Mansfield couple battling CPS over special needs adoption

A Mansfield couple claims a complaint to Child Protective Services about their family resulted in them losing a foster child they were trying to adopt.

Shelly and Brian Burman currently have two biological children and 13 adopted children. All of the adopted kids have special needs. Shelly’s biological son and daughter pitch in to help along with several paid caretakers.

"It may look different than other people but just because we have a larger number than the average American family doesn't mean that there's something wrong,” Shelly said.

The Burman’s said a foster child they were hoping to make their 14th adopted child 17-year-old Donovan. The teen was with them for 7 months before being removed from their care after a CPS investigation.

“He had for the first time in his life a mom and a dad. My husband took him to games, his first baseball game. What he could cognitively understand we don't know. But he loved the chaos of the kids, loved the noise, loved his music,” Shelly said.

Shelly said a hospital nurse complained to the agency the family was too big with the care their children require.

The investigation’s findings, according to papers shared with FOX4, was neglectful supervision. It’s something Shelly said stemmed from two of their Down syndrome boys being found with bite marks on them last July.  

The agency in a statement said, "CPS cases are confidential by law, including details related to children in foster care."

Shelly, a former special education teacher, and Brian, a Tarrant County Sheriff deputy, hope they will find an attorney they can afford to help appeal the CPS decision.

"We said those children deserve just as much as a chance at a family and love no matter how long their time or capabilities. And that's just what we found