It has been two years since "Baby Malik" was returned to his family. It has been a long journey of helping him to overcome the harm from being taken by Child Protective Services and Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago, but his grandmother Lakisha Tanna says that they can finally "function like a normal family again." Malik just started K-5 kindergarten. He is doing well now, but that didn't happen overnight. He was out of his family's custody for 1 year, 8 months, and a day. All that time in the custody of the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) had a lasting impact on him, and it wasn't good. He came home with a great deal of insecurity, afraid to let Lakisha out of his sight. There were times that Lakisha was afraid that he would never come home, and times that she feared for Malik's very life. She thanks God that he is safe now. The public attention brought to their story by Health Impact News made a big difference, she believes. As long as DCFS and Lurie Children's Hospital were able to operate in secrecy, there was no accountability and they were able to do whatever they wanted with Malik, including perform multiple experimental surgeries on him without his family's consent. To this day, Malik's story remains one of the most horrific stories we have ever covered of medical abuse under Child Protective Services custody. Because our readers became involved in making phone calls and writing letters, holding the hospital and DCFS accountable, Malik was finally returned home.
Medical Kidnapping in Chicago: DCFS Does Not Want You to Know What They are Doing to 3 Year Old Malik
Malik Mitchell turns 3 years old today, but he will not be celebrating his birthday at home with his family. Instead, he is still stuck in the Illinois Child Protective System, where he has been for more than a year and a half, away from his family. DCFS seized custody of Malik on December 6, 2013, after his grandmother, who had legal custody, asked for a second opinion about his medical care. Lurie Children's Hospital in Chicago had already performed numerous surgeries on his tiny body, and Lakisha Tanna wanted to know if there were other options for her grandson. The final court date to permanently remove custody is Tuesday, July 7, at 1:30 pm at the Juvenile Detention Center, 1100 S. Hamilton, Chicago. The State does not want the public to know about this, as they have issued a gag order on the family, and have told Health Impact News to take down our stories about Malik. We will not comply. Instead, we are encouraging the public to take action!
Another family has allegedly been gagged from speaking out about their experiences with Child Protective Services and a hospital they have said is hurting their child. Lakisha Tanna is the legal guardian and grandmother of Baby Malik, hereafter known as "Baby M." She has been ordered by the Cook County, Illinois, Family Court to refrain from media contacts or postings about her grandson. There is great concern for Baby M's safety at present. He is currently being held in Lurie Children's Hospital. His latest return there was not for any medical reason; it was an emergency placement because he was removed from the foster parents' custody. Allegedly, Lurie Children's Hospital is planning to repeat surgery on him soon, one which has been performed twice already, involving resectioning of his intestines. Is the State of Illinois trying to silence the family? Is his how Child Protective Services has gotten away with taking children away from parents for so long, in so many places, without bringing criminal charges against the parents? Where is the transparency when gag orders are issued against the parents, and news reporters are forbidden to obtain or print any records on this cases? The secrecy that shrouds the Family Court System potentially endangers families everywhere, because any alleged corruption is allowed to continue unchecked.