Oregon’s welfare agency has ordered 4-year-old Laila Sloan be removed from her home in Kentucky and moved all the way across the country to Oregon to be reunited with her toddler brother, whom she has never met.
Oregon’s Department of Health and Human Services says that it’s a basic tenet of child welfare that children should be with their siblings, even if they have never met.
At the same time, many argue that the child’s best interest would be served by remaining with the Kentucky couple who have cared for her for nearly two years, and whom Laila calls “Mommy and Daddy.”
Laila was born to a mother with a history of drug and alcohol abuse. When Laila was two, child welfare officials became concerned for her safety and took custody of the child.
That’s where James and Angela Sloan came into the picture. The Kentucky couple were unable to have children of their own and applied to be her foster parents. They were approved, and Laila moved in with the young couple. Kentucky officials have approved Sloan’s application to become Laila’s adoptive parents, but that’s now on hold pending a court review of Oregon’s actions.
The Sloan’s have filed an appeal with an Oregon court, but the case will not be heard until next summer. In the meantime, Oregon welfare officials are arranging to fly Laila to Oregon within the week where she will be put into a strange new environment.