Since opening its doors in 2006, Bay Area Legal Services' L. David Shear Children's Law Center has represented over 1,000 child clients.
Many of the children who are represented by the Children's Law Center spend less time in foster care and achieve permanency faster in a safe, loving home. With the help of our donors and funders, the Children's Law Center can provide high-quality, client-directed, and holistic legal representation to vulnerable and victimized children in the dependency system. This representation leads to better outcomes for our child clients.
Jeremy was a fighter from the day he was born. At just three days old, he was airlifted to the hospital due to severe injuries inflicted by his mother's boyfriend. Doctors were not sure he would make it through the night.
After multiple surgeries in the first few weeks of his life, baby Jeremy miraculously survived. When released from the hospital, Jeremy was placed in a foster home with Lisa Garvey, who provided round-the-clock care to meet his medical needs. There were a lot of unknowns as he healed from his injuries, and Lisa needed help navigating a complex healthcare system. Social Worker Jackie Russell assisted Lisa and ensured that Jeremy's medical needs were addressed promptly.
Lisa poured her heart into taking care of Jeremy for the next 12 months. After multiple home visits, Jackie and Attorney Jennifer Robinson observed that a very healthy caregiver/parent-child attachment had developed.
In the courtroom, Jennifer protected Jeremy's legal right to a permanent home with a parent he was bonded with and advocated for adoption when it was appropriate.
Despite loving Jeremy, his mother could not independently and safely parent him, and he was unable to be reunified. However, Jeremy's biological mother wanted to maintain a connection with him. Lisa fostered a continued relationship between Jeremy and his biological mother.
"As Jeremy gets older, he will have questions about his birth family," says Jackie. "This story is a perfect example of how adoption can happen through foster care without losing the birth connection entirely."
Jeremy's biological mother was even there to celebrate his first birthday.
Today, Jeremy is in a safe, loving, permanent home with his adoptive family and remains in contact with his biological mother. His doctors report that he is achieving milestones they never thought possible.