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Tennessee Adoption Racket - Children for Dollars
by: Glenna Mullenix
I just read the story of Ms. Luttrell, where her husband and DCS illegally removed her 2 girls from her and it took forever to try and prove that it was wrong and DCS claimed they weren't involved in the case, yet showed up at court each time. I am not sure if she even has them back yet.
I sat here and shook my head "yes", I believe you. My case is unlike hers, but similar, in that I have dealt with DCS' lies, 3 different answers to one question. DCS' legal counsel just told me she advised her "clients" not to communicate with me and reported me to the T.B.I, here in Tennessee.
I am a non-blood kin Mamaw of 3 wonderful children and they have been in foster care, DCS, Morristown since 10/8/2004. The neighbors claimed the children were unsupervised and throwing rocks at cars. I agreed they needed to be removed from my daughter, but 2 different caseworkers at DCS asked, in the event they removed them from the home, would I take them, and I said absolutely!
They only called the paternal grandfather and he refused to take them, I was never called. My daughter now says she had told DCS many lies about me, then she told them not to call me.
I had made several referrals to DCS myself, because my daughter was living with an abusive boyfriend, they were doing all sorts of drugs, and she has been diagnosed as Bi-Polar w/Schizoid affect and refuses to take her meds. I just couldn't get through to her and certainly didn't understand, when her children were taken, why she still stayed with this piece of trash boyfriend!
Thank God, she is in a treatment program for co-dependency, trying to learn why she has done what she has, and how to break this cycle. Her birth mom is exactly the same way.
A Brief Family History
We got our daughter when she was 9. The attorney recommended to us, turned out to be an alcoholic and a year after the birth mom signed adoption papers in her office, we found out it was supposed to have been signed before a judge. When we went back to the mom to sign another paper, she refused, stating she wanted her back.
So, we went to juvenile court, with another attorney, got custody and had the mother's rights terminated, a year later. Our new attorney told us we would just have to be content with this, as a private adoption would be costly, timely, and even in this case, hard to prove the mother unfit. We did as he said because we felt like she was our daughter and we didn't need a piece of paper to tell us this. Now it's come back to bite me in the butt! This is a lot of history, but it explains the dilemma I face now.
On October 12th, 2004 I went to court, for the 1st time since DCS had taken the children. I filed for custody of my granddaughter and my daughter's ex filed for custody of his 2 boys. My daughter asked me to drop my petition, as she wanted all 3 together and the judge said it would make everything quicker, since he lived in the same county as the court, so I did.
Judge Strips Grandmother of Legal Rights
To try and get to the point, the judge found out I only had custody of my daughter and never adopted her, and I filed for custody for all 3 kids in November, because it was all going so slow. So, the dad had filed and I had filed. The judge told me I had no "legal" rights to the children since I was not blood-kin to them.
I said I was the only grandmother they had in their lives and that it didn't take blood to make you a mother or a grandmother. He told DCS to go back to their office, determine if I was the grandmother, and if I was to do a home study. My home study was in Dec. 2004. Now, both the ex-husband, his home study was approved also, and I had petitioned for custody.
January 2005, nothing was said about my petition and the judge was aware in November that I had filed it. February, and the judge asks, of all the ones standing in front of him. "Who all has filed for custody?" The dad said he did, the DCS caseworker said they were working to reunite the children with the mom, and I said I had.
The judge yelled at me and told me it had already been established that I had no legal rights to these children and when I tried to speak, he embarrassed me by yelling and telling me to just go sit down! I left.
I have since found out that Tennessee allows even a neighbor, involved in a child's life, to petition and gain custody, if approved. I have filed a complaint with the Judiciary Board of Responsibilities against the judge for the way he treated me in court and for denying my rights.
I have been very active in doing research about Tennessee DCS. The major problem is, why have they still got my grandchildren in foster care after 7 months and 2 weeks? Two of us have been approved.
Foster Mom Plans to Adopt
The 2 boys were diagnosed as ADHD, but DCS/Omnivisions state the youngest is not and took him off his medicines. I am confused as to why Omnivisions is still seeing him. His foster mom expressed, in writing, in January this year that she "would like to add Daryl (not his real name) to our family." He was not up for adoption then, or now, nor will he ever be.
A clear case of this mom being obsessed and breaking her contract rules. Last Sunday, I called to talk to Daryl and she said I didn't have permission to talk to him and I told her my daughter gave me the number to call, since she is limited on how many calls she can make from the shelter she is in.
I told the foster mom she had no right to say she wanted to adopt Daryl! She told me she had as much right as I did and that "Daryl doesn't have a family"! Another blatant breaking of her contract. I have never asked to "adopt" Daryl, nor would I; he has a mom and dad.
I asked DCS/Omnivisions to remove Daryl from her and place him with his brother and sister. He has been separated from them since 2 weeks after being placed in DCS custody. Elmer Stapleton, Omni, as much as called me a liar and said she didn't say that. I said, as absurd as it sounded, that I would take a lie detector test! He also said that taking Daryl from this obsessive woman's home, wasn't "going to happen". I found out that if she has him in her home for 2 years and parental rights are terminated; she has first choice to adopt him. She has 2 foster children she has adopted. She informed me she was an adoptive foster mom.
Governor Bredesen Drops the Ball
I have a copy of the e-mail letters I have sent to DCS commissioner, with copies to Governor Bredesen, and a lot of other people I thought should read them.
I was told, at a meeting on Tuesday, the 17th, that I was not allowed to go and watch my grandsons play ball, as this was an unsupervised visit, even though I don't speak to them, I cheer for them and go home! They said if I quit going I could have supervised visits with them, so I said I would, but they have yet to notify me of dates and times. They "owe" me a visit that was canceled on Feb. 12th. I have the recording from Amanda, Omnivisions, stating she will re-schedule.
Also, I saw Elmer Stapleton at one of Gerald's (not his real name) games and asked his director why he was there. His mom is Gerald's foster mom and it seems like a conflict of interest. She left a message on my voice mail (I have it still) stating that he was doing a good job, that all of the coordinators were encouraged to do this. I asked if Elmer still lived at home, she laughed and said no. I later found out that Elmer is not even Gerald's Omni coordinator, he lives in a house about a hundred yards from his mom and dad, on their property, and had no business being at Gerald's ball game! When I asked him at the meeting why he was there, he said, "It's public property", and I told him I had said the same thing, but it didn't work for me.
Bottom line: It's All About the Money
These 3 children do not have valid reasons to still be in DCS custody, plain and simple!
There are no behavior problems, as a matter of fact, the only time Daryl really has a problem is with his mom! I believe DCS is "milking" them for the money. Gerald gets an SSI check, for approx. $450/month, Daryl used to, but since he is no longer ADHD, he shouldn't be getting one, and if they are getting child support from the boys' dad, it's $800 a month, or more! And quite possibly trying to hold them as long as possible to let Gerald be adopted. Gerald's release date is Nov. 2006! Red flag? That's 2 years!
Daryl is the one that has ADHD and his is earlier! It is just so obvious. Do they think everybody they deal with is stupid or too afraid to stand up to them? I detest lies, injustice, fraud, and especially in the case of DCS, not adhering to their own policies and procedures!
I can't believe I am trying to rescue my babies from the very ones I thought would protect them! It's a nightmare!
Glenna Bible Mullenix
Posted June 9, 2005