Babystealer of the Year: Rozita Swinton, Suzanne Stovall, Amy Langley, or Mary Callahan?Written by: Rob Print This Article
Use of Our Content (Reposting and Quoting)
Legally Kidnapped has narrowed down the voting to four candidates for their “Babystealer of the Year” final vote starting January 10, 2010. The candidates are:
- Rozita Swinton of Colorado – false child abuse reporter
- Suzanne Stovall of Texas – judge
- Amy Langley of Seattle, Washington – former foster mother
- Mary Callahan of Maine – former foster mother turned foster care activist
Three of them, Rozita Swinton, Suzanne Stovall, and Amy Langley, appear to be unabashed babystealers but have widely varying behaviors. The fourth, Mary Callahan, appears to know she was in the wrong and is working to reform the foster care system.
Rozita Swinton might be among the better known candidates. It is her false child abuse report phone call that triggered the actions by Texas Department of Family and Protective Services to take away over 400 children living on the YFZ Ranch, part of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (FLDS) church community.
A person who claimed to be a 16-year-old girl who was trapped inside the sect’s Texas compound and who was being abused by her adult husband called an abuse shelter several times in late March and early April. Those calls prompted the raid, sparking one of the largest child custody cases in U.S. history, according to court documents.
The girl who allegedly made the calls, who identified herself as Sarah, has not been located. Texas child protection officials have said they believe she exists.
But ABC News has learned that Texas Rangers flew to Colorado Springs, Colo., this week and participated in the arrest of a 33-year-old woman who was charged with filing a false report.
Colorado Springs police said Rozita Swinton had made calls in February in which she pretended to be a girl locked in a basement, claiming abuse and calling authorities for help. Swinton has a record for making similar calls in 2005.
We’ve written about Suzanne Stovall previously. She’s a Texas judge who has drawn great ire for ridiculous actions that keep kids apart from their parents.
Amy Langley appears to have been nominated due to perceptions that she and the media mislead the public about foster daughter “Poca” and her biological family, emphasizing the “rights” of foster parents versus biological parents. Some believe the goals were apparently to keep “Poca” away from her biological family and to boost TV ratings by pouring on the emotional drama and biased reporting.
But there’s more to this story. As discussed in the video above, Judge Anita Farris from Snohomish County Superior Court seems intent on violating Washington law about making child welfare hearings open to the public. Farris also has a bad reputation with family law litigants as discussed in this posting on CourthouseForum.com:
Sorry to hear that you too were a victim of Anita Farris.
Anita was the judge over my own divorce in 1996. When it came to financial accounting, Farris embraced Boss Tweed of Tamany Hall as her mentor. She cooked the books and lied about every decision.
These were straightforward financial facts. Balances in accounts, etc.
When it came to parenting issues – I was separated from my child for 3 years, without the benefit of a trial/ hearing. This was because Anita separated the financial/ parenting issues. Then, had the case “specially assigned”, so she was the only judge who could hear motions, etc.
Essentially, Farris financially destroyed me and withheld my child.
As example – when my child was illegally taken outside the United States, a motion was set to be heard. The Snohomish County Court calendar directed me to a different courtroom, as Anita heard the motion in an “annex” . (Myself absent and unheard, of course.)
The Snohomish County Court Clerk couldn’t offer explanation of their error.
Anita Farris is niether fair or equitable. My experience was that she has no respect for the law, welcomes and rewards perjury, and misuses public office with every intent to do so. A blatant criminal, career politician.
The Snohomish County Court itself is flawed and corrupt. Those judges aren’t about “justice” , they are about “just us”. Larry Mckeeman (presiding judge) does the dirty business of facilitating the conflicts of interest. Etc. Clerks fall in line. Etc. Attorneys take credit cards. Etc. Your misery is just another day at the office.
Rest assured, Anita Farris has no benevolent concern for anything but re-election and a purse filled with legal fees.
Good luck with your future!
CC Tillett of Washington Families United, a child/family advocacy group, had this to say about the case in December 2009:
(from comments in posting Thoughts on Poca)
Washington Families United has been highly involved in both of these cases.
The Stuth case was depicted fairly honestly. The Poca case unfortunately was not. Ms. Frame tried to make it all about Amy.
I cannot go into direct specifics about the Poca case, as it is still acive.
However I will tell you this, we will be happy to spill when this case is closed.
The Poca family has refused to talk in the best interest of all the children. They did so with much class.
The Langley’s on the other hand, tried to destroy this family. For what? Because they were promised by the Department that they could adopt this child. The department asked them a week into the placement if they would be an adoptive resource for the child.
There is a video of Amy and Dick testifying in front of the Washington State legislature. It is more of the same. I will see if I can find it and will post the link. It is lengthy. But worth the viewing.
Washington Families United
Child and Family Advocate
The fourth candidate, Mary Callahan, appears to be reformed and represents that she regrets her role as a foster mother in stealing children from families. She’s become an activist against foster care abuses. She’s also written a book about her viewpoint on how foster parents should be more motivated to reunify children with their biological parents.
Memoirs of a Baby Stealer: Lessons I’ve Learned as a Foster Mother
by Mary Callahan
Mary Callahan never planned on writing a book about her experiences as a foster parent. She had only one goal as a parent, to help the children in her care. But as she learned their stories, it became painfully clear that the Child Welfare System had no sincere regard for the welfare of children. Callahan realized the only way to truly help the children was to tell their stories.
Written from the unique perspective of a foster parent, Memoirs of a Baby Stealer chronicles Callahan’s experiences with five foster children, shedding light on the inadequacies of the Child Welfare System in this country. As the author explains, “They are taking kids from places that aren’t that bad, putting them in places that aren’t that good, and completely ignoring the bond that exists between parent and child.”
Considering Callahan’s choice to raise therapeutic-level foster children (children diagnosed with behavioral and emotional abilities) one is first impressed with the author’s ambition. But it is the honesty, the frank and sometimes humorous descriptions of the successes and failures that endeared this reader to the book itself.
Great book – smart, honest, insightful, May 4, 2004
Callahan is a smart and intuitive foster mother, trained as an emergency-room nurse, who is great with the kids and has a special ability to step outside of the complex and emotional circumstances in which she finds herself. One is struck by the conclusions she arrives at as she is able to consider the situations in a clinical objective fashion. At one point she diagnoses a child in her care to have a rare genetic disorder, an affliction missed by doctors and social workers who had been shuffling the child around in the “system” for years.
It is the sudden and clear insights offered by Callahan during the tale that are most impressive about this story. Combined with true caring and compassion, common-sense offered in a world gone down the rabbit hole, this is a well-written, an easy and enjoyable read.
I think that this book is more than just a must for anyone who has had contact with the foster care system – I think that non-foster parents with teenagers will also find it to be a moving and worthwhile read about the struggles of raising children.
Callahan has become well-known in Maine recently as an activist looking to improve the foster care system, and a bright and articulate spokesmen for the children and parents who encounter foster care. This is a writer with many dimensions, extensive personal experience, and growing respect and influence in the foster care community.
Visit Legally Kidnapped and look on the right hand side of the screen below their logo for the voting form. For more information on the nominees, see To the readers of Legally Kidnapped or visit some of the links below.
|Child Abduction, Child Abuse, Child Custody, Children, Courts, CPS, Divorce, Family, Government Abuse|