Seeking a Safe Haven- Parents abandon teens under a Nebraska law passed to save babies.

In July, Nebraska instituted a “safe haven” law that allows parents to leave a child at a hospital without fear of prosecution. The law was intended to allow parents to safely abandon infants they could not take care of, and many states have similar laws. However, the Nebraska law did not specify that it applied only to babies, and in September and October, as many as 25 parents dropped off older children at hospitals, saying … Read More

Raising My Voice for Families- I testified before Congress so other parents can get the support that’s helped me.

As a parent who has had children in foster care, the word “testifying”usually brings to my mind fearful situations where one’s future is in the hands of some powerful person, usually a judge. But when I was asked to testify in front of the United States Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families about my experiences getting help through Parents Anonymous, I was quick to respond with a resounding “Yes!” I wanted to tell … Read More

Paying the Price- My daughter was adopted while I was in prison.

July 4, 2004 was one of the best days of my life. I was sitting in a cell in a prison in upstate New York, thinking about all the things I’d beenthrough in the past five years. It was a hot summer day and all of my friends were going on visits. I was thinking, “Man, I need a visit.” Truthfully, I was stressed out.

Around 9:15 the officer announced, “Inmate Fair, … Read More

No Recourse- Illinois parents try to stop family separations by taking the child welfare system to court.

On August 8, 2003, my husband, Tom, was on the back porch of our home with Ryan, our 4 month-old-son, and Briana, our 18-month-old daughter. Tom was holding Ryan when he threw the diaper bag into the house and stepped backwards—on to Briana’s foot. Trying not to hurt Briana, Tom lost his balance and fell with Ryan over the railing into the grass below.

I called 911 immediately and Ryan was taken … Read More