“HOW TO” NAVIGATE THE FAMILY COURT AND PROBATE SYSTEM FOR PARENTS ONLY

The purpose, of this blog, is to help people navigate through the web of Family Court and Probate Court. I want to help you find resources that will help your case and save you time in your research endevor. It can be very time consuming and difficult to find information for parents in Family Court. I found myself locked in a system and never found a manual on how to do it. I want to help protect the rights of biological parents by educating them on the law and teaching them how to advocate for themselves. In 2009, I wrote a bill called “Gracies Bill”, in Alabama, to protect the rights of parents in adoption cases. It is doing very well but has not passed yet. My blog is about parents, thier rights and how to teach parents to be thier own advocate if they find themselves in this type of situation. I will be glad to answer any questions and highly encourage each of you to search out answers for yourself. That is what I had to do and this is my story.

My aunt and uncle got temporary custody of her when she was 6wks old. They had her for two years and I was court ordered to get her back in august of 2004. In January of 2004 they disappeared with her. I didn’t know where they were for 4 years. I found them in 2008 and found out that they had gone to probate court and told them they didn’t know where I was and that I had abandoned her. They adopted her and at 3 1/2yrs old they changed her first, middle and last name. they changed her name to Meghan Grace Labue. My rights were never terminated and I was never contacted about the adoption hearing to consent or not to consent. We went to court to overturn the adoption but the law says that you can’t for any reason. This adoption was illegal. At the time they disappeared the Court ordered them not to relocate without my permission. They are in contempt of court as well. They keep her away from anyone that knows me trying to hide the truth about what they have done. She thinks that they are her real parents and no one in our family that sees her is allowed to take pictures of her. They seem to not have any plans of undoing what they have done. I wrote a bill called Gracie’s bill to prevent this from happening to other parents and to overturn adoptions in cases like mine and it did well until every avenue I’ve been down the door shut on that too. I have contacted the press, Oprah, Dr. Phil, thousands of attorneys who want to charge me $50k, put out jars without pictures in gas stations, talked to the police, the District Attorney and anyone who will listen to me. I have found many resources both local and national that help in cases in Family/Probate court. Since this time, I have helped over thirty parents to find their way out of system, that seems impossible to fight, and I have helped them get their children back. With my help and the help of the resources I have obtained, I will guarantee that I will be able to help you help yourself, in the fight, for your children

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16 comments

  1. Feb 25, 2:44 pm

    Jessica Feb 25, 2:44 pm
    I’m really enjoying your blog. I hope this helps mothers and fathers regain their custody of their children. Parents should never give up on the process of getting their child back. And it’s important to know all the facts when dealing with the judicial system. There is so many legal documents that can be hard to comprehend with out the appropriate representation.

    1. Jessica,
      You are right about all of this. I think that people give up because they do not know what to do. It was very hard for me not to give up but I know one day I will face Gracie and I want to be able to tell her I did everything I could for her. Thanks for reading my blog. You can follow me by pressing the “follow” button at the top of the page. Thanks!

  2. Donna Goode · · Reply

    Brooke, I am so amazed by the work you are doing. Being in the Addictions field myself, I see countless horror stories of women losing their children to so called loving family members.With your permission I would love to give our clients a way to contact you. Thank you for all that you are doing, and keep up the good work.

    1. Donna,
      There are many horror stories in Family Court. My experience tells me that most of these situations occur from ignorance, of the system, by the parents. Parents just do not know what to do in situations like these. I did not know what to do and I got railroaded by the system. My goal is to help prevent that. If people are educated on the law and the processes of Family Court, my theory is that we will have a lot less people without thier children. Thanks for you comment!

  3. I do have a question Brooke, the custody case has been dropped but I am not sure about DHR. They have not contacted me in months and I am not sure if they have dropped our case. Should I call them

    1. Never assume anything in DHR/Family Court cases. Always check and recheck to make sure you are following the appropriate procedures. I would call DHR and ask them the “status” of your case. I would then as them to put the status in writing.

