Foster parents sue CPS to adopt child

State agency defends family reunification policy

SAN ANTONIO – A former military couple who became foster parents said they are suing Child Protective Services in order to adopt a little girl in their care since she was five days old.

“Kenya,” now 18 months old, remains in their custody.

Sandra and Darryl Heaggans were hesitant to talk about why it was necessary to file the lawsuit.

“Yeah, I’d rather not answer that right now,” Sandra Heaggans said.

The hearing in 225th District Court revealed a sister of the child’s biological father wants to adopt the child.

“As we found information, we felt we needed to intervene to keep her safe,” Sandra Heaggans said.

Family attorney Joe Hoelscher had Kathrine Geddings, a CPS caseworker, tell the jury why the agency was sticking to its family reunification policy despite concerns about the child’s father.

“He does have a long criminal history. I completely acknowledge that. His rights were terminated to the child,” Geddings said. “This child does still have family that will remain protective of her and she should be with that family.”

Geddings tried to assure the jury that the father would not be allowed unsupervised access to the child.

“Family is most important,” Geddings told jurors.

She said the agency tries to preserve family ties through rehabilitation, if necessary.

“If they’re able to be rehabilitated, we continue to work with them,” Geddings said.

If not, she said other family members can be considered.

“We trust in the jury to make the right decision, and we’re hoping for the best interest of Kenya,” Sandra Heaggans said.

Final arguments in case are likely to take place Monday.