Grandmother fights for custody of own grandson

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KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- A Kansas grandmother says there's no reason why she shouldn't be able to have custody of her own grandson, but for some reason, the state won't let her have him. Patricia Madison says she is approved by the state of Kansas to be a foster parent, and she's fostered many children over the last five years. But for some reason she's not allowed to take in her own grandson.

This custody battle has been going on for about a year and a half now. But Madison says she turned to fox 4 for help because she fears her grandchild will never be returned to his family now that the child's foster parents are interested in adopting him.

For more than a year, the only way Madison has been able to see her almost four year-old grandson Tristen is with supervised visits. She used to see him weekly, but then it was changed to once a month.

"When I do see him I really don't know if that's the last time," she said tearfully.

Madison says about a year and a half ago her grandson was taken away from her son and put into state care. For awhile Tristen was placed with Madison's daughter, but Madison says KVC, the agency that oversees foster care, took the child away. Madison says it was because they told her daughter that she worked too much.

"She works 40 hours a week, I think that's normal," Madison says, "you have to work to pay your bills."

Madison says she's made it clear from the start she wanted to take in her grandson.

"I told them I wanted him placed in my care because I had been working with KVC keeping their foster kids," she said, "and they told me 'no.'"

Madison says she's never been told exactly why she can't have Tristen. At one point she says KVC told her it was because of an abuse allegation from 1998. But letters from the state dated last year and last week both confirm that Madison is not on the Abuse and Neglect Registry and is not barred from working with kids.

"I want all of this to be investigated," Madison said, "this is not a way of putting families together this is not the way it's supposed to be."

Madison keeps the bedroom ready for her grandson to come home but she's losing hope, and fears that her grandson's foster family will be allowed to adopt Tristen.

"If he's taken from me, I will never be the same," she said, "I love him and I miss him and I hope soon he'll be back with us again."

Both KVC and the state's Department of Children and Families say they can't comment on specific cases. But KVC says it does place kids with family members whenever possible. The agency adds that it works with the state and the courts to determine what is best for the child.

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  • AlexisM

    Whats best for the child they always say that . I have a case going on where i ask them over and over to give my son to his grandmother who has passed every check in the state of missouri and they are still looking for people to afopt him. Why why adopt when you have a perfect family candidate i will never understand this at all. She gets visits but isnt good enough to keep him full time! I hage dhs i think someone needs to step in and investigate them!

  • Corrina Howard

    In regards to your recent coverage on the grandparent rights/kvc srs. I was super bummed I wasnt able to make it out for the event. I too am a parent dealing with the same agency. And believe it or not, just like the grandmother in search of help and answers to have the children where they rightfully belong if the parents cant have the kids, my mother and I are going through what sounds like the EXACT same problem. I dont know what to do, who to contact, who to report and suggest a formal investigation upon DCF and KVC both to not only bring our babies home but all the other families who may have fallen victim to KS state’s [legal?] crime and corrupt activity. So far, publicly, we know of 2 potential cases with possible wrong findings and disposed of out of bad judgement and an unfair trial. Who’s to say how many more cases just like ours or similar are out there in fear of losing rights to their children and babies too? Who do we [the people] go to in search of help and representation? How many more parents like me will be given broken promises and lose precious time with their little ones even AFTER complying with all tasks, court orders, evaluations, etc… not only are we a year and a half in on my case as it is, last Tuesday, Judge Kathleen Sloan terminated my parental rights. I have since filed a motion to appeal. Hopefully, the courts choose to accept it and I get this seemingly 2nd chance at what I can only pray to result in my son Jaxon and I being reunited and back in each other’s lives. Theres so much more malarchy and unjustifiable occurances due to the high overturn of people assigned to a case with little to no knowledge of what is or may have already taken place during the span of the case. Parents are held accountable for their actions and mistakes that unforgivingly weigh out any progress ir achievements along the way. Theres two sides to every story… kidjacking is a thing of existence and its tearing apart another family every day due to unlawful and wrongful removal of a child(ren) and until a formal investigation within Kansas DCF/SRS as well as KVC & all state contracted foster agencies a like take place, there will continue to be this repetative cycle of il{LEGAL} activity and family destruction based off bad calls, unfair hearings, and harsh judgement. I need to know how to plan my next move accordingly and what proper steps to take as I begin round 2 of #BringJaxHome. Please help me! Please. I am begging, with tears in my eyes and an emptiness in my heart. Please.

  • Kim Smth

    I too am now dealing with this in Missouri. My grandson was taken from my son at the hospital and placed into foster care where he has half siblings. I made it very clear that I am ready, willing and able to care for him and they will not tell me why he wasn’t placed with our family since grandparents are supposed to have first placement preference. My heart is broken as I’m not sure I’ll ever see him again and he’s just a few days old.

  • Elisa Breitenbach

    The public needs an up date on this story for the sake of all children and families. Closed doors and secrecy is not working. The media is the only voce these families have. Just ask the grandmother of Jesse Wilson who is missing in Buckeye Arizona. This is the time to reform child protection and the system that works behind closed doors. The last performance audit on Kansas child protection shows the need to change the Secretary of Kansas Department for Children & Families.

  • Angell

    Shouldn’t be this much fighting for your own flesh and blood. But still happening today. Horrible horrible. This is heartbreaking. Just like the fight I’m in in winning my biological family back 😢😢😢

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