Samora Lesley Cousin with her mother, Jennifer Haley photo

Samora Lesley Cousin with her mother, Jennifer Haley. Image source.

Comments by Brian Shilhavy
Editor, Health Impact News

Reporter Dianna M. Náñez brings us the tragic story of a 4-month-old baby girl who was loved by her parents, but taken away by Arizona CPS and given to a foster home where two gay men lived, and who have adopted 15 kids.

The little baby girl died last week when one of the foster dads left baby Samora in a hot car for hours, allegedly forgetting that she was still in the car.

According to the report in the Arizona Republic, the foster dad has not been arrested. In fact, the Arizona Republic has written very positive articles about the gay couple describing how they are wonderful parents.

In all the years I have been covering medical kidnapping stories out of Arizona, I don’t recall another case where a child died in foster care and the local media decided to write positive articles about the foster parents who had custody of the child and neglected to keep the child safe.

The mother claims the baby was taken away because the baby allegedly tested positive for drugs, even though she herself tested negative for any drugs.

And like many other medical kidnapping stories we have covered, this mother had other children in the foster care system that had also been removed from her home, and she was allegedly told that because of this fact, this little baby would be taken away from her also.

Baby died in care of foster father who adopted 15 kids; mother says ‘remember my daughter’

by Dianna M. Náñez
Arizona Republic

Excerpts:

The 4-month-old girl who died after being forgotten in a hot vehicle by her foster parent had a name.

Her mother wants people to remember that: Samora Lesley Cousin.

“I want her remembered,” said Jennifer Haley, weeping as she talked about her child, who had gone into foster care about three weeks after being born. “Samora was very sweet. She was a very sweet girl, she was amazing, she was full of spunk and she was always making me laugh. She didn’t deserve what happened to her.”

Haley remembers looking at her baby when she was born and just knowing that she had to name her Samora. The baby’s father, Wesley Cousin, picked her middle name.

“He picked Lesley,” she says. “I said that’s just Wesley with an L and we laughed.”

Samora Lesley Cousin with her mother, Jennifer Haley, and her father, Wesley Cousin photo

Samora Lesley Cousin with her mother, Jennifer Haley, and her father, Wesley Cousin. Image source.

The infant was in the care of her foster father, Roger Ham, at the time of her death Tuesday, The Arizona Republic has confirmed. Phoenix police officials said they aren’t releasing the identity of the foster father because he hasn’t been arrested.

Police said the foster father, an administrator at a Washington Elementary School District transportation facility, arrived at work at about 7 a.m. after dropping off several children at day care.

He left work to pick up the infant girl for an appointment, then returned to work. When he returned to his vehicle again at about 3:30 p.m., he found the child still inside the vehicle.

He told police he had forgotten the child in his vehicle after the appointment.

Phoenix fire officials responding to the emergency call said they were unable to resuscitate the child, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

“They take our kids because they say we’re unfit, and when they take our kids a lot of bad things happen,” Haley said. “I want CPS to look at this, remember my daughter, and realize nobody is perfect and bad things happen.”

After Haley gave birth four months ago, DCS officials informed her that the baby had drugs in her system, something Haley disputes, saying she tested clean.

She said that because of the drug test and because four other children have previously been taken from her, she was told Samora would be taken too.

Haley said she knows accidents happen, but she can’t forgive the foster father.

“I feel like how could anybody leave a 4-month-old in a car and not even think twice about it,” she said. “It’s horrible knowing that she could not even defend herself. She had to sit there and suffer.”

Multiple people with knowledge of the event confirmed that the foster parents are Roger Ham and his husband.

In 2016, the Hams told The Republic that they had adopted their 15th child, a little girl named Amaya.

Read the Full Article at the Arizona Republic.

 

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