  4. Brooke came in to my life exactly when I needed her! Here is my story and how Brooke helped me:
    Back in 2011 my experience with family court/DHR began. I was aware that my son’s paternal grandparents had called DHR on me after becoming aware of my drug addiction. In June 2011, I entered a rehab, and while I was in there they filed a private complaint to DHR. In September 2011 I was made aware of an upcoming court date, and Brooke recommended that before the court date that I check my file to see what all they had disclosed in the motion that was filed and to see what exact steps I should be taking. I had a lawyer, but like most lawyers he had a full case load. He was also confident because I had entered a rehab on my own volition, and I was in an after care program as well as taking drug tests 2 times a week. A week or so before my court date Brooke went with me to where family court is held. She helped me obtain my court file and go through it. At the time I thought that my upcoming court date was about DHR and their conditions. I was wrong. I looked over my file and that is still what I thought. I had no idea what the motions meant or what the jargon said. Brooke went through with a highlighter and highlighted things I had just gone over and I thought had no significance. I was so incredibly wrong. They had filed a motion for custody of my son. Not only that they lied and had made mistakes in their motion. They said that he had lived in their residence since he was born. He had never lived solely with anybody other than me. We had lived with my mom and in our own apartment. We never together lived in their residence. The only time he stayed with them for an extended period more than weekends was when I entered rehab, but his father was also living there. They had also gotten his birthday wrong and misspelled his middle name which may seem insignificant, but as Brooke pointed out if he had been living with them all that time ( at that time my son was 2 years old) they would have known that information. She then recommended from that court date on I should go to the court house every few weeks and get a copy of my file to make sure there would be no more surprises. As well as being extra cautious to them keeping my son. A few court dates came and passed with no real news, because my sons father had to take a paternity test and the results would took a while to get back. Since DHR found me competent to keep my son under the conditions that I kept taking drug tests weekly and stay in a 12- step program, they were not being granted anything until the test came back. My sons grandparents had always said they would drop the case after six months if I stayed clean. They did not. Since I was armed with this knowledge because of Brooke and had her to help me advocate for my son and myself I was able to go through this process with confidence. After exactly 18 months of continued court dates they never gained custody of my son. The case was dropped. Without Brooke I definitely would not have known the exact steps to take to ensure that they would not gain custody of my son. Thank you Brooke!

  5. my situation has similarities, brooke. i have been involved with family court since july of 2009. i struggle daily with the 12 steps’ “we have ceased fighting everything and everyone.” i do everything i can to have the best possible relationship with my children and the surrounding others whom are thrown into the confusing mix. the way the courts go about decision making is ……….. for lack of better terms, ridiculous. it is unorganized. no decision that gets passed is thoroughly investigated based on what is best for the child. family dynamics are never taken into account, etc. i will write you in greater detail about this in a personal email and later when i’m not exhausted.

    1. Kate,
      my first suggestion to you is that you read “alabama code of child custody”to study the law for yourself. i have also posted, on my blog, “simple steps to follow if you are in family court”. read those and start there. If there is anything specifically I can help you with,let me know.

  6. francis sealy · · Reply

    Awesome fight for what you believe!

  7. I haven’t been on this end of the situation but I have had to deal with the courts while getting custody of my son. I think its great that you are raising awareness and being helpful to others in need.

  8. LEAVE ANY QUESTIONS YOU MAY HAVE ABOUT YOUR CASE HERE, OR IF YOU PREFER, COMMENT AND I WILL SEND YOU MY EMAIL ADDRESS.

  9. Kim Partee - Moon · · Reply

    Brooke
    I love and beleive in your spirit and tenacious attitude to help those just like you and your child. I look forward to following your blog and will pray for all involved in these struggles. You have a special place in my heart and I support you fully. Kim

    1. Thank all of you for your support and love. I hope this site helps parents to avoid what happened to me.

  10. Brett Reeder · · Reply

    Brooke your story is tragic but God is good. What was meant for harm can now be gain to others through your blog. I know one day you’ll see Gracie again but until then God can gain glory and people will ne empowered through your blog. Thank you so much for doing this and I know it’ll be great.GTG

  11. Leslie Christian · · Reply

    Looks great Brooke. You are going to be able to help for so many people!

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