In this video Donnelly interrupts his reading lession to ask his Aunt Cindy where her house is. You hear the laughter to her reply.
Following this article is California Welfare & Institutions Code Section 309 text regarding relative placement.
After CPS stole our son from us and us “stealing” him back, in June 2011 and then being falsely charged with “kidnapping” CPS unlicensed social worker, Antoine Coley went to Arizona to get Donnelly and transport him across state lines. The worker claims, in the contact notes, “There were no marks or bruises. Donnelly appeared to be happy he played with my cell phone while we waited. He wanted to call his mommy and daddy and he was very excited when he mentioned that he saw them.”
After placing Donnelly in foster care, Coley and his supervisor, Amanda Spratley, set up visits for Donnelly to see his Aunt Cindy, his three adult brothers, his sister and his Grandfather (Pop-pop). They visited with Donnelly twice a month for 6 months. All of these relatives established even stronger bonds with Donnelly than they already had. Cindy tried desperately to get placement of Donnelly.
We were denied any visitation while we were in jail (yes, the courts do allow visits with parents who are in county jail all the time).
Cindy and her husband were cleared and her home was approved on 6/9/2011 but LIAR, Antoine Coley, kept telling her that he did not think that she was approved. In fact, on 7/19/2011 during a face to face visit with Donnelly in the foster home, Coley told the foster “father” that he “anticipated Donnelly remaining in placement” [with him]. This foster home was not completely certified as they had not completed the Assess All and as of 9/19/2011 the foster people still had not completed the paperwork! So they put Donnelly somewhere that was not completely verified and certified while Cindy was completely cleared and approved!
During that face to face contact on 7/19/2011 Donnelly was still asking about us and talked about how the police “took my mommy and daddy” and asked to use his phone so he could call us.
Cindy told me that Donnelly asked about us at every visit.
Coley continued to tell Cindy that she was not approved for placement.
On 8/22/2011 Coley had another face to face visit with Donnelly at the foster home. He notes in his contact log that Donnelly is still talking about us and how we are with the police. The contact notes states again that Donnelly “tells the other children that his parents are with the police quite frequently” and wants to know when we will come get him. What does this tell you about how Donnelly was feeling? It is apparent that he missed us a whole lot and had not forgotten about us whatsoever.
On 10/24/11 Donnelly was introduced to his now adoptive parents. They took him to their house for the weekend. They had a second weekend stay-over on 10/29/2011.
On 10/30/2011 Cindy received the approval letter after contacting the RAU worker directly.
On 11/2/2011 Coley informed our family that it was their last visit with Donnelly and told Cindy to tell Donnelly it was his last visit with his family. The case notes say, “I spoke to the family prior to the start of the visit about the adoption hearing and informed them that I anticipated placing Donnelly in an adoptive home within the next week. I explained to them the adoptions process. They asked if there was anything that they could do to get placement of Donnelly. I informed the siblings that they can request to be assessed for placement and that AI would complete the referral to RAU on their behalf The paternal aunt reports that she was approved for placement. I informed her that I have not received the approval letter but would look into the matter. The family was very emotional and indicated that they are willing to do whatever it takes to protect Donnelly and get placement of him.” They tried not to show how disappointed they all were in front of Donnelly and tried to make their last birthday celebration with him as fun as possible in a Foster Agency visitation room.
They terminated the visits because Donnelly was being placed with the prospective adoptive people and they were going to adopt him. We were not even out of jail yet! Our rights were not terminated either! The “permanent plan” of adoption hearing was still two months away!
When Cindy told Donnelly about it being the last visit she said that his face turned white and he completely lost his spirit.
Donnelly was placed with his adoptive parents on 11/4/2011, merely two days later. The “mother” immediately began calling Donnelly “her son” and made him call them “Mommy & Daddy”. (That is what she posted on her Facebook).
