7-Year-Old Sister of Down Syndrome Baby Euthanized by Vanderbilt Hospital Still Not Returned to Family – State Wants Her Adopted

Friday, June 8, 2018, marks the 1-year anniversary of the tragic death of medically kidnapped Baby Steffen Rivenburg at Vanderbilt Hospital, under the care of Tennessee Department of Children's Services (DCS). His big sister, Annalise, remains in foster care and DCS is, again, trying to terminate parental rights. There will be a march and candlelight vigil in Baby Steffen's honor on Friday, June 8th, at the Nashville State Capitol building, followed by a Saturday afternoon event with several speakers discussing judicial accountability, family integrity, and other issues important to families. The public is invited to attend. Baby Steffen's story was one of the most heart-wrenching stories that we have covered at Health Impact News, and there still remains no justice for the family. At times, over the past year, it appeared that Annalise might be coming home. However, about 2 weeks ago, the family received a letter in the mail telling them to be in court on Monday, June 11, because DCS intends to file to terminate parental rights.

Tennessee Family Wants Daughter and Sister of Deceased Baby Steffen to Come Home

Baby Steffen's tiny body will be laid to rest on Friday, July 7, in Clarksville, Tennessee. His battle to live has ended, but his family's battle for his big sister Annalise continues. The Rivenburgs still don't have the answers that they seek as to what happened at Vanderbilt once Baby Steffen was taken into Department of Children's Services (DCS) custody. They are waiting for the results of a private autopsy, funded by donations from people who believe that the family deserves unbiased answers. Those results could take up to 3 months. The fate of Annalise may be decided in less than 3 weeks. DCS has requested a hearing to terminate the parental rights of Steffen and Patricia. That hearing is scheduled for July 24.

Judge Who Ordered Baby Steffen to be Removed from Life Support Orders Sister be Placed for Adoption

The Rivenburg family was back in court on Monday morning, June 19. This time, it was to fight for Annalise, the big sister of Baby Steffen, the baby who was taken off of life support on June 8. The family, including aunts, uncles, and cousins, were hopeful that the court would send little Annalise back home to be with her family, but that did not happen. Instead, they learned that the Department of Children's Services (DCS) now plans to terminate her parents' parental rights and place her for adoption, presumably with the foster family with whom she and Baby Steffen were placed 4 months ago, just before the baby got sick. They are devastated. Patricia's heart-wrenching sobs could be heard in the background as a family member told the news to Health Impact News. The thought of losing Annalise seems an unbearably cruel blow to the family that is still reeling from what they call Baby Steffen's "potentially preventable" death.