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“I KNOW I DID EVERYTHING I COULD”
by Sharon Rondeau
(May 5, 2018) — In a stunning development, the mother of three children set to be adopted by her parents in Southern California reported on Thursday that she and her husband were able to visit with their children after two and one-half years of no contact.
Kanika and Roosevelt Williams live in Alabama but are frequently in Los Angeles County to attend hearings resulting from their three children having been placed in her parents’ home on a path toward adoption.
Allegations of abuse of power and discretion have been alleged in both mainstream news reports and secondary sources on the part of California child-protective service agencies as well as those in other states. Juvenile courts have also been reported by parents to be discriminatory and quick to place children in foster homes when proof of neglect and/or abuse is not evident.
The Post & Email has seen the photos of the reunited Williams family but is choosing not to publish them to protect the children’s privacy.
Kanika and Roosevelt currently have a petition for a writ of certiorari docketed at the U.S. Supreme Court asking that the decisions of the California courts to allow the adoption of their elder two children, a boy and a girl, be set aside, alleging infringement of their constitutional and civil rights to raise their own children absent any evidence of neglect or abuse.
The first case involving the Williamses’ eldest child began in 2011 after Roosevelt sent him to stay with his maternal grandparents temporarily while Kanika recovered from a medication-related illness. During that time, Kanika’s mother contacted the Los Angeles Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) to inquire as to whether or not there were grounds for the child to remain with her permanently.
The Williamses provided documentation showing that at that time, DCFS found no reason to “detain” the child at his grandmother’s home. However, just weeks later, a hearing was set appointing Kanika’s parents as temporary custodians and contemplating the possibility of “adoption,” a development which DCFS spokesman Armand Montiel told us is very rare given the compressed time frame.
Nevertheless, in dozens of hearings between then and the present day, the eldest child, second child, and now the third child are set to be adopted by their grandparents.
Kanika told us that because attempts to contact their children at her parents’ home by telephone have been unsuccessful over the years, she and Roosevelt decided to drive there to see if they might be permitted to see the children. Kanika reported that after knocking on the door for “a good 10 minutes,” her mother opened it without speaking and allowed the children outside.
“We actually got to see our kids on April 21st, 2 days before my birthday,” Kanika told us in an email. “We just showed up and we got to see them. It was great to see our kids and bittersweet…our kids were ecstatic to see us and I was just overwhelmed of how big they are and how bad I just wanted to hold them. We spent about 30 minutes with them and I’m not sure what compelled her to open the door because it wasn’t immediate, it was a good 10 minutes before she opened it.”
Kanika expressed gratitude toward her mother, with whom she has been estranged since discovering that she and her father requested that DCFS become involved in her son’s custody. “I am a believer so it was an act of God, like lightning, the timing and everything because they didn’t answer the phone before and haven’t afterwards. I’m very grateful and of course it was bittersweet,” Kanika told us.
As for the impact of the children’s absence and her attempts to regain custody, Kanika said, “It has affected my marriage, which jobs I can get, my kids’ upbringing, just every aspect of life.”
Of the Supreme Court filing, she said, “Now we wait for people that don’t even know our family and all we’ve been through to make a decision. It’s absolute insanity. We don’t know if our case fits their political agenda and sad but true, their ruling will be based on that and not how corrupted this system is, that people like us, good people, good parents, could be dragged through the mud for basic rights and respect.”
She then added, “I don’t know what the Supreme Court is going to do and how long it will take for them to do it. I don’t know when I will see him again so I just held them and wanted to just hold them and I told him that, I whispered in his ears the truth, he heard it from me and he kept saying sure so I don’t think he was interested but it don’t even matter, I know, if I die today, I know I did everything I could.”