The Dunning grandparents file an appeal


I promised the community to expect a follow-up to my last article as to what has transpired in the Dunning case [“Let go of Mrs. Dunning’s babies,” MSR, Jan. 26].

The Dunning grandparents have filed an appeal to challenge the foster parents’ decision not to release the Dunning’s son’s babies (one two years old, one 16 months) into their care. In my research and reading the documents that were gathered in this case, I have found additional troubling information.

The Dunnings were told that they had to be licensed in order to have visitations with their grandchildren here in Minnesota. That is news to me. I know you have to have a background check (that is a mandatory requirement of everyone), but only if the children are being placed in your care  temporarily or permanently are you required to have a DHS foster care license.

The social workers in our state have the authority to issue emergency licenses. I am assuming that Mississippi social workers have the same authority, since we just recently found out that Mrs. Dorothy Dunning has been licensed since January 29, 2011 by her social worker, which was three months before her first glimpse of her grandbabies in April 2011. I wonder who tried to block that?

I was sent a letter by Mrs. Dunning that one of the Minnesota foster parents sent to her. It is very disturbing. In that letter, the foster parent attempts to frighten the Dunnings from pursuing the adoption of their grandchildren by describing all sorts of terrible things the children will suffer if they are removed from their foster caregivers. In one extreme passage, the letter warns that if the child leaves the foster parents’ care, “she is going to experience the equivalent of everyone in her family dying, her home burning down and moving in with people she does not know — and don’t really know her very well… She will be carrying this grief with her for her whole life.”

My question to the County and the courts: Is this woman stable enough to even parent her own children? Did anyone do a psychological evaluation on her? What is the obsession? She has no intention of letting these children go home to their grandparents.

Mrs. Dorothy Dunning will be arriving here February 22 for a visit with her grandchildren. We have set up a Dorothy Dunning Benefit account at TCF Bank (Mrs. Willie M. Demmings is the contact person) to try to offset some of the expenses that they are struggling with by losing all of their savings trying to secure legal council and traveling back and forth from Mississippi to Minneapolis for the trial.

The first two attorneys that she obtained should do some soul-searching about their work, especially the one that told her that all they had to do was nothing but let the State and foster family fight it out. He should search his sanctified conscience and make a huge donation to these children’s grandparents’ benefit fund.


Dr. Mary Flowers Spratt welcomes reader responses to AWMIN (African-American Women-Men In Need and Multicultural Resources), 411 East 38th Street, Suite 102, South Minneapolis 55409; or call 612-827-9264; or email




One thought on “The Dunning grandparents file an appeal

  1. Hello,

    This is Leonard. I am leaving this message to let you know that I am reviewing the links that you have sent me.

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