Families ripped apart in guardianship court hearings plan to take their fight to the State Capitol. They call themselves victims of the state's system.
Kathie Seidel is one of four North Texas families planning to testify at a May 12 Senate committee hearing on Health and Human Services.
Four years ago, she lost guardianship of her adopted daughter, Katia. Seidel was declared unfit to take care of her. The 24-year-old, who has mental health problems, is living at a group home.
"I haven't seen my daughter in more than a year on a holiday," Seidel said. "Her brother is suffering. They are both adopted and he misses her. It's like we really don't have the family any more."
The family's pain is one Sharon Richardson knows all too well. Richardson's guardianship over her mother, Ernestine Starks, was revoked nearly a year ago.
Starks is living at a nursing home.
"We have limited access to our mother, so it has been really hard on the family," Richardson said. "It's just not the same."
In both cases, guardianship was removed in an ex-parte hearing; that's when a judge issues an order or verdict without all the parties involved being present.
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Women Take Guardianship Fight to State Lawmakers