TAMPA -- A 17-month-old boy, days away from going to live with his adoptive parents died while is foster care.
Aedyn Agminalis died last week after he was rushed to the hospital and doctors found bleeding in his brain according to his potential adoptive parents. The question tonight: how did this happen?
Aedyn was taken into foster care this past August. His biological parents signed papers consenting the adoption on November 18th. and the adoption report arrived on December 5th. They say Eckerd Kids -- the non-profit contracted to run the county's child welfare system -- set a hearing for January 10th.
On December 11th they were told Aedyn passed away after doctors declared brain failure.
The couple had already adopted another child and have questions as to why their adoption process was not expedited.
"It just seems like we were fighting them instead of them saying, ‘Gosh, this is great. This little guy is going to find a permanent home',” says Colleen Kochanek and Stephanie Norris, Aedyn’s potential adoptive parents.
“Why the delay? If people have already been through adoption lets expedite that. Let’s get children out of foster care as soon as possible. I’m not saying that any child is going to be harmed any minute in foster care. Sure, there’s excellent foster parents out there but why delay? Why not have him with us as soon as absolute possible?”
They believe it’s something that needs to be looked into. They also want to see Aedyn’s medical records from the time he went into foster care until when he passed away.
“Who’s held accountable now? Do we hold the state accountable still or do we go to the last agency that touched him?” says Norris.
The Department of Children and Families released this statement:
Statement from Secretary Mike Carroll:
The loss of this child is absolutely devastating and we’re grieving with all those who loved him. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office has opened a death investigation as the agency that conducts all child protective investigations in Hillsborough County. Based on the child’s prior and ongoing involvement in the child welfare system, the department has deployed a Critical Incident Rapid Response Team to investigate the circumstances surrounding his tragic death.
We did reach out to Eckerd Kids today but have not heard back.
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