Help Mass. foster and adoptive family facing discrimination

For: Foster Family
Organizer: Hidden for Privacy
Help Mass. foster and adoptive family facing discrimination (Foster Family)
of $20,000 goal
32% Complete
Raised by 75 donors

The Story

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families is in desperate need of foster and adoptive homes. They have made specific recruitment efforts for families who are LGBTQ headed, culturally competent with children of color, and disability positive.

Despite this, a local foster and adoptive family has found themselves in the midst of a traumatic and expensive legal situation after raising concerns about how their children were being affected by a social worker's lack of understanding of same-sex parents, Jewish practices, children of color, and children with disabilities.

The family, who has previously adopted from DCF with no issues, suddenly faced an abuse/neglect investigation right as they planned to finalize the adoption of a sibling group placed with them. The family hired a private attorney specializing in DCF matters. The investigation found that the family did nothing wrong, and specifically noted findings of bias and stereotyping as well as knowingly false information provided by professionals. The family eventually received a hearing decision stating that there were no grounds to remove the children.

Despite DCF's previous findings and determinations, the licensing unit is refusing to relicense the family to adopt their sibling pair or to foster or adopt future children. The decision cites disproven abuse/neglect events as having occurred, and cites accusing a worker of bias as unacceptable behavior. The family will now be addressing the matter in the court system.

The family has so far accrued more than $20,000 in legal and consultation expenses. The family was already a low-income family supporting complex needs before these events added additional trauma and stress.

The family and those assisting with organizing are asking that you feel free to share this link with anyone who may be able to help financially or help spread the word, but to please not share any identifying information when doing so in order to protect the children's privacy. Thank you for your sensitivity and for any assistance you are able to offer. All funds raised will go directly toward expenses.

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on October 29, 2017

Posted on October 29, 2017

We still don't have legal representation for Superior Court. The civil rights organizations that were sure they could get us pro bono representation came back and said they won't do anything involving child welfare. Which, at this point our situation isn't really a child welfare case, but is a case of appealing a state agency's decisions based on procedure not being followed. We've been told by several attorneys that a general litigator who does any type of appeals should be able to handle this, but the large firms that do a lot of pro bono aren't comfortable taking on a state agency they've never dealt with. We have an amazing attorney who does DCF appeals, but no way to pay this attorney at this point. Please help us by donating and sharing.

Posted on July 20, 2017

Posted on July 20, 2017

We have a civil suit filed in Superior Court and were approved as indigent, which saved us the enormous filing fees and summons fees (see photos of documentation on main fundraiser page). We have one more legal bill that needs to be paid ASAP, then we can continue paying back the balance we've put on high-interest credit cards as well as keep saving up for the next batch of legal expenses. We're also in the process of hopefully securing pro bono representation for the civil suit, but this hasn't been finalized as of today. Thank you for your support.

Posted on July 6, 2017

Posted on July 6, 2017

The fundraiser is active again. The main text on the website has been updated to reflect the current situation. Progress is being made in some regards but not others. Thank you for your support and for continuing to share the fundraiser.

~Rainbow Family

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