I came to court that morning with my heart and my mind racing in time with one another. I was handcuffed as we traveled from the bowels of Bronx criminal court, arriving at a phone booth-sized room where I was told to wait for my lawyer.
It was the day for me to sign those papers. My son, Justin, was 8 then. For the first three years of his life, Justin had slept in my bed, … Read More
Many of us who grew up in foster care feel like the child welfare system is just waiting for us to mess up, and according to the American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law, 77% of lawyers who responded to a recent survey said they believe that mothers in foster care are separated from their children for less serious allegations than other mothers.
Here, Jessica Weidmann, a lawyer at the Center for Family Representation … Read More
Illustration by Tamika Ono-Knight
Under federal law, parents typically have only 15 months to prove that they can safely reunify with their children. For parents struggling with addiction, that’s a short time to break the cycle of relapse and recovery. Yet research shows that children in foster care do better when they have parents or other biological family members in their lives. Here, LaShanda Taylor, associate professor of law at the University of the … Read More
When you’re addicted and find out you’re pregnant, it can feel like there’s no good way out. If you ask for help, you can wind up being accused of maltreating your baby. But if you don’t ask for help, you aren’t doing all you can to make sure you’re ready for your baby.
In December, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of an opiate-addicted pregnant women called Y.N., who followed … Read More
February 01, 2015 by
Interview with Timothy Barbee
My journey in family court started because my fiancée died on me the day before my son’s 2nd birthday.
The day he was born, we’d had a little argument about his middle name. She wanted it to be James. I didn’t like it—I knew she’d had a boyfriend named James. She told me, “That’s my Daddy’s middle name!” I thought she was pulling a fast one on … Read More