She posted expressions of being blessed and extremely happy to “be a Mommy”. She also posted that having a child is “expensive” and “tiring” and after a trip to Disneyland she said that Donnelly had “no attention span”. After she got her car detailed one day she complained, “It took my son, what, less than 5 minutes to ruin it”. She also complains that Donnelly is a ‘drama king” and that he knows how to manipulate being sick so he doesn’t have to go to school. I recall a post where she proclaimed that her day was day from “H E double hockey sticks”. (If I claimed to be so “blessed” with the opportunity to have a child after not being able to conceive one of my own, I would not post one single complaint. But that’s probably just me then, right?
At the hearing when they terminated our rights, on March 1, 2012, Antoine Coley and Amanda Spratley sat in the back row of the court. When the Judge finished his speech and his condemnation of us, everyone was crying. I was hysterical, Bill had to leave the courtroom he was so upset, even the court cohorts were putting on a good show. BUT ANTOINE COLEY AND AMANDA SPRATLEY, JUMPED UP FOR JOY, HUGGING EACH OTHER AGAIN AND AGAIN, AND CONGRATULATING EACH OTHER WITH SMILES FROM EAR TO EAR!
In September, when we finally received the Clerk’s Transcript on Appeal (the appellate lawyer was so lame that he failed to review the last 3 hearing transcripts and specifically requested to EXCLUDE the detention hearing reporter’s transcripts). In the court records I came across the names of the people who were adopting Donnelly.
It took me four months before I began writing a letter to these people because we were very reluctant to upset anyone. Finally, in December after careful deliberation and consideration as to how contact would affect them, possibly affect Donnelly, and what would happen to us. We researched the laws and found nothing that prohibited us from writing to them. (Just like I consulted with two attorneys prior to publishing this post to make sure it doesn’t violate their restraining order.)
I saw that the adoption was finalized on November 2, 2012 at the Southwest Justice Center’s Adoption Finalization Day. They have this event every year in November so for all of you whose children are being adopted out of this court, stay informed of the date they have this finalization day that way you can go there and protest, see your child one last time or try to speak to the adoptive parents before they put a restraining order on you.
I mailed the letter in mid January 2013. After no indication that they even received the letter, I wrote a very polite and short follow-up. Shortly after they received it, this devoted Presbyterian posted that she “hates us” when she doesn’t even know us.
I guess their hatred for us motivated them to get a restraining order. They claimed that they were “terrified” to learn that we knew who they were and where Donnelly was. They claimed that they feared that we were going to “kidnap” Donnelly again. How many people WRITE A LETTER to people whose child they plan to kidnap? I don’t t believe that they were “terrified” by any means, I think they just don’t want to share Donnelly whatsoever.
Our correspondence included home videos as well as a 36 page explanation of exactly what happened to us and how CPS treated us. I wrote this letter from my heart. Bill wrote a letter too. It was nice and sincere and the exact opposite from threatening. We thanked them for caring for our son. We told them that we believed he was safe with them and that we believed they had established a mutual bond and we were glad we did not have to worry about the quality of his care. We made sure that they knew that we had absolutely no intentions to ruin that or to take him away from them. We just wanted to tell him that we did not abandon him, that what happened was not his fault, that we are OK, that we miss him terribly, that he is such a good boy and we are so proud of him for being so strong. We feel he deserves to know that we are OK and that we love him with all our heart.
I offered for them to meet us alone, without Donnelly and that if, after meeting and talking with my husband and I, they decided that we were bad people we would have to accept that and try to move on and not bother them.
I really believed that they would at least call us and say, “Bug off losers!” if meeting us was out of the question. But they had to get the cops and the courts involved and spend $4,000 on an attorney. We went to court and tried to fight the restraining order but we lost, which completely baffles me since nothing in those letters were the least bit threatening and really, who would write before doing something crazy?
Donnelly deserves to have a relationship with his original family. His siblings have a right to have a relationship with him especially since we already know where he is and there is nothing that they could reveal to us to put Donnelly “in danger” (which is a crock anyway). These people are denying him that right because they choose to believe CPS over us and OUR EVIDENCE. CPS showed them nothing real, just false statements and other people’s criminal records.
