I’m Sloane, a 26 year mother residing in the San Luis Obispo area. Currently my life is consumed by a seemingly endless battle against Child Protective Services to regain custody of my son, a confused and upset preschooler who has been severely traumatized by the ordeal. Removed from my care and placed with paternal relatives on 11/17/11, he doesn’t understand why Mommy went from his loving, constantly present parent to a virtual stranger that he sees for two hours a week during a supervised visitation. His father, my estranged husband [our divorce is pending], has less ‘rights’ than I do and it does not appear that he will ever be a custodial parent. Making this situation infinitely more difficult is the fact that at the time of Adam’s removal, I was six months pregnant with my second child, a daughter.
Depression, grief, sadness, shock, outrage, rage, helplessness, frustration, fear– there are no words to describe this anguish. Further compounding this pain is the fact that CPS blatantly refuses to do any investigation regarding our case, claiming they have “met their standard of evidence.” All I have ever asked for– and continue to ask for– is a thorough and comprehensive investigation and for my own evidence to be heard….and I am categorically denied. Our rights have been trampled. I know unequivocally my precious son would be returned to me instantly, if only I could somebody to listen to me. Nobody from CPS has Adam’s best interests at heart: he is a case number and paycheck.
Why was Adam taken? Immediately following my decision to go to law enforcement regarding a domestic violence incident that happened in front of Adam, my estranged husband filed a report with CPS. He made no secret of this fact. It should come as no surprise that the report was damning– bogus allegations that are completely unsubstantiated. In addition to his interview with the social worker, he submitted a fragmented portion of my medical records, and these particular pages discussed the results of my mental health evaluation from a psychiatrist [a common procedure before seeing a new doctor]. The documents in question were stolen from a filing cabinet at my parent’s house and– in any other court– would be ruled as inadmissible due to the illegal manner in which they were obtained. However, because of my estranged husband’s despicable lies and a psychiatrist who doesn’t quite know what to make of me….I lost my child. There was an additional charge from CPS that I abused my son because he had a ‘suspicious’ looking facial injury [a cut and a bruise from the normal childhood adventures of a rowdy boy], a charge that was ultimately dismissed after I voluntarily participated in an interview with the police. What appalls everyone involved with this case is my evidence– Adam’s pediatrician records, letters from the principals at both of his private schools, my own medical records, witness testimony refuting specific allegations from Will, etc.– hasn’t seen the light of day because CPS has “met their preponderance of evidence standard.” My social worker had the audacity to tell me that my objections and my evidence were a “moot point.” She outright refused to accept any materials I gave her that weakened the credibility of her case. If I lost my child because I allegedly robbed a bank at 2 pm on a Tuesday and I have an office full of people who can attest to the fact that I was sitting behind my desk working during that time, it is certainly not a “moot point.”
My sweet, intelligent, and charismatic son has become upset and extremely angry– exhibiting behavioral problems and, understandably so, attachment issues. What do you tell your 3 year old son when he asks why he can’t come home?
Most heartbreaking is the fact that my two children don’t know each other. It became glaringly apparent to my attorney and me that CPS was ‘widening their net’ to take Tatum, my daughter. Fearing that I was in imminent danger of losing both of my kids to ‘the system,’ I returned to Memphis to give birth. Adam is missing all of Tatum’s early life. My family is shattered. Worst of all, I must board a plane and fly 2000 miles away– leaving my daughter in Tennessee– to continue fighting for Adam.
Because I have chosen to stand up for my family and expose these injustices, I have been labeled “uncooperative” despite full compliance with their ‘parenting plan’– a list of mandates supposedly designed to ‘reunify’ me with my child. Instead of a late January/early February return as I was assured by my social worker, we’ve now been scheduled for a six month progress review at the end of July. Attempts to punish me for speaking out about the unscrupulous practices of CPS only hurt my son. I refuse to be silent. It’s the fight of my life against a cruel system that rips children out of their mother’s arms destroys families. Countless lives have been ruined since CPS came into our world. Even with the best legal representation I’m fighting an uphill battle.
My condensed version doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of our ordeal with CPS. I encourage you to peruse the appropriate categories of my blog or contact me directly for additional information regarding these tragic events. One thing I can assure you, however, this nightmare will not define my family. We will overcome and we will be vindicated.
Here’s what I wrote as my bio before knowing my life would become a living hell: “We moved to California in August ’11 after spending the first quarter century of my life in Memphis– a welcome culture shock— though I love both my southern and coastal homes. Our little family is anything but typical….and I invite you to come along on my single parenting journey as I raise our rambunctious and charismatic Adam and prepare for the newest arrival, Tatum. I devour books, live to write, and blog daily. Every view, follower, comment, and general feedback is greatly appreciated. To say I’m quirky is an understatement. You love me, you hate me, but you’ll NEVER forget me. Sassy and opinionated, I’m proud to be: passionate, unconventional, tattooed, liberal, intelligent, eccentric, and a feminist crusader for equal rights and social justice. Needless to say I make the most out of every second of my life!”
Everything can change in an instant.