessed July 6, 2014, http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012/

The Family Law System: Custody and Visitation, National Council on Disability, accessed July 6, 2014, http://www.ncd.gov/publications/2012/Sep272012/Ch7

Determining the Best Interests of the Child, Child Welfare Information Gateway, accessed July 6, 2014, https://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/best_interest.pdf

Find the Best Anorexic Treatment Programs and Dual Diagnosis Rehabs, Bulimia.com, accessed July 6, 2014, http://www.bulimia.com/topics/anorexia/

When a Parent has an Eating Disorder, The New York Times, accessed July 6, 2014, http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/adult-children-of-eating-disordered-parents/

Facebook Harassment Leads to Removal

April 11, 2013 in Child Protective Services, Florida, termination of parental rights, TPR

I have a daughter who was born on November 30, 2012, 15-weeks early weighing 1-lb 15 oz, after her release from the NICU she was readmitted into the hospital a few times for typical preemie issues. Since her birth we have had a page on Facebook “Reagans Place” that we have since unpublished for our families protection.

On March 16,2013, Reagan was readmitted to the hospital for feeding issues and failure to thrive after having a barium swallow study done at Wolfson Children’s Hospital on March 14, 2013. She was having an aversion to eating after the test like she was uncomfortable and since at this time she was at 6-lbs we could not afford for her to get dehydrated. Upon admission it was thought that she was uncomfortable because the barium has not passed yet so she was admitted on IV fluids and blood work and x rays were done showing the barium was still working its way through her.

Day One: in the hospital she still wasn’t eating she was on D10 with sodium and potassium, a Nasogastric tube was put in to force feeds but she threw them up, feeds were stopped so they could do a upper GI.

Day Two: the upper GI showed that she had re-flux she was put on medication, the hospital was giving her Tylenol as well because she was obviously uncomfortable she was still getting D10 with sodium and potassium and was barely eating, arching her back like she was in pain and screaming, not just for me but for nurses and doctors.

Day Three: March 18, 2013, Reagan was changed to D5 and still was refusing to eat I was getting scared that she had a lack of nutrition since her intake was so minimal and was assured she was okay, that we would force feed her through the Nasogastric tube. At around 6:00 pm, the doctor ordered a bolus of 30 ml of fluid which is about 1/6th of Reagans entire blood volume, lets remember she also had been getting fluid at 12 ml per hour for 3 days now. By 3:00 am on 3-19-2013, when they weighed her she had gained over 12 ounces and was turning purple.

I brought this concern up and was told it was gas and they must have weighed her wrong. She was still on fluid and still barely eating and obviously getting more uncomfortable and having bradycardia issues. Around 1:00 am on 3-20-2013, I called the doctor in worried Reagan looked very puffy and this doctor again said Reagan was gassy. How was my daughter gassy she wasn’t eating anything? At 3:00 am when they weighed her on 3-20-2013 she was up another 4 or 5 oz. I again questioned this and told it was of no concern!!

When the day doctor made rounds about 9:00 am on 3-20-2013, he asked me if I noticed how swollen Reagan was and I said yes and told him the night doctor told me it was all gas. This doctor sent her for tests and lab work and sure enough she was having some liver dysfunction and ascites. Her albumin levels were low according to lab work so she was given an albumin infusion and lasix and put on diuretics and over night Reagan lost over a pound and was back to a 6-lb baby and suddenly started eating like nobodies business. The doctors brought in specialists and ran all sorts of tests and the most I heard was from a genetics doctor, that Reagan had these same albumin issues in the NICU and he thinks its just something in her as a preemie that misfired when her body was stressed and lacking protein and had to much fluid. We posted all of this on her Facebook page as we updated her over 10-K followers daily through her journey.

Within hours a hate page was started attacking me called “Help Save Reagan from Her Mom” posting all sorts of legal information and more from my past. (I have screen shots of everything on the page.) I reported the page and followers reported the page and Facebook did nothing, except tell me them bullying me was violating no rules or laws. They went as far on that page to post the phone number to the hospital we were at and have people flood the hospital with calls that I must be poisoning Reagan. When they did not get the outcome they wanted from the hospital they launched an all out assault putting together a plan and posting all the information for people to make reports to DCF that Reagan was being poisoned be me. This all occurred on 3-22-2013 — Facebook still said they were violating no rules: (see Facebook dashboard below)

Support Dashboard
You’ll find the status of photos and timelines you report listed below.
Note: We use our Community Standards to evaluate these reports, and do our best to address reports within 48 hours. Have questions? Please visit Reporting Help.
Resolved

You reported The truth about Reagans MOM’s photo for harassment.

