Father denied the chance to raise the son he has never seen

Empty pramA man who only discovered that he had a son when the boy was four has been denied the chance to raise him.

His paternity was only discovered when the man’s sister saw a picture of the child, called C in case reports, and thought she saw a  resemblance. A DNA test later confirmed that the boy was his biological son.

The child had been conceived during an affair and taken into care just days after his birth as the mother was thought to be unable to look after him.

The man later rekindled the relationship but the mother insisted the child was not his. They are no longer together.

The man went to court to try and claim his child but the boy had already been placed with adopters who were keen to have the adoption finalised. He appealed an adoption order granted in their favour last year.

The boy’s mother supported  his campaign the Mail reports, saying:

“I do not want my child to be adopted by strangers.”

But the man’s appeal failed. Lord Justice Munby, who as President of the Family Division is the country’s most senior family law judge, said the boy had grown deeply attached to his adoptive parents and they had been “through the mill”. It was in the child’s best interests to stay with them, he concluded.

“Recognising the bitter heartache that this must cause a father who, it would seem, was cruelly deceived by the mother of his child, I was in the end entirely satisfied that his appeal had to be dismissed. Standing back from the detail, the reality is that the father has no relationship with C, indeed he has never even seen him, and that C has now been settled for over two years with the adopters. How can we, how can any judge, take the risk of disturbing that?”

Lord Justice Munby criticised the granting of an adoption order while the man’s case’s case had yet to be fully resolved, concluding starkly:

“I cannot part from this case without expressing my very great concerns about that it reveals about our system. The history of events…makes for depressing and profoundly worrying reading. This is not, I stress, necessarily a criticism of those involved, most of whom did what was required of them. It is a criticism of a system whose inadequacies and potential for catastrophe have here been all too starkly exposed. No humanly devised system can ever be foolproof, but we must do everything to ensure as best we can that future catastrophes are prevented.”

Photo by Naddsy via Flickr under a Creative Commons licence

A version of this column originally appeared in www.marilynstowe.co.uk.

Concerned mom not notified when DCF takes her children from school

13639248001_2328460382001_A94988A8127048CF922309F9A1F4AFB8LEE COUNTY, Fla. - A Lee County mom gets a phone call that sends her into a panic.

She's telling Four in Your Corner, that the Florida Department of Children and Families pulled her kids out of school Thursday without telling her.
She wants to know why she wasn't given a heads up.
This mom didn't want to go on camera out of embarrassment and the stigma that comes along with a DCF investigation.  She tells FOX 4 a local DCF worker said the mom should have known they were taking her kids out of school Thursday. When we reached out to the Tampa headquarters however, they said that's not the case.
"What if something happened and I didn't know where they were," the concerned Lee County mom said. "Here I am thinking they are in school safe and they're not."
She assumed her kids would be picked up from school at the end of the day and instead, they were picked up by the Florida Department of Children and Families.
"I was concerned for my kids," she said.
The mom found out through a phone call from her son.
"He was supposed to be in school at this point?" reporter Kelli Stegeman asked. "Yes," she replied. "He called me and I'm like what's going on? He said 'I'm with this woman."
That woman with DCF allegedly took the two kids away from school to interview them about what this mom calls a problem within her extended family.


Read more and video at fox4now.com.

Father files lawsuit against state social workers

Lawsuit[1]A Northern Kentucky man submitted a federal suit against 2 state social workers, implicating them of breaking his rights in an "arbitrary and malicious abuse of power.".

The lawsuit, filed April 9 in U.S. District Court in Covington, names Georgetown social worker Geri Purvis and Lisa Prewitt, described as a social worker supervisor in Florence, as defendants.

The lawsuit says Purvis started the removal of the man's children from his house after his son, who was mentally ill and hospitalized, implicated him of sexual assault.

A special district attorney dismissed charges of sexual harassment and neglect, and a court ordered that the children be returned home, the grievance said. Purvis filed a paper stating the accusations were confirmed. That resulted in the dad's name being placed on a list of those who have been substantiated for physical or sexual abuse, the complaint said.

The son who made the accusations was in the Cabinet's custody. The father offered consent to enable the child to get medical treatment for mental illness and drug dependency, according to the claim.

The Herald-Leader normally does not call people in cases in which sexual assault is affirmed.

Cabinet spokeswoman Jill Midkiff stated Cabinet authorities know "the examination that is at the core" of the father's complaint. She said no disciplinary activity was taken against the social workers. Midkiff said the Cabinet would defend the workers in the cause in court. She declined to comment further.


A version of this column originally appeared in kentucky.com.

Ky. court orders release of child death records

104821174[1]LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP)-- The Kentucky Supreme Court has actually ordered state child welfare authorities to publicly release records of child abuse cases leading to death or major injury.

The court launched the 3-3 vote Thursday in a brief order on whether to halt a lower-court decision ordering the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to open the cases. The tie ballot let the lesser court's decision stand.

