Feature

Neglected Lesbian Mothers

Nancy D. Polikoff

Introduction

In June of 2013, Hilda left her two-year-old and ten-month-old children with her partner Joanne while she went to work.1 Joanne injured the two-year-old, Robert, and both children were removed by the Kansas Department for Children and Families (DCF).2 After a short stay in foster care, the children were placed with Hilda’s mother and her husband.3 The family reunification efforts were provided by St. Francis Community Services, a faith-based agency under contract with the state.4 Hilda testified, and there was no denial by the agency, that a case worker asked her if she would ever go back to “loving a man” and told her she needed to be “fixed” so that she did not pass her same-sex “preference” on to her children.5 Hilda complained about the agency bias.6 Two years later, the trial court terminated Hilda’s parental rights.7 The appellate court, upholding the termination, made no reference in its opinion to Hilda’s testimony about what agency personnel said to her regarding her sexual orientation and rejected her argument that the agency website indicated that it was imposing its Christian religious principles upon her.8

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