Their stories are stories of survival in a #CorruptFamilyCourt system.
Stories of exploitation, abuse, lies and the outright sale into the sex trade and human trafficking.
Stephanie's Story is the perfect example of why children should be given a biological option placement at every possible opportunity.
Stephanie Moran, a former foster child, replied to a critic in a post I made earlier today. She was answering a person who believes that biological family are given every opportunity to have their children returned to them.
We don't often hear from children who experienced foster care so I was grateful that she commented.
In her own words:
Two time former foster kid here. 18 months in care the first time, moved in excess of 36 times. Over 4 years the second time in, couldn't tell you how many times I moved. Do I blame the system? I do.
I blame them for the fact that I do not trust people in my life, for I was made to feel like I was a monetary benefit, nothing more. I blame them for my inability to feel comfortable in any one spot due to moving incessantly. I blame them for my sister being mentally unstable due to the severe abuse, sexual and physical, she endured while in care. Abuse she reported NUMEROUS times, that no one paid attention to until she was left bleeding and unconscious on the floor of a residential facility she was placed in. I blame them for my brother missing parts of his body, parts that he shot off with a gun his foster father was not legally allowed to own while working with high risk children, but kept anyways because he felt like it. I blame them for my siblings and I not knowing each other, as they did their best to keep us seperated the entire time we were in care, stating that we would be too difficult to manage if we all lived close to each other.
It was ok for us to all be placed back with my mother though, after years of being kept separate and not even being allowed to speak to each other in a consistent manner. I blame them for my PTSD diagnosis, a diagnosis that came about due to the abuse and neglect I suffered while under the states care. My entire family suffered. Can you imagine being 12 years old and being asked if you wanted a new mom and dad? Being told that you could have new ones if you wanted, all you had to do was say your real parents were bad to you?
My parents were not perfect. Sometimes we would have to go to the food pantry to eat. And sometimes we had to hand down clothes a lot. But they weren't drug addicts. They weren't abusive. They were poor, and doing the best they could with five children. The state was supposed to help them, and instead destroyed their children, and them in the process. My father feels like a failure, he cries a lot for what we went through. Says he would have died to keep us from the stuff we endured, says he wishes he could have traded his babies places to keep us safe. My mother? She never forgave herself for asking for help, for believing the case worker was there to help our family. She didn't think their idea of helping would be to take her children and force her to pay an ungodly amount of child support in order to be proven "fit" enough to get us back.
So do I blame the system? Yes, I lay the blame for the destruction they caused right where it goes: at their feet.
Stephanie's powerful words resonated across social media and became our most shared post to date.
The multiple now millions of #TAKEN children just like Stephanie are why we continue to fight for change in the #CorruptFamilyCourt system as it exists today. Stephanie's Story is powerful. She survived. At what cost though? To her and to her future generations.
We, at AmericasTakenChildren will continue to fight for each #TAKEN child.