Foster Child to be Removed Because ‘He Would Be Better Off’ with Black Family

February 15, 2012  |  

Retaliation in the form of discrimination is what a Norfolk, VA, foster family is said to be experiencing. Social workers in the state have threatened to take away a foster child Sarah and Ben Fitzpatrick are currently taking care of with the explanation that because the child is black, he would be better off with a black family. But the couple says the threats are really retaliation for blowing the whistle on the foster care system.

When the Fitzpatricks lived in Virgina Beach, they took care of a baby named Braxton for seven months, but when the child was placed with another mother he was abused, and ultimately killed. The couple spoke out about the baby’s death and even landed a spot on News Channel 3, blaming social workers for missing signs that the baby was in an abusive environment, and afterward the Virginia Beach Human Services Director apologized and admitted workers had done a poor job of protecting Braxton.

The move obviously looked good for the press, but one week later, social workers appeared at the door of the Fitzpatricks and told them they were going to remove their current foster child to place him with a black family. In the five months that they’d cared for the child, Sarah said this was the first time any issue of color was mentioned.

Right as the news segment was set to air, the couple also received an email from their social worker, saying:

“Your appearance…on tonight`s news has caused some concern here.  I want to talk to you about what is in your interview so that we can be prepared for any calls we may get… We are anxious about what is to come.”

The check the Fitzpatrick’s received to take care of the foster child also bounced, with the bank telling them there were “insufficient funds,” leading the couple to believe the social worker intends to make good on it’s promise to remove the child.

When Sarah appeared on Channel 3, she told the station:

“We had to do something to make a change, and there was nothing else we could do but contact you.”

Now it seems the foster system has decided that it’s better to silence the whistle blowers by removing children from their home rather than protect children who are actually in need of protecting.

What do you think about this case? Do you think the foster care system can justify their actions by saying a black child should be with a black foster family?

Brande Victorian is a blogger and culture writer in New York City. Follower her on Twitter at @be_vic.

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  • I’m pretty sure that they can and will find a good black family for this adorable little baby. Oh, she is so adorable and deserves the best care. At the same time, it’s probably for the best that black babies are raised by black families/white babies by white families. 

  • JenG

    It’s wrong leave the child with the current parents. Why is the child better off with a black family, how many black parents teach black history to their children at home. This is a bunch of mess!

  • Ebonydiva82

    How ridiculous! Just because a black child is raised by white parents does not mean that he/she will experience an identity crisis. As long as effort is made to expose the child to the positive aspects of their heritage and allow them to associate with individuals from different ethnicities, there should be no issue. Placing a black child with a black foster parent and expecting that all will be quiet on the western from because they are the same/similar skin tone does not mean that abuse and/or maltreatment will not occur. I say, leave the child with it’s current family. I hope that Mr. and Mrs. Fitzpatrick take this foster care agency to court because it is racial discrimination. I hope that they win.

  • Color and sexuality shouldn’t matter when adopting and taking care of kids. White parents or any color parents should have the right to take of children granted they provide a loving and caring home and the same for LGBT parents. 

    Children need love and support and stability and if these people are able to provide that then what is the problem? 

  • Allison

    This family is clearly being targeted for standing up for children in foster care.  I have also dealt with the foster care system and saw similar incidents where foster parents were threatened or punished for trying to protect a child in their care.  I realize that the system is over worked and under funded, but that is not an excuse to put the well being of a child at risk!

  • darkman

    SMH. They should take away Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock too… They certainly prefer keep the kids in  orphanage, so they’ll be paid  for doing nothing…
    With the story of this texan arrested for BABYSITTING WHILE WHITE (his grand daughter is black), it’s like some people think Caucasians are way too nice with black people. The return of segregation?

    • darkman

       They should take away Angelina Jolie and Sandra Bullock BABIES too…

  • Ghost

    reminds me of that movie…losing isaiah, but the mother wanted her son back and didnt want him with a white family.. i think color shouldnt matter as long as the child is not abused and his happy and properly taken care of.

  • Smacks_hoes

    That baby is so freaking cute in the picture

  • Mia

    Didn’t we learn anything from Losing Isaiah? Why place the child with them in the first place if they felt this way?

  • MixedUpInVegas

    How can anyone, skin color notwithstanding, not be drawn to love and protect and innocent, helpless infant?  The CPS in this case is being vindictive and looking to cover their own butts.  Bureaucracies have no feelings.

  • Ms_Sunshine9898

    i hope they sue the sh!to of the system and get their babies back! heads need to roll for their first baby dying anyway. . .

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  • alysseleigh

    why should differences keep being pointed out, as long as its made “aware” the more it is a problem, we are human and if someone opens up their home to a child in need the only issue should be their safety.

  • Sugar_Spice

    Who are they to judge if the child will be better off with parents their same race.  I understand that it is their job to make those type of judgement calls by is the child is being well taken care of & out of harms way, skin color shouldn’t matter

  • A.J.

    This is absolutely ridiculous.  These people obviously seem to care for and love the children that they take into their home, so there is no reason to remove the child.  The foster care system needs to focus on actually screening people and checking up on the cases that DO need their assistance, rather than bothering the people who are doing nothing wrong.

  • Linda

    The Foster Care system in this country is a mess and social workers don’t care about anything except their own pay checks. I hope this family fights back and wins.

  • Burito9245

    This is very upsetting!  That simply is not a reason to remove that baby out of the home.  I really do think Social Workers are in it for the pay check.  They don’t care about the welfare of the child.  We are in a time where color should not matter when it comes to caring and loving a child.  Keep the baby in the home where he is safe.

    • JN31

      I think for the most part it’s true. There are some people who work in that industry only for the money. If you visit most of these social services offices, the employees look as miserable than the child they just removed from an abusive home. There needs to be an entire overhaul of the system and a better screening process for employees. I think for the most part, yes, a child should be placed in a home where they all look alike but if they’re being cared for it shouldn’t matter who it is. 

  • guest

    no the foster care system cannot justify their actions as just or reasonable… they have solely acted in a retaliatory manner and are trying to punish these people for bringing their poor  child placement to light… i hope they get it together

  • tastythoughts

    FOH thats some just wrong and they are not looking out the for the best interest of the child….just because they are not the same color doesn’t mean they dont love and raise those babies in a safe environment….i mean clearly…they removed one baby and the ultimately the baby died…its a shame to the so called justice system of america. i hope they get to keep the baby since they seem to the be the only ones who truly care. 

  • Ibdw2

    No, as long as the child is happy and being well taken care of, it is despicable. Color shouldn’t matter as long as the child is being cared for and loved.