Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

Couple face challenges, pursue justice for foster daughter
by Matt Simonette
2019-07-24

This article shared 4803 times since Wed Jul 24, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


A North Side queer couple who, for two years, have been foster parents to a special-needs toddler are awaiting the court hearing that could decide the punishment for the man who is accused of shaking and injuring the child.

Mary Otts-Rubenstein and her wife, Rachel Rubenstein, took in their foster daughter Evelyn in 2017. Born drug-dependent to a mother in Louisiana in May of that year, Evelyn's birth mother had arranged a private adoption with an Olympia Fields couple, Jordan Schroeder and Kory Risner.

But Evelyn was admitted to a hospital in June after being allegedly shook violently by Schroeder.

"Initially, the doctors thought it was meningitis—she had a fever and neurological symptoms," Mary said. "But when they did a CT scan, it pointed more towards not-accidental trauma [which] is characterized by three different things: swelling on the brain, bleeding on the brain and hemorrhaging behind the eyes."

Hemorrhaging behind the eyes, Mary added, requires a repetitive motion. "[But] she was a little bit protected because she was little."

According to Cook County State's Attorney's Office spokesperson Tandra Simonton, Schroeder is charged with one felony charge of aggravated battery to a child. His next court date is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 15, before Judge Michele Pitman in Markham.

Evelyn was placed with Mary and Rachel in July 2017, after the child had been in the hospital for a month. Her brain was severely injured, so Evelyn will likely have impaired communication and mobility for her entire life.

Shaken baby syndrome, according to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, is often underreported since children many not have any immediate external signs of injury. But internal injuries can be severe, and may lead to cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, paralysis, seizures and/or vision loss.

"I don't think we understood shaken baby syndrome when she came here," Mary said. "We understood that she'd have neurological deficits. We did not understand the devastation that shaking causes."

Mary and Rachel are committed to Evelyn's longterm care and hope to formally adopt her, but Mary admitted that commitment comes with enormous financial and physical sacrifices. Mary mainly works from home as executive director for a national organization, but Rachel is a private therapist for whom taking time off for doctor's visits and hospitalizations is difficult.

"When she's not seeing clients, she's not getting paid," said Mary.

Evelyn's care requires not just overseeing her medical treatments, but involved and complex engagements with Medicaid and other financial assistance bureaucracies, as well as managing nurses and a nanny for the child. Mary and Rachel are active in various Chicago Jewish communities, and credit their friends there for providing much assistance and support. When the couple became foster parents, they'd assumed they'd get an older child placed in their home, so they were not immediately prepared for a child with Evelyn's needs. Mary recalled that, after they put the word out to their friends, they "had everything we needed within 24 hours."

She added she is not sure how she feels about Schroeder's prosecution and whether the single charge against him is sufficient punishment; if convicted, Schroeder likely faces several months in jail. Mary admitted to being uncomfortable with publicly calling for prosecution of a gay man, but questioned whether he comprehends the gravity of Evelyn's situation. When prosecutors asked whether Mary and Rachel would like to see the matter go to trial or would prefer Schroeder be offered a plea bargain, they nevertheless said they'd prefer the plea.

"He would have to say, 'I did this,' and how he did this, and we would have the opportunity to present [both] Evelyn's biological mom's impact statement and something written by us on Evelyn's behalf," Mary said. "Now that she's two, [Evelyn] can't reliably lift her head. She can't roll over. She can't talk. This is every person's issue ever [in these situations]—we just want the other person to understand the full impact of what has been caused."


This article shared 4803 times since Wed Jul 24, 2019
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Hastert settles sexual-abuse lawsuit
2021-09-16
Days before a trial was set to begin, former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert reached a tentative settlement in a hush-money lawsuit filed by a man whose decades-old sexual-abuse allegations led to the politician's downfall six ...


Gay News

Gov. Pritzker signs transformative energy legislation for Illinois
2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO — Delivering on principles previously laid out, Governor JB Pritzker signed landmark legislation into law that puts the state on a path toward 100% clean energy, invests in training a diverse workforce for the jobs ...


Gay News

Catholic theologians urge protections for LGBTQ+ people
2021-09-14
More than 750 of the nation's leading Catholic theologians, church leaders, scholars, educators and writers have joined New Ways Ministry in voicing support for nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ people, according to a New Ways press release. ...


Gay News

'Homophile' organization New Gay Liberation Front launches
2021-09-13
The New Gay Liberation Front—which described itself in a press release as a "homophile organization"—has launched. "Homophile" is a term that was used by some gay and lesbian groups in the 1950s. According to the University ...


Gay News

Men Having Babies surrogacy conference on Oct. 9
2021-09-13
The Men Having Babies 2021 Midwest Surrogacy Conference & Expo will take place Saturday, Oct. 9, 9 a.m.-7 p.m., at Center on Halsted, 3656 N. Halsted St. According to a press statement, more than 100 (vaccinated!) ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Teachers, GLAAD talks HRC, 9/11 items, Dr. Rachel Levine
2021-09-12
In North Carolina, a former teacher won a lawsuit against Charlotte Catholic High School and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charlotte after he lost his job following an announcement on Facebook that he planned to marry ...


Gay News

WORLD False report, Indian activist dies, fashion exhibit, LGBT Awards
2021-09-12
In Spain, a man who claimed eight hooded men carved an anti-gay slur on his butt using a knife in a horrific hate crime later said the act was consensual, according to out.com. According to police ...


Gay News

Women & Children First hosting virtual event with Anita Hill on Sept. 29
2021-09-11
Anita Hill—the University Professor of Social Policy, Law, and Women's and Gender Studies at Brandeis University who played a major role in the 1991 Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas—will be part ...


Gay News

Chicago neighborhood nonprofits join forces to provide free attorneys
2021-09-07
Four Chicago neighborhood nonprofits—LCLC (Lawndale Christian Legal Center), Breakthrough, BUILD (Broader Urban Involvement & Leadership Development) and New Life Centers—have formed a partnership to assign free ...


Gay News

One in ten LGBT workers experienced discrimination at work in the last year
2021-09-07
LGBT employees of color were more likely to report being denied jobs and verbal harassment A new study by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds an estimated 46% of LGBT workers have experienced ...


Gay News

Constand breaks silence about Bill Cosby
2021-09-07
Bill Cosby accuser Andrea Constand is breaking her silence to NBC News about the comic/actor's release from prison two months ago, Deadline noted. In a brief clip, Constand tells Kate Snow she "was really shocked — ...


Gay News

Afghan LGBTQs in peril, with little help in sight
2021-09-06
Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of LGBT Afghan citizens, who dared to take modest steps toward living openly when their country was under the occupation and influence of a more tolerant "western culture," are now literally hiding in ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Calif. bill, lawsuits, Billy Porter, 'Southern LGBTQ Experiences'
2021-09-05
The California legislature okayed a bill that would launch a pilot program to better track the gender identity and sexual orientation of victims of fatal violence, Gay City News noted. Under AB 1094, or the Sexual ...


Gay News

WORLD Anti-TGNC vote, #VeryGayRaptor, Brazilian governor, Scottish poll
2021-09-05
In Australia, the government voted down workplace protections for transgender, non-binary and intersex people, OutInPerth.com reported. The senate was considering the Sex Discrimination and Fair Work (Respect at Work) Amendment ...


Gay News

PASSAGES Pioneering lesbian business owner Susan Mazer dies
2021-09-04
Susan Mazer died August 31 due to COVID-19 complications. She was 77. At the time of her death, Mazer was living in Port Saint Lucie, Florida with her wife Janet Norton. Mazer was born May 10, ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.