Kyle’s Journey: The Difference a Guardian ad Litem Can Make

boy-confidence-face-764356Kyle’s adoptive journey began when he was an infant. He and his five siblings were removed from their home due to domestic violence and alleged sexual abuse.  All of Kyle’s siblings were placed in pre-adoptive homes but Kyle was left to linger in foster care.  It didn’t take long before the trauma of being removed from his home and separated from his family began to display themselves in Kyle’s behavior.  He was diagnosed with ADHD and ODD (Oppositional-Defiant Disorder).  He even began to display the beginnings of some sexual misconduct.  Because of this, he was moved from home to home, from school to school and with each new placement, his behavior grew worse and worse.

After three years, a couple in Central Florida opened their home and began proceedings to adopt Kyle, but after some time with them, a caseworker began to notice some unusual behavior indicating abuse by one of the parents in the home and Kyle was once again removed and brought back to foster care in Miami-Dade County.  There he remained for another two years until yet another couple agreed that they would take Kyle in and give him a home.  Once again, the process had begun for Kyle to be adopted.  But during the proceedings, the judge had discovered some concerning issues in the couple’s background that caused her to halt the process.  Here is where Kyle’s Guardian ad Litem Paul and the GAL team intervened.  The prospective adoptive parents had indeed experienced some troubles in their past which included treatment for trauma from sexual abuse and financial struggles which resulted in them being evicted from a home. But by not investigating these concerns further, the judge failed to understand that there were mitigating circumstances in this case.  You see, these prospective parents had also both been in foster care.  The Guardian ad Litem made the judge see that their past was not a hindrance to their ability to love and care for Kyle, it was an advantage.

Thanks to Kyle’s GAL team, they were able to fight so that the truth would come to light.  Their comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the situation, as well as the breakdowns in the system, championed the cause to overturn the judge’s decision and today at age seven, Kyle is happily adopted, living in a safe and loving home.  He was placed in a private school and given the proper interventions to put him back on track academically.  The couple knew how to engage Kyle and provide the understanding he needed to grow and thrive.  His behavior has improved dramatically, and his aggression and defiance have all but disappeared.

There are over 2,500 children in foster care in Miami-Dade County, plenty of them with a story like Kyle’s.  Please give so that we can ensure that all of them have someone like Paul to make sure their story has the same happy ending.

 

Names have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.

Testimonial

Voices For Children is more than just an organization, it's a beacon of hope... Voices is that hand to our future. I'm proof that there is hope.

Ronald L. Smith
Clerk Specialist - Miami-Dade County
Attorney's Office