This photo wasn’t removed

You reported The truth about Reagans MOM’s photo for harassment.

The truth about Reagans MOM removed this photo

You reported The truth about Reagans MOM’s photo for harassment.

This photo wasn’t removed

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s post for harassment.

This post wasn’t removed

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s photo for harassment.

Help Save Reagan From Her mom removed this photo

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s post for harassment.

This post was removed

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s photo for harassment.

This photo was removed

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s post for harassment.

This post wasn’t removed

You reported Help Save Reagan From Her mom’s photo for harassment.

Help Save Reagan From Her mom removed this photo

 

I then sent them the following email:

I would like you to know this is a page created to violently attack me and my children, they have taken pieces of court records, and photos from my Facebook and are exploiting me and my children and bullying and harassing our entire family. If Facebook can’t and won’t remove this page and ban these animals that are creating fake pages to do this I will be forced to file civil action against Facebook! What they are doing is against every rule you have on Facebook …. They are going as far as to use Facebook to file reports to DCF and to threaten my children.

How is this ok and how is this not bullying? They are using my property my intellectual property and bits and pieces of court records to constantly attack and harass me. People commit suicide for less then this! Understand that if Facebook allows this to continue I will be seeking a federal attorney to start proceedings against Facebook for civil damages to me and my family for allowing this to happen. Plenty of people, have reported this page for this attack and bullying and it needs to end. I will also take it to the media, I have screen shots of all of it and the decision by Facebook to allow this material to remain! Your own rules state:

Bullying and Harassment
Facebook does not tolerate bullying or harassment. We allow users to speak freely on matters and people of public interest, but take action on all reports of abusive behavior directed at private individuals. Repeatedly targeting other users with unwanted friend requests or messages is a form of harassment.

Hate Speech
Facebook does not permit hate speech, but distinguishes between serious and humorous speech. While we encourage you to challenge ideas, institutions, events, and practices, we do not permit individuals or groups to attack others based on their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability or medical condition.

They are guilty of both of these actions and yet Facebook still thinks this page is not violating Facebook standards?

They have also violated both of these rules by publishing information including a hospital my sick daughter was in and encouraging people to call and say my daughter was being abused and also the same with DCF giving all my personal information:

Identity and Privacy
On Facebook people connect using their real names and identities. We ask that you refrain from publishing the personal information of others without their consent. Claiming to be another person, creating a false presence for an organization, or creating multiple accounts undermines community and violates Facebooks terms.

Intellectual Property
Before sharing content on Facebook, please be sure you have the right to do so. We ask that you respect copyrights, trademarks, and other legal rights.

Again I strongly urge you to remove this page and ban them before I seek civil penalties against facebook!

Shauna Taylor

This was finally sent to them on April 7th. You may ask why it took so long to send this well here is why

When numerous people were allowed to continue bullying, stalking, and harassing my family through Facebook and personal information was allowed to be posted all these people were allowed to continuously call DCF and file reports that I was poisoning Reagans. Her doctors had NO concerns, her nurses had NO concerns, hospital social workers had NO concerns … after all a hospital social worker followed our family the entire 11 weeks Reagan was in the NICU where I sat by her side 15 hours a day every day. Yet a CPT, a child protection team by DCF was allowed to order very large volumes of tests on my daughter poking her and prodding her to see if she was in fact being poisoned.

EVERY single and I mean every single test came back clean.. When that was not enough because I have a past with Children services in California and Arizona that I have never hidden from and been very open about they decided to allege I was poisoning Reagan with iron because her iron level was 2 points higher then normal. They failed to mention to the courts that she had just had a infusion of albumin that is an iron binding product and raises blood iron serum levels.

My daughter was taken into custody and I have now not been allowed to see her for two weeks, no contact at all, it has been alleged to the judge that she was being poisoned even though her doctors are standing up for me saying that she should be home. No matter how much my state appointed attorney fights I have no chance at all because I have a past history. The state says they are going straight to terminate my parental rights and I will never see my daughter again because they are using my past without all facts against me.

