• Toni Hoy

    In the depths of winter, there arose in me, an invincable summer. Albert Camus

  • This blog is dedicated to children whose adoptive parents were forced into trading their custody rights for mental healthcare due to pre-adoptive trauma tonihoy@gmail.com

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    The articles in this blog are the express opinion of the author. They are not intended to be used for medical, clinical, or legal advice and are intended for informational purposes only.
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Where’s Toni?


The Universe of Therapeutic Parenting

April 24-26th

2001 Waukegan Road
P.O. Box 176
Techny, IL 60082
Phone: 847-272-1100

Register now-tickets are going fast!  http://parentinginspace.com/register/

I will be presenting on:

IEP’s in SPACE: From Alienation to Collaboration So Special Educators “Get It” Too!

Somewhere along the way, you GOT it! And then you realized that your educational team wasn’t “getting it.” Learn how to use SPACE to help them make the paradigm shift from confusion to understanding trauma and attachment. Did you know that you don’t need a formal diagnosis to request or receive an IEP? Or that you can request teacher training as a related service to meet your child’s goals in his IEP? Join me to learn how to write trauma-centered needs with corresponding accommodations and specially designed instruction for your child’s IEP meeting so that parents and teachers are both operating in the same SPACE.


Adoption Support & Preservation Conference

Sunday, May 31, 2015 – Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Sheraton Music City Hotel

777 McGavock Pike

Nashville, Tennessee 37214

(615) 885-2200

I will be co-presenting with Julie Beem, Executive Director of the Attachment & Trauma Network, on:

“Keeping Families Together, Let’s Act!”  

The issues of rehoming and relinquishment are prevalent across the nation, but how did we get here? Join Julie Beem and me to learn how the landscape of the late 90’s led to some of the issues that families are facing today. You will learn how adoption promotions moved faster than post-adoption support, the impact of families raising traumatized children without social system supports, and needed federal changes to support permanency in a meaningful way.

Presented by

Register here:  http://www.cvent.com/events/asap-adoption-support-and-preservation-national-conference/event-summary-b3fb5d0393284296b54720c93d2dd8a8.aspx


American Bar Assoc. Law Journal February, 2015


Letters: Support for parents

Far from Home,” December, misses a major aspect of how our child abuse and neglect laws operate to prevent children who are adopted and also biological children who cannot be safely cared for at home from accessing reasonable alternative support without relinquishing custody.

Even when custody relinquishment is the only available option to families who have made the reasonable determination that they cannot care for the child at the present time (often because the child’s behavior is dangerous to other family members), the parents are labeled neglectful no matter what they choose to do. Some parents face an excruciating “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” decision because by keeping the child in their homes they are subjecting their other children to risk.

Read Toni Hoy’s excellent memoir, Second Time Foster Child, before making the plight of desperate adoptive parents even more difficult by criminalizing private relinquishments. Certainly, a publicly available relinquishment process—such as through safe haven laws or a right to surrender children based on a variety of factors, including inability to address the child’s needs—could be beneficial, but what is most needed is a way for children to keep their fragile family ties but be served in community placements that do not force relinquishment on many families in desperate situations.

Calling for criminal penalties in the face of the criminal lack of resources for families with children who are more than troubled—i.e., children who have serious mental health needs (often due to childhood trauma)—seems like a step in the wrong direction, except in cases in which the parent doing the re-home is truly reckless about the replacement decision. There need to be plenty of safeguards for the parent who has run out of options short of the re-homing or relinquishment decision; and the article, by calling first for criminalizing what is broadly labeled as “re-homing,” should not be something we clamor for.

Diane Redleaf

Happy Apps

You all know the song that Andy Williams made famous—

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year
With the kids jingle belling
And everyone telling you “Be of good cheer”

Are you entering what you hope will be a memorable holiday season with joy in your heart and a swing in your step? Maybe you are planning for the best and preparing for the worst. Perhaps you have the procrastination approach-wait until the last minute and then find a way to get through it. Then there is always the scaled down version of what we really want because that is the only way some of our loved ones can engage with everyone else.

Whether your holiday plans are a little laid back or a flurry of activity, take some help from technology to keep yourself calm and in good spirits.

