Let go of Mrs. Dunning’s babies – Reuniting Black children with their grandparents should be a priority

The MSR recently published an appeal from an African American grandmother living in Mississippi for help gaining custody of her grandchildren who had been adopted by their White foster parents in Minnesota [“Crying out for my grands,” January 5]. As I researched this case, I felt something was terribly wrong with the decision that allowed this White couple to have this grandmother’s grandbabies.

When I heard about the part the guardian ad litem played in this decision, I was appalled. Every judge on the bench has shown nothing but respect for me down through the years, and they are aware of the passion that I have for our Guardian ad Litem Program that allows us to represent the children in our court system.

But our job is to present a plan in addition to the social worker’s plan to restructure the family, not to destroy a family that is capable of being reunited. The judge does not go out into the community and interact with the family; his or her decision is based on the facts that are presented to them.

Our job as spokespersons for the children is to be a professional representative and not take sides with either family by distorting factual information against the biological relatives.

My second concern is, where is the factual proof of a relative search? My third concern in this case is, if the State of Mississippi is willing to work with the State of Minnesota to place the Dunning grandchildren with their relatives, what is our interest in them not having the jurisdictional authority?

According to the grandmother, the White foster parent stated if they lose the children a piece of their heart will die. Well, I hope they are prayed up, saved, sanctified and Holy Ghost Baptized, because these are not their children.

We need an investigation into this case. I am appealing to our community leaders, NAACP President Booker Hodges, Community Activist Ron Edwards, Al Flowers, Senator Jeff Hayden, MN State Baptist President Jerry McAfee, Metropolitan Baptist District Moderator Gaither Robinson, Dr. Bravada Akansanya, Ms. Lissa Jones and Rep. Keith Ellison to help me find out what is behind this music with these White folk working overtime to hold on to these two little African American children. It smells foul.

These grandparents have been working for the past two years and have spent all of their savings reaching out to everyone who will listen to help them get their children back. Now they are broke.

We thank the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder and the Insight News for running this sad story of the struggle these two African American grandparents from Mississippi have endured. I will be doing a follow-up in my next column.


Please send all comments/criticism to Dr. Mary Flowers Spratt, AWMIN (African-American Women-Men in Need), 411 East 38th Street, Suite 102, Minneapolis MN 55409, 612-827-9264, maryawmin@yahoo.com.