A 26-year-old Kenyan-born woman, Maria Samantha Mungai fears she will never see her 7-year-old daughter again after her parental rights were withdrawn by a court in Kansas, Missouri.
Clay County circuit court judge Kathryn Elizabeth Davis terminated Maria’s parental rights in 2019 following a year-long court battle over who is best-equipped to raise the minor.
The girl was placed in a foster home in November 2018 after she was found home alone while Maria was working an overnight shift as a dancer. She was four years old at the time.
Kansas City Star reported that a permanency review hearing was scheduled for Thursday but Maria, who last visited her daughter more than a year ago, was not allowed to participate.
Maria’s cousin and her husband, Eddah and Brian Malicot, who want to foster the child were also not allowed to participate.
Most of the conditions set forth for Maria to reunite with her daughter at the start of the legal battle were reasonable but others were more difficult to meet, Kansas City Star added.
Paemon Aramjoo, Maria’s court-appointed attorney had asked the Missouri Supreme Court to hear the case after the Missouri Court of Appeals (Western District) upheld the lower court’s decision but the request was recently denied.
Court records show that on several occasions, caseworkers praised Maria for taking steps to meet the conditions set out for her but Clay county deputy Juvenile officer Heather Kindle recommended the termination of her parental rights to judge Davis.
Why did Kindle recommend the revocation of Maria’s rights as a guardian despite positive appraisal from caseworkers?.
“It’s more than just unfair,” Maria.
Court papers filed by the juvenile officer state that Maria “was gainfully employed, had a stable place to live, and was drug- and alcohol-free at the time.” She also appeared to have a good relationship with her daughter, Kindle wrote in court documents dated April 2nd, 2019.
“The child is extremely excited to see her mother and disappointed when the visits do not happen,” Kindle wrote.