Mobile phone apps offer a host of applications aimed at reducing stress. The challenging issue is deciding which ones are right for you. How do you de-stress? What sounds make you calm? Would a timed breathing exercise help? Do certain sounds relax you? A waterfall, the ocean, a crackling fire, a piano sonnet, sounds of the rain forest, or an owl in the night? If you can identify the sounds, rhythms, and pace that calms your soul, there’s an app to help you garner a path to recharge. The only instrument you’ll need is your cell phone. Before the season gets frantic, grab some apps to keep you happy.

With those holiday greetings and gay happy meetings
When friends come to call
It’s the hap – appiest season of all

How One Voice Makes a Difference

Attachment & Trauma Network Executive Director, Julie Beem interviews with Toni Hoy on advocacy. Listen here:



Sponsor a family’s membership at the Attachment & Trauma Network by donating here http://www.attachtrauma.causevox.com/



HB 5598 Passed out of the Senate 58-0 !!!


What does that mean? Where does the bill stand now? The bill passed out of the House of Representatives committee with  5-0 unanimous vote. Then it went before a full vote of the House of Representatives and passed out of the House with a 101-0 vote and moved into the Senate. The Senate assigned the bill to a committee and it passed out of that committee with a 8-0 vote. Then it passed the full Senate with a vote of 58-0 and now it goes to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law. He has 60 days to sign it or veto it.

HB 5598 includes:

  1. Makes it illegal for the state to force parents to trade custody for treatment
  2. Creates an intergovernment agreement to intercept cases on the brink of relinquishment
  3. Requires the state to file an annual report of involuntary relinquishment cases the reasons they occurred

HB 5598 is in the Senate

HB 5598 is in the Senate

Please sign on as a proponent for HB 5598, the Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act.

It is very easy to do. Here’s how:

Go to http://tinyurl.com/mvy8x8s
Click on the icon to the far right of the bill number
Fill out the identifying information. You can say that you represent an organization or yourself.
Check the box marked Proponent
Check the box marked Record of Appearance only
Fill in the Captcha code
Check that you agree to the terms of service
Click Submit on the lower right corner

Thanks to our Senate Co-sponsors-Senator Julie Morrison, Senator Jacqueline Collins, Senator Iris Martinez

Thanks to the 101 House Representatives who unanimously voted YES!

HB 5598 Update

On, 4/10/14, HB 5598 moved out of the Illinois House of Representatives with a unanimous vote of 101-0-0 !!!


HB 5598 (which my family affectionately calls “Hoy Boy 5598″) moved to the Senate on 4/11/14 and Senator Julie Morrison quickly signed on as Chief Sponsor. This is wonderful news as she has a parent in her district who has been fighting this issue since July of last year.

I keep asking myself why we are fighting so long and hard for kids that have an automatic entitlement under EPSDT!

This bill could move quickly through the Senate, so parents are mobilizing a strategy to educate the Senators. It’s safe to say that they will each be receiving a copy of “Second Time Foster Child.”

Along the way, there have been concessions on both sides.

Initially, the bill was intended to have three layers. The first and most important part is the Intergovernment Agreement. If that works the way we all hope, there will be no need for the other two parts! The second part was a temporary 180 day Voluntary Placement Agreement in which the parent retains guardianship, but child welfare takes responsibility for care and placement while the funding is worked out. The third part would have given CRSA binding authority very late in the 180 day process in case all the rest failed, in a last ditch effort to keep the case out of Juvenile Court, which is a child protection system, not a clinical system.

Because Rep. Bost attached a large fiscal note, and because of opposition by DCFS and HFS, families conceded all but the Intergovernment Agreement, which again, is SUPPOSED to work. The current bill retains an accountability measure which requires DCFS to report annually the number of relinquishments. Families will be monitoring the numbers closely and if they continue to rise will QUICKLY be back at the legislative floor asking for VPA and/or CRSA binding authority once again. We’ve been made promises regarding system reform before which have not been kept. 

The state agencies could make a concession back to families by allowing CRSA at the table as a 3rd party independent facilitator at the Intergovernment Agreement, which statutorily is their role anyway. We’d like it to be a little less David v. Goliath!

Overall, the bill is trending well. Now that the bugs are worked out, we are hoping for swift, unopposed passage through the Senate.

The Governor has already agreed to sign the bill into law once it’s passed the Senate. And a little birdie told me that one of his advisors remembered me paying him a visit on this issue back in 2009, noting, “You’re gonna get this done!”little birdie






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