A happy ending

This was a long time coming.

When I first reported on this family a year ago, the boys – who had behavioral issues and delays likely stemming from abuse, neglect and being shuttled through foster placements – had just been removed from the loving women they called Mama and Mommy, and the stable home where they tended gardens filled with chickens, vegetables and butterflies.

Angela Sugarek and Carol Jeffery, Houston public school educators whose home was regarded as exemplary, had been deemed uncooperative by the Wharton Child Protective Services office after they repeatedly reported concerns, including suspected abuse by a teen half-sibling elsewhere in foster care whom the boys were required to visit.

The women fought in court to get the boys back. Seven weeks later, they did – but it was only supposed to be temporary. CPS continued to block adoption efforts and to shop around the boys and their sibling as a package deal. The mothers say that after my columns began running, CPS staffers who once praised their care began to nitpick and demean, at one point initiating an investigation about a pedicure one boy received on medical advice, and another time terminating their right to medical consent.

Then, suddenly, everything changed. Just as mysteriously as CPS staff had opposed the adoption by Sugarek and Jeffery, they consented to it. Maybe they realized the battle was futile.

“We weren’t going to stop fighting,” Jeffery said.

In this business, we live for happy endings. But like everything else in this saga, it didn’t come easy.

See here, here, and here for the background, and be sure to read the whole thing. I don’t have anything to add to what Lisa Falkenberg says. There are lots of problems with CPS, many of which we can blame on the Legislator and our Governor, and others that CPS itself is responsible for. This story was an example of the latter. It’s great that it all worked out in the end, but it shouldn’t have taken this long and it shouldn’t have been this hard or this frustrating.

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3 Responses to A happy ending

  1. Flypusher says:

    I’m glad to read about this. While I can understand the impulse not the split up kin, it seems to me that CPS can often err too much on the side of giving a toxic blood relative too much benefit of the doubt. The older half sibling probably was horrifically abused and needs help, but not at the expense of endangering the younger brothers. Best wishes for all of them.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    This is a good story. These women obviously provided a good home to two kids, and now that they are adopted, the taxpayers should be off the hook for raising them. This is a win for everybody…..the women adopters, the kids, and the taxpayers.

    You’d think CPS would want to close cases so they can focus their limited resources on kids in bad situations.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    Edit: instead of throwing up roadblocks, CPS should be focused on customer service, in this case, how can we make it easier for good people to adopt kids who need homes?

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