“At the age of 23 years old I had 2 children in foster care. Things were going well, and I was in reunification to get my children back. I completed all services required, including random drug testing, which were all negative. Our case was open for about 1 year. Nearing our last court hearing I slipped and tested positive for marijuana. The agency worked with me and I went to live in rehab. This would push my case back a little, but reunification was still the plan. Graduation finally came and I completed the rehab program. A few months later I would find myself in family court, my rights being terminated, and my kids being put up for adoption.
My lows were, of course, being deceived by an agency who is supposed to help rebuild and keep families together. Instead, this agency focused on greed, money, and making a profit on adoption. This is an industry where they make a lot of money from adoption. I went 8 years without seeing my children. My ultimate high, of course, is the day we were reunited through Facebook and that was a true miracle that only God could have done.
Today, my daughter is 20 years old living in Oakland, California with my 2 beautiful grandkids. My son is 16 years old also living in Oakland, California. I found out that the adoptive family adopted them together, which was such a relief. Our relationship is far from perfect. My kids have a lot of hurt and anger towards me, and I understand 100% know that they have every right to feel that way towards me. I am not justifying the past. I take full responsibility. What I would like is for my story to get out there and let people know that my rights were wrongfully terminated, and this is happening far too easily by agencies. So, as parents we need to know our rights and what the law says. I would love to share my story and parents in a similar situation so that this doesn't happen to anyone else. Let us be our children's voices!”
(Coalinga, California, USA)
Anna lives in Coalinga, California with her family. She continues to raise awareness through her Instagram @rise_2justice.