Advocating for a Relationship

Kerry Shiga doesn’t want her daughter Sunny, just 4 years old, to ever worry about where her brother is or if he is safe.

Sunny

Sunny remembering her baby brother whom she only met once.

Kerry fostered Sunny since she was 6 weeks old, and adopted her last year. When she learned Sunny’s birth mother was pregnant with another child, she starting writing to judges, hospitals, and child welfare officials to tell them she was able to care for the new baby too.

“I am willing to do whatever it takes so she can feel like she always had a connection,” Shiga said.

But now, with the boy in the home of a relative that isn’t allowing visitation, all Sunny has is the memory of a visit that took place when her brother was with his first foster family, and the photos that family shared.

“She looks at the pictures and says, ‘that’s my baby brother. He looks like me’,” Shiga said. “She asks, ‘when am I going to see my baby brother’?”

Even as Shiga advocates for Sunny to have a relationship with the boy, the possibility that Sunny may never really know her brother weighs heavily on her mind.

“He belongs to her. I don’t understand why she doesn’t have the right to her brother,” Shiga told Children’s Rights.

Read additional articles in Notes from the Field, the Children’s Rights Newsletter:
www.childrensrights.org/publications-multimedia/newsletter/