Verzosa 7 angels

“The 7 Angels” – photo provided by Verzosa family.

by Health Impact News/ Staff

More than three years ago, a Filipino-American father living in Florida made a promise to his children:

I will never stop fighting for you to come home.

Though there were times that Freddie Verzosa and his wife Tracey thought that it would never happen, all of the “7 Angels” have been reunited with their parents. The family is rejoicing and extremely thankful that, after all this time, they can finally all be together again.

The six older children were taken from their home by Florida Children and Families (DCF) on July 9, 2014, based on the family’s financial situation and allegations that Tracey, who has a mild intellectual disability, wasn’t capable of taking care of her children while her husband worked.

When their youngest baby Taylor was born, DCF showed up at the hospital to seize the 2 day old breastfeeding newborn from her mother’s breast, simply because they already had an open case on the family.

Verzosa-Tracey-crying-with-baby 2

Tracey was devastated when she learned that DCS planned to take her newborn. Photo provided by Verzosa family.

See our original coverage and update of their story:

Breastfeeding 2-day Old Newborn Seized From Parents Because Mother Has Disability

Florida Refuses to Return 7 Children to Loving Parents who are Not Accused of Any Crime

Their heartbreaking story captured international attention and was reported by the NY Daily News. It was later picked up by both Russian and Filipino news. The family’s Facebook page quickly grew to almost 8,000 followers.

Their story struck a chord with people all over the world who do not believe that the government should be able to tear a loving family apart because of poverty or a disability. There were never any allegations that the Verzosa parents ever harmed their children. Some within DCS told them that “love wasn’t enough” for them to parent their own children.


The children, taken from their family 3 years ago. Photo provided by Verzosa family.

Together Again

Late in the afternoon on Friday, August 11, Freddie and Tracey got the wonderful news that they have hoped and prayed for. The judge ruled that their children were coming home.

By that evening, the Verzosas’ “7 Angels” were finally back home with their family.

Tracey told Health Impact News that there was a lot of “hugging, cuddling, and laughing.” They are very happy to be together again.

We couldn’t believe it.

Freddie says that they are very thankful for that “glorious day, and the glorious weekend. It’s a new beginning.”

He posted the happy news on their Facebook page, The 7 Angels Reunited. The page was formerly called “The 7 Angels Story,” but was renamed after their oldest daughter Serena suggested that, in faith, they change the name to reflect their deepest hope.

Praise the lord for his name is worthy to be praised, Heavenly Father I thank you for your gracious mercy, for keeping your promise. For completing this family once again. Lord I could never have done it without you. I love you so much father. Amen,

Yes everyone, this afternoon like a typical Friday was our visitation, I had to stop by at the dcf office to pick up some documents, as I drove off the case supervisor stop me and said that the Judge just ordered the children to be release to go home. I was instructed to pick up the court order in the office.

Yes the 7 Angels are once been reunified together. Thank you so much everyone for your faithful to pray and support. You all have us the strength each day . Your love for this family are so amazingly beautiful. Your all are a blessing. And may each one-of you richly bless. Be on the look out for a live video of the homecoming of the 7Angels.

I love you all so much everyone
Blessing to you all. Oxox

Verzosa children 2017

Four of the Verzosa children – together with their family at last. Photo source: The 7 Angels Reunited Facebook page.

Sudden Turnaround after Much Uncertainty

In April of this year, 3 of the boys were returned home, and the family had unsupervised weekend visits with the other 4 children. However, their case has gone back and forth several times. There were a number of times they would get their hopes up that the children would be reunified, only to have those hopes dashed.

The children who were home – Freddie, Jr., Johnny, and Austin – have been asking when the rest of the children would be home. Their parents had no idea what to tell them.

Verzosa summer 2017 visit

The Verzosa family together at a recent visit. Photo supplied by Verzosa family.

Last Thursday, Freddie and Tracey went to court for a judicial review of their case. The children’s Guardian ad litem reportedly argued, even then, that the 4 children who were not home should be placed for adoption.

However, there were allegedly others present in the courtroom who argued that “poverty is not a crime.”

Like many other families dealing with Child Protect Services, the Verzosas struggled to follow all of the requirements of the case plan, meet for visitations with the children 2 at a time, attend court hearings, all while maintaining a job.

Many parents report that the CPS requirements have led to the loss of employment and homes. While citing financial instability as a reason to keep children in foster care, the system often serves to create the very instability it purports to protect children from.

Financial instability continued to be a factor in keeping the children from coming home through last week. Tracey and Freddie left court not knowing what the outcome would be, and they tried to maintain hope.

On Friday afternoon, when they went to visitation with their children, a supervisor told them that they had just received word that the judge ordered the children to be returned home. Without further delay, the kids were home shortly after.

Shock and disbelief mixed with joy and gratitude as Freddie and Tracy told us about their happy reunion.

Baby Taylor, who was taken away at only 2 days old, is now an active 2 1/2 year old toddler. Her mother told us that she is now talking a lot.

Their home is again bustling with activity and hugs and laughter.

When Sunday evening came, they did not have to leave and bring 4 of the children back to DCF. The children will be starting new schools this week.

Their father told us that he looks forward to helping them with their homework and rebuilding the bond that DCF tried to break.

Verzosa Tracey and son 2017

Unmistakable joy. Photo supplied by Verzosa family.

Not Over Yet

Though they are overjoyed that the children are home, their dealings with DCF are not completely over. They are in a probationary period. They will have court again after the new year to make sure that they kept up with the requirements placed by DCF, who will continue to monitor them for the next few months.

The family can now begin the road to healing. Separation between children and parents is traumatic even in the best of situations. The children will have to learn to trust again, and to feel secure in their own homes.

How Foster Care Traumatizes Children

Freddie said that the doorbell scares them and that they are afraid of being taken away again. This is a very common response by children who have spent time in foster care.

One of the children asked their parents why they left them. Children seized by Child Protective Services often feel that they did something wrong and that somehow this is their fault. Some of the Verzosa children were told by foster parents the cruel lie that their parents didn’t love them.

Again, this kind of emotional abuse is commonly reported by former foster children.

Freddie and Tracey Verzosa want all those who have followed their story to know that they are extremely grateful for all the love and support and prayers. They ask for continued prayer that God would help their family re-connect and heal their hearts.

It took 3 years, 1 month, and 2 days, and at times, it looked like it would never happen, however, Freddie and Tracey never gave up and they never stopped loving their children and fighting for them. They know that some faithful, loving parents never see their children come home, and they are rejoicing that their children are finally home where they belong.

The Verzosas plan to continue to connect with supporters on their Facebook page, The 7 Angels Reunited, and they always want to encourage other parents who are fighting for their families.

Verzosa FB page

Other stories of parental disability used to justify seizing children:

Oregon Couple Labeled “Incapable” Parents by Social Workers – 2 Day Old Baby Kidnapped

Disabled Father Denied by State of Tennessee to Father his Own Child

Missouri Hospital Refuses Transfer of Sick Baby – Kidnaps Kansas Couple’s Newborn Child

Successful Actor and Teacher is Denied the Right to Parent His Own Children Because He Is Blind

Federal Lawsuit: Massachusetts Wrongly Took Child 2 Days After Birth Because Mother was Disabled