So, the court cohorts and Antoine Coley went way out of their way to lie to Cindy about being approved for placement so that they could adopt Donnelly out for the incentive money and just to teach us, and the public, a lesson for rescuing him from them. The court cohorts claimed that we were too “dangerous” to even know where our son was however, they didn’t even lift a finger to prevent us from finding these people’s names in the court records! Not one single effort to use a sharpie on their names! It was like they got their money and washed their hands of it. Just goes to show you how unreal their statements about us are.
Now we are trying to be supportive to people who are going through even worse railroading by these people and just because this person speaks to us, they were told that it was “very detrimental to her case” and that “it doesn’t look good”.
What doesn’t look good is how they conduct their hearings. Every hearing is void of statutory requirements, in violation of countless Cal.Rules of Ct., and full of obvious bias toward the Department.
The Baby Sammy story is an excellent example of what CPS does to thousands and thousands of parents each month. If the news aired at least ONE of the countless stories they receive each month similar to that story, maybe people would realize that we just may be telling the truth! It was mentioned in the Restraining Order complaint that our story “is heartbreaking if true” but they didn’t really consider it true or they are in complete denial about that possibility and simply fear that Donnelly will love us more than them or maybe she is has convinced herself that she actually gave birth to him.?
CALIFORNIA WELFARE & INSTITUTIONS CODE:
309. (a) Upon delivery to the social worker of a child who has been
taken into temporary custody under this article, the social worker
shall immediately investigate the circumstances of the child and the
facts surrounding the child’s being taken into custody and attempt to
maintain the child with the child’s family through the provision of
services. The social worker shall immediately release the child to
the custody of the child’s parent, guardian, or responsible relative
unless one or more of the following conditions exist:
(1) The child has no parent, guardian, or responsible relative; or
the child’s parent, guardian, or responsible relative is not willing
to provide care for the child.
(2) Continued detention of the child is a matter of immediate and
urgent necessity for the protection of the child and there are no
reasonable means by which the child can be protected in his or her
home or the home of a responsible relative.
(3) There is substantial evidence that a parent, guardian, or
custodian of the child is likely to flee the jurisdiction of the
(4) The child has left a placement in which he or she was placed
by the juvenile court.
(5) The parent or other person having lawful custody of the child
voluntarily surrendered physical custody of the child pursuant to
Section 1255.7 of the Health and Safety Code and did not reclaim the
child within the 14-day period specified in subdivision (e) of that
(b) In any case in which there is reasonable cause for believing
that a child who is under the care of a physician and surgeon or a
hospital, clinic, or other medical facility and cannot be immediately
moved and is a person described in Section 300, the child shall be
deemed to have been taken into temporary custody and delivered to the
social worker for the purposes of this chapter while the child is at
the office of the physician and surgeon or the medical facility.
(c) If the child is not released to his or her parent or guardian,
the child shall be deemed detained for purposes of this chapter.
(d) (1) If an able and willing relative, as defined in Section
319, or an able and willing nonrelative extended family member, as
defined in Section 362.7, is available and requests temporary
placement of the child pending the detention hearing, the county
welfare department shall initiate an assessment of the relative’s or
nonrelative extended family member’s suitability, which shall include
an in-home inspection to assess the safety of the home and the
ability of the relative or nonrelative extended family member to care
for the child’s needs, and a consideration of the results of a
criminal records check conducted pursuant to subdivision (a) of
Section 16504.5 and a check of allegations of prior child abuse or
neglect concerning the relative or nonrelative extended family member
and other adults in the home. Upon completion of this assessment,
the child may be placed in the assessed home. For purposes of this
paragraph, and except for the criminal records check conducted
pursuant to subdivision (a) of Section 16504.5, the standards used to
determine suitability shall be the same standards set forth in the
regulations for the licensing of foster family homes.
