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Lawsuit: DCFS takes baby away from adoptive family to place with relative across country



NEW ORLEANS, La. – The State of Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) wants to defend itself against a foster home negligence accusation in federal court.


The complaint was filed on January 21 in the Orleans Parish Civil District Court and removed to federal court on April 19. The plaintiffs are Courtney and Johnny Jacob Landry, individually and on behalf of their three minor children.

The defendants also include DCFS Secretary Marketa Garner Walters, the State of Louisiana, and DCFA employee Troy Thomas.

The Landrys fostered and then adopted a child born addicted to drugs. After the baby’s biological parents both died, the plaintiffs say they were informed by the defendants that the only other family was a half-uncle in New York who had made no attempts to visit the baby while he spent 51 days in NICU.

As the bond between the family and their adopted baby grew, DCFS was allegedly ignoring the half-uncle’s attempts to contact them and obtain the baby’s custody.


The Landrys remained oblivious to the uncle’s interest, legal action and court hearings to obtain custody at the fault of the defendants, the suit says.


In violation of its own policies and at the disapproval of the baby’s psychiatrist, the child was taken from the Landrys and given to the half-uncle after meeting him once, the suit says.

The defendants are charged with several First Amendment violations, failure to train/supervise and intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress.