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Cerebral Palsy Victim to Sue for Custody

January 19, 1988|Associated Press

SAN JOSE — A wheelchair-bound cerebral palsy patient who has had two babies taken by welfare officials said Monday she will fight in court to get back her children "if it's the last thing I do before I die."

Tiffany Callo, 20, gave birth to her second healthy son Friday, but lost custody of him the next day just as she had lost custody of her first son shortly after his birth in March.

Santa Clara County welfare officials say Callo, who lives on $533 a month from Social Security, is unable to care for the children and cannot afford to pay for help.

The first son, 10-month-old Antonio David, was placed with a foster family. Callo has not been told where the family lives but she has been allowed to visit her baby an hour on Saturdays at a welfare office. The second son, Jesse Robert, was placed with the same foster family.

'My Pride and Joy'

"It's so unfair, it isn't right," Callo said tearfully. "I love the children. The children are my pride and my joy and my life and I feel like they're taking a part of my life away."

She said she is convinced that she can care adequately for her children, although she knows she would need considerable help.

"I have a question about a few things, like bathing them and lifting them, because sometimes I have involuntary movements," she said. "That could be dangerous for the babies."

Although welfare officials say they are trying to protect the babies, she called the system that is keeping her children from her "the pits."

"I'd like to go in there one of these times with a couple of crates of dynamite and blow the whole place up," she said.

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