(2) Immediately following the placement of a child in the home of
a relative or a nonrelative extended family member, the county
welfare department shall evaluate and approve or deny the home for
purposes of AFDC-FC eligibility pursuant to Section 11402. The
standards used to evaluate and grant or deny approval of the home of
the relative and of the home of a nonrelative extended family member,
as described in Section 362.7, shall be the same standards set forth
in regulations for the licensing of foster family homes which
prescribe standards of safety and sanitation for the physical plant
and standards for basic personal care, supervision, and services
provided by the caregiver.
(3) To the extent allowed by federal law, as a condition of
receiving funding under Title IV-E of the federal Social Security Act
(42 U.S.C. Sec. 670 et seq.), if a relative or nonrelative extended
family member meets all other conditions for approval, except for the
receipt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s criminal history
information for the relative or nonrelative extended family member,
and other adults in the home, as indicated, the county welfare
department may approve the home and document that approval, if the
relative or nonrelative extended family member, and each adult in the
home, has signed and submitted a statement that he or she has never
been convicted of a crime in the United States, other than a traffic
infraction as defined in paragraph (1) of subdivision (a) of Section
42001 of the Vehicle Code. If, after the approval has been granted,
the department determines that the relative or nonrelative extended
family member or other adult in the home has a criminal record, the
approval may be terminated.
(4) If the criminal records check indicates that the person has
been convicted of a crime for which the Director of Social Services
cannot grant an exemption under Section 1522 of the Health and Safety
Code, the child shall not be placed in the home. If the criminal
records check indicates that the person has been convicted of a crime
for which the Director of Social Services may grant an exemption
under Section 1522 of the Health and Safety Code, the child shall not
be placed in the home unless a criminal records exemption has been
granted by the county based on substantial and convincing evidence to
support a reasonable belief that the person with the criminal
conviction is of such good character as to justify the placement and
not present a risk of harm to the child.
(e) (1) If the child is removed, the social worker shall conduct,
within 30 days, an investigation in order to identify and locate all
grandparents, adult siblings, and other adult relatives of the child,
as defined in paragraph (2) of subdivision (f) of Section 319,
including any other adult relatives suggested by the parents. The
social worker shall provide to all adult relatives who are located,
except when that relative’s history of family or domestic violence
makes notification inappropriate, within 30 days of removal of the
child, written notification and shall also, whenever appropriate,
provide oral notification, in person or by telephone, of all the
(A) The child has been removed from the custody of his or her
parent or parents, or his or her guardians.
(B) An explanation of the various options to participate in the
care and placement of the child and support for the child’s family,
including any options that may be lost by failing to respond. The
notice shall provide information about providing care for the child
while the family receives reunification services with the goal of
returning the child to the parent or guardian, how to become a foster
family home or approved relative or nonrelative extended family
member as defined in Section 362.7, and additional services and
support that are available in out-of-home placements. The notice
shall also include information regarding the Kin-GAP Program (Article
4.5 (commencing with Section 11360) of Chapter 2 of Part 3 of
Division 9), the CalWORKs program for approved relative caregivers
(Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 11200) of Part 3 of Division 9),
adoption, and adoption assistance (Chapter 2.1 (commencing with
Section 16115) of Part 4 of Division 9), as well as other options for
contact with the child, including, but not limited to, visitation.
The State Department of Social Services, in consultation with the
County Welfare Directors Association and other interested
stakeholders, shall develop the written notice.
(2) On and after January 1, 2011, the social worker shall also
provide the adult relatives notified pursuant to paragraph (1) with a
relative information form to provide information to the social
worker and the court regarding the needs of the child. The form shall
include a provision whereby the relative may request the permission
of the court to address the court, if the relative so chooses. The
Judicial Council, in consultation with the State Department of Social
Services and the County Welfare Directors Association, shall develop
(3) The social worker shall use due diligence in investigating the
names and locations of the relatives pursuant to paragraph (1),
including, but not limited to, asking the child in an age-appropriate
manner about relatives important to the child, consistent with the
child’s best interest, and obtaining information regarding the
location of the child’s adult relatives. Each county welfare
department shall create and make public a procedure by which
relatives of a child who has been removed from his or her parents or
guardians may identify themselves to the county welfare department
and be provided with the notices required by paragraphs (1) and (2).
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