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. Their heartbreaking story captured international attention. 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.
While the nation celebrates Independence Day with barbecues, fireworks, and family get-togethers, Freddie and Tracey Verzosa are struggling to maintain hope. Freddie's voice broke as he told Health Impact News that this week, July 9, marks 1 year to the day since their beloved children were ripped away from them by Florida CPS because Tracey has a "mild intellectual disability." Later, their newborn baby was literally taken from her mother's arms just one day after she was born on March 11, 2015, simply because the state already had custody of the other 6 children. To date, the parents have never been charged with abuse or neglect, yet the state still has their children. The children are still in various foster homes, separated not only from their parents, but also from each other. Since Health Impact News broke their heart-wrenching story on the day that baby Taylor Lynn was taken in March, the Verzosas have received a huge outpouring of love and support, but their children remain separated from them. The father reports that their children were in good health before the state took them, but now there always seems to be something wrong with them. He says that they often look drugged up, and that all the kids except the baby are on some type of medication. Their 8-year old son was also forcibly circumcised against the desires of the parents.
A Florida couple is devastated. Child Protective Services just took their breastfeeding newborn from her mother's arms at the hospital. She was is not even two days old, but parents Tracey and Freddie Verzosa of Kissimmee, Florida will now only be able to visit their baby for feedings, under supervision. The accusations against them, according to the parents' story, boil down to the facts that Tracey is a slow learner, they are poor, and the baby was born too quickly for them to make it to the hospital. The Verzosas have 6 other children, and they have been fighting since last summer to get them back from DCF (Florida's Department of Children and Families.) They say that their other children were taken unjustly, and the children, who are divided between 3 different foster homes, cry and plead to come home whenever they see them.