And still Facebook is allowing this hate page to still do this! They keep the page up for 3 to 4 hours at a time and then it gets reported by hundred of people and the owners of the page remove the page for a few days and then come back to attack. Anyone who defends me then also gets CPS or DCF called on them alleging they belong to a cult on Facebook poisoning their children. Facebook tells me this is not bullying because I am not a teenager!

Just because I have a past does not mean my daughter was in harm if she was her doctors would have filed reports on me. Facebook is allowing people to use their site as a tool to hurt and destroy people and that is illegal.

I have taken this all to the FBI, and on 4-09-2013 met with Agent Everett out of the Jacksonville Florida Office:
FBI Jacksonville
6061 Gate Parkway
Jacksonville, FL 32256
Phone (904) 248-7000
Fax: (904) 248-7404
E-mail: Jacksonville@ic.fbi.gov

He was writing a report and giving it to the Agents who investigate and prosecute these criminal acts. He also advised a complaint be filed with www.ic3.gov and that was done on 4-9-2013 as well.

I went further and created a petition at Change.org to maybe make a difference in this so DCF cant just remove kids for life from your past or for hearsay from people who don’t even know you in an attempt to bring Reagan home.

State of Florida, Baker County Courts, DCF: Return Reagan Taylor to her parents where she belongs

I have been sent emails from the case worker from DCF that Reagan is having all the same issues in custody and pictures of her where she is scared afraid not happy and not safe. These animals on Facebook making malicious and false calls have harmed my baby and Facebook should be held accountable for allowing bullying in this magnitude or any magnitude for that matter.

I know you can’t help get my daughter back but maybe you can help hold Facebook accountable for what they allow people to do and the damage they allow people to cause to others, if I was not mentally stable and if I didnt have thousands of amazing people standing behind me this could very well have led to suicide.

Help bring Westin home…

July 12, 2012 in California, Child Protective Services, corruption, post parental termination

My parental rights were terminated by a referee in LANCASTER, CA on JUNE 25th 2012. I need to know if there is any way I can get my son back, or get visitation, it seems this situation is hopeless. Even if it is hopeless I will not rest until I know my son is okay.

I am trying to understand the appeal process and rehearing?  I don’t know which papers to file, and I can’t find a decent attorney that even gives a shit to even look at my case without a $10,000 retainer. I am not going to be ripped off by another whack job from honolulu that I trusted, but later find out he was never on my side all along.

I was tricked into signing a waiver of rights, and  was late for my TPR contested hearing and they proceeded to terminate my rights without me. I can’t even look at my own child’s file anymore. I will not give up! If I have to I will die fighting this unjust system.

We were not even granted a “goodbye visit.”   I never got the chance to explain to him what was going on, let alone talk to the judge throughout this whole case to tell my side of the story. The social worker would cut visits off if I even started to explain to him or tell him that I love him and will never give up on him, that was considered details of the case which we were never allowed to talk about.

Wes is 5 years old and was taken from me in Sept 2009. I’ve been fighting for 3 years to get him back.  But I am only a mother, one person against all these wolves. They don’t play fair, and I  didn’t go to any law school, and all this rules of court, welfare code, is a different language to me. My brain feels like it wants to explode. My heart feels shattered, and my soul is handicapped from the piece that is missing.

His father is in prison until 2014 and has only been established as the “alleged father” Because I had no idea he didn’t have rights until paternity was established, and I don’t have any clue on how to go about doing that.

I went through the rehab and parenting classes, and the grief counselling, and whatever else I understood the court asked me to do. And then they yanked everything I had been working for the past 9 months with one missed test. And with only a couple month to do what it had taken me almost a year to do, the Court ordered me to do it again.  My life has been hell ever since, even more now that I am not allowed to see my son anymore, and I don’t know if they have moved him again with another strange family.

Please do not excuse my pleading for help as just a request from another worthless drug addict that can’t take care of her kid, because that is what the record seem to look like and what society pictures when I try to explain the situation.

I now realize that they were building my character in the record from day one and the lies they told to make me look crazy to restrict visitation, so they could make visiting miserable only under their supervision.

My son is everything in my life, and they can’t deny that. Every visit up until the end was explained as excellent, and well planned for. In that alone should of been evidence enough to grant the “parent and child bond that would be detrimental to terminate”… but nobody seems to care about anything besides the money.

The department did not make “reasonable efforts” There is nothing reasonable about this whole thing. The department and adoption company “PennyLane” have put us both through hell, and set up obstacles to sabotage reunification. If you don’t believe me, just ask any parent that has been forced to prove themselves to the California juvenile court.

There was no evidence that this mother physically or emotionally abused her children, or neglected the children as to feeding, clothing and maintaining his health. Additionally, when initially contacted, and before intervention by the CPS, mother owned her own home, was not on public assistance, and the child was up to date on all immunizations, and thriving in the home.

I don’t know what evidence I had to show to these people to prove that. It would of been obvious to anyone that actually took the time to personally assess the situation, but it seems that this case is nothing but a file to be pushed on to the next guy, and just another number.

This is my sons life, and my life, and our family has been torn apart by this crazy system. It just almost seems unreal.

Can you please help me in the appropriate steps that I need to take for justice to be served? If you don’t believe that you can help please pass my information to anyone that might be able to help me.  I’ve got another promised date to enter another rehab in a couple weeks. Not sure if it will  do any good, since my rights have already been terminated.

I need the best appeal lawyer I can find as soon as possible that will not take no for an answer and he needs to have heart. I also need someone to personally explain all this procedure. Also, I wish for anyone to go over this case and find errors that are appealable. I also need a miracle.

Thank You for your time and concern, and God bless.

Respectfully,
Paula, California

Sneaky, Underhanded Liars…

May 15, 2012 in CPS, Wisconsin

Christmas Eve of 2011 I turned my head for a few seconds while my children were in the bath, my child started shaking and then stopped breathing after I had picked him up. After nearly four months went by CPS had decided that I neglected my children and that I am abused. I am not, we are not abused.

March 26th 2012, I was called into the CPS office. I was told it was to do a follow up to close the case. Upon arriving my children were separated from me and I was told I had 2 choices: 1 go to jail, loose my children or 2 go with my children to a safe home.

I signed an infomal disposition agreement in order to keep my children who I could hear crying through the walls. I didn’t know what the agreement meant or said, and I didn’t recieve a copy of it until a week later when I stopped in and demanded it. After this I was told that I could continue my relationship with their father so long as I did not disclose the location of my children.

April 13th 2012, a friend offered to watch the kids so I could go see Brandon. At our home late that night three officers showed up. I was arrested without reason.

That morning the investigator of my childrens case and whom I was told ordered our arrests came into my cell and asked me to disclose the location of my children. I was told they only needed to enusre their safety. I asked if they planned to remove my children, if that was why I was taken to jail. I was assured they only needed to ensure the children were safe.

A few hours later a social worker came in and informed me that my children had been taken into the custody of the state of Wisconsin.

I have not seen, talked to, or heard from my children since. Many other things have happened since then. Do you have any resources that may be of help to us?

 

Thank you for your time,
Chrystal Day Mueller
http://www.adamscountykidnap.us

Seeking Top Attorney Firms

May 11, 2012 in family rights, lawsuit, medication, parental rights

I’m working with an author who is publishing a new book — “The Parent Guide To Child Protection Services”.  We are looking for top attorney firms with successful track records in fighting CPS.

CPS

CPS

The book will focus on protecting families from CPS on many fronts — including how kids are being over-medicated, over labeled, problems with juvenile welfare courts, defending against false allegations, human rights violations in the mental health field.  As well as: Protecting and enforcing your legal constitutional rights, CPS coercion in service plans and service provider funding; improper social worker investigation and psyche evaluations and discredited interrogation techniques that are still being rampantly used and how parents can fight this.

The book will also have a supplemental workbook/DVD that will enable families to better prepare themselves (in this partial list below):

  • FAQ’s
  • Fact Sheets
  • Legal Rights
  • What to do if CPS is investigating you
  • CPS Coercion Techniques
  • How to Record and Document everything
  • Advanced Preparation Techniques
  • How to Request a State Administration Hearing
  • Template Letters, Worksheets and Report Forms
  • Legal Documents/Forms
  • Legal Counsel Questionnaires
  • How to Create Your Own Investigative/Data Reports
  • How to Find the Right Attorney
  • Attorney Referral Networks
  • Links to State Specific Resources
  • Proactive steps to Succeed with Court Appointed Attorney
  • Case Strategies
  • Step by Step Attorney Strategies
  • What to do in TPR cases (Termination of Parental Rights)
  • Legal Document Library
  • Advocacy and Support Groups
  • State and National Agencies

I would appreciate any top attorney legal firm referrals.

Rodger Dewey, Marketing Director
media_production@sbcglobal.net
(541) 201-2009

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