Baby Bounced Between Foster & Adoptive Families
CONCORD, N.C. - Clothes, toiletries, a high chair, even a crib: reminders of the son they had for five weeks, still all around the Smith's Concord home. "We had to pack him up and get him ready and tell him bye in a couple hours," says Chrissy Smith. She and her husband got the then 22-month-old from Gaston County in August. In October, the baby was abruptly returned to the foster family. The adoption process takes 90 days to finalize, so the Smith's had no legal rights to the baby.
"It felt like a death. It felt like our lives had been torn apart," says Smith.
The couple wanted answers. Gaston County's Department of Social Services called a meeting. "As soon as we walked into the room, the lawyer sits right down and says 'Well, you have to sign this confidentiality agreement, we'll tell you everything you need to know and you'll never discuss this again,'" says Smith.
She and her husband refused - and they secretly recorded the meeting. The Smiths say Keith Moon, the Director of DSS, single-handedly made the decision to return the baby to foster care; a decision never before made in the history of the department.
FOX News @ Ten Anchor Morgan Fogarty asked Smith, "So Keith Moon, the director of DSS, never met you, never came to your home, never met the child until the day this all went down?" Smith says, "No. And he still never met me or my husband until this past Monday at our DSS meeting."
The Smith's say Moon was under pressure from county commissioners who are up for re-election. The Smith's say commissioners are afraid to lose votes. The Gaston County-based foster family wanted the baby back and rallied other foster parents.
"They (the commissioners and DSS) needed this issue in their county to go away," says Smith.
Now, surrounded by baby stuff but no baby, Smith says, "It's time to do something."
Gaston County DSS tells FOX Charlotte they have no comment except that all info related to juveniles is confidential. Our attempts to contact the foster family were unsuccessful. Meantime, the Smith's have filed a complaint with the governor and the NAACP. They've also talked to an attorney.
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