Decision expected in custody of 18-month-old foster child

Paternal aunt on the sidelines also wanting custody

SAN ANTONIO – The lawsuit filed against Child Protective Services by a foster couple over the custody of an 18-month-old child is expected to go to the jury on Monday.

Sandra and Darryl Heaggans said they want to adopt “Kenya,” whose been in their care since she was five days old.

CPS maintains its reunification policy requires the child be placed with family members, now that parental rights have been terminated.

Ruby Davis, the paternal aunt, said she and her husband are ready to adopt Kenya. But the Heaggans have said they’re concerned about her safety.

Davis said she’s aware her brother has a criminal history.

“Just because my brother dealt with drugs or whatever he did in the past, has nothing to do with his family,” Davis said. “Just because he’s that, doesn’t mean I’m that.”

She even said that if her brother shows up demanding to see his child, she would call police.

“Yes, ma’m. I would. Yes, ma’m,” Davis said. “I am here to protect Kenya, that’s my main responsibility.”

Davis said she and the rest of her family have testified they can provide a safe, loving environment. She said she’s already raised two college-educated daughters, her husband is a contractor for major oil company and she works at a healthcare facility.

Davis said she understands why the Heaggans have fallen in love with Kenya, an adorable and happy and beautiful child.

“We’re not taking anything away from anybody who had her, but we do believe she should be with family,” Davis said.

Jocelyn Andrews, the attorney representing the Davis family, said the hearing in 225th District Court will first decide whether CPS and the foster family should retain custody before any adoption proceedings can begin. 

About the Author:

Jessie Degollado has been with KSAT since 1984. She is a general assignments reporter who covers a wide variety of stories. Raised in Laredo and as an anchor/reporter at KRGV in the Rio Grande Valley, Jessie is especially familiar with border and immigration issues. In 2007, Jessie also was inducted into the San Antonio Women's Hall of Fame.