#Children's Rights
Utah State, Department of Children & Family Srevices
United States of America

Shannon is an 18 year old who is in Utah's Foster Care System for the last 5 years and had a baby on June 17, 2008. She turned 18 this last Feb, and has requested that she be released from State custody. She is of legal age to be on her own.

Not to be mistaken; Shannon still requires assistance, she does not have the means or ability to live on her own. Part of this inability is due to the fact that Utah State failed to allow her into programs that would further her abilites, such as "Independent Living" ( see web site: www.hsdcfs.utah.gov) or Parenting classes. Her parents are willing and want to have Shannon and her son in their home to assist them. Shannon has many family memembers who are willing to support and assist her in all areas that she and her son will need.

On June 17th, Shannon gave birth, no one in her family was notified by Utah DCFS that she was expecting. More shocking was that fact that the State did not see to it that Shannon recieved prenatal classes. When Shannon was 5 1/2 months along, her Case Worker informed Shannon that the State was going to take her baby away from her. With this on her mind and getting close to her due date she decided to run away from the Utah Preparatory Academy.

Her father was notified on June 4th by the Case Worker that Shannon had a warrent for her arrest. The Case Worker was asked why Shannon was not allowed to sign her self out of custody and the response was: "Shannon is mentally retarded". Those that know Shannon will clearly state that she is not "Retarded". Does a person with developmental disabilities have the capabilities to plan and suceed at running away? Shannon planned to run on a day that she was taken from Manti, UT. to Provo, UT. for testing. She was left unattended by staff, allowed to make a phone call inwhich she called her baby's father to pick her up. She was able to see that she had a network to keep herself and expecting safe, housed, feed and cared for.

On June 18, 2008 Shannon was removed from the hospital where she gave birth, along with her newborn son. This trip was the last opportunity that she had to be with her baby. The Case Manager Supervisor told her father that Shannon was going to jail, after a hearing be placed in a group home and her son was going into a foster home. According to Utah State Legislature (UT code Section 62A*4a-201) "The state recognzes that: a partent has the right, obligation, responsibility, and authority to raise, manage, train, educate, provied for, and reasonably discipline the parent's children; and the state's role is secondary and supportive to the primary role of a parent".

This petition askes for releasing Shannon and her baby, Dakota Mendina, from Utah's custody. To allow her and her son to live with family members and recieve the supports and assistance she will need outside of the foster care system.

We, the undersigned, call on the State of Utah to release Shannon Roberson, a young woman of legal age and mother of Dakota Mendina, from Utah's custody. Futher more, allow Shannon the rights afforded to her under Utah State Legislature as a parent and the 14th Admendment.

We also call upon the State of Utah to return Dakota Medina, infant son of Shannon Roberson to his mother, with the understanding that both parties will recieve family supports, ie.: housing, food, clothing, assistance with learning how to parent Dakota.

GoPetition respects your privacy.

The Remove Shannon and her newborn son Dakota from Utah State's Custody petition to Utah State, Department of Children & Family Srevices was written by Steve & Jayne Roberson and is in the category Children's Rights at GoPetition.