Franklin Circuit Court Judge Phillip Shepherd ruled in February 2012 that The Courier-Journal and the Lexington Herald-Leader must have access to internal testimonials of cases where children passed away or were seriously wounded from abuse or neglect.

The ruling implies the cabinet should provide case files following a process laid out by Shepherd detailing the details that can be withheld and buying that each deletion be discussed. The papers may challenge the removals.

Shepherd had ruled that previous redactions were extremely broad, making it impossible for anyone to examine how successfully the cabinet did its job securing children.

Regardless of asking for the stay, cabinet authorities have actually released some death and near-death case files with redactions that officials refer to as minimal. Authorities did not instantly respond to requests for comment Thursday on the Supreme Court order and whether it will alter how it launches information.

This is the latest in the lengthy court fight by the state's 2 biggest papers to obtain records after numerous high-profile child-death cases. Throughout the procedure, Shepherd has actually ruled several times that there is "no legal basis" for withholding the records.

The Kentucky Court of Appeals voted 2-1 in July to enable the launch.

The Supreme Court considered the case before after previous Justice Wil Schroeder retired for wellness reasons, leaving the high court one member short. Since voting on the cabinet's request, a new justice, Michelle Keller, has actually been sworn in. She did not take part in the ballot.


A version of this column originally appeared in sfgate.com.

Sacramento couple fights to get their baby boy back from authorities

SACRAMENTO, CA - A Sacramento family was torn apart after a 5-month-old child boy was taken from his moms and dads following a visit to the doctor.

Anna Nikolayev, 5-month-old Sammy and Alex Nikolayev

Anna Nikolayev, 5-month-old Sammy and Alex Nikolayev

The young couple thought their problems lagged them after their son had a scare at the hospital, but once they got residence their issues got even worse.

It all began almost 2 weeks back, when Anna Nikolayev and her spouse Alex took their 5-month-old boy Sammy to Sutter Memorial Hospital to be dealt with for flu issues, however they didn't like the care Sammy was getting.

One day Anna asked why a registered nurse was providing her son prescription antibiotics.

"I asked her, for what is that? And she's like, 'I have no idea.' I'm like, 'you're working as a nurse, and you don't even understand what to give to my baby for what,'" Anna described.

According to Anna, a doctor later said Sammy should not have been on the antibiotics.

Anna said Sammy experiences a heart murmur and had been seeing a physician at Sutter for regular therapy since he was born. After Sammy was dealt with for flu issues last week, doctors at Sutter admitted him to the pediatric ICU to monitor his condition. After a few days, Anna said physicians began talking about heart surgery.

"If we got the one blunder after an additional, I don't want to have my infant have surgical treatment in the hospital where I do not feel safe," Anna stated.

Anna argued with doctors about getting a second opinion. Without an appropriate discharge, she finally took Sammy from the hospital to get a second opinion at Kaiser Permanente.

"The police showed up there. They saw that the infant was great," Anna said. "They told us that Sutter was telling them so much bad things that they thought that this child is passing away on our arms.".

Medical records from the physician treating Sammy at Kaiser Permanente stated the infant as medically safe to go house with his moms and dads. The doctor included, "I do not have issue for the security of the child at home with his moms and dads.".

"So authorities saw the report from the doctors, said, 'okay men, you have a good day,' and they walked away," Anna said.

Anna said the following day authorities and child safety services appeared on her doorstep. Alex Nikolayev said he satisfied them outside a short time after they arrived.

"I was pushed against the structure, smacked down. I stated, 'am I being placed under arrest?' He smacked me down onto the ground, screamed out, 'I think I got the secrets to your home,'" Alex stated.

Police let themselves inside.

On home video shot with a camera Anna established herself, police can be seen entering her front door on Wednesday.

"I'm visiting grab your baby, and do not withstand, and do not battle me ok?" a Sacramento policeman said in the video.

"He's like, 'okay let your son go,' so I had to let him go, and he got my arm, so I could not take Sammy. And they took Sammy, and they just walked away," Anna said.

They said talk to CPS; CPS did not state much about the case when News10 talked with police. Just prior to 6 p.m. Thursday, Anna said that a CPS social worker told her, the reason they took Sammy is because of severe disregard; however, the social worker didn't elaborate on that neglect.

Sutter Memorial was asked to comment on the story, however the healthcare facility stated the case was with CPS and police force and they would have to talk about the case. CPS stated they can't particularly comment on this case because of privacy law, however CPS spokesperson Laura McCasland stated, "We perform a risk evaluation of the child's security and rely heavily on the direction of health care companies.".

"It appears like parents have no right whatsoever," Alex stated.

On Thursday, Anna and Alex were enabled a one hour visitation with Sammy; he's presently in protective custody at Sutter Memorial Hospital.

"His smile, it's everything for me," Anna stated. "I was so pleased to see him.".

Anna and Alex have a court hearing arranged for Monday.

"We did everything," Anna stated. "We went from one hospital to another. We simply wished to be safe, that he is in good hands.".

A version of this column originally appeared in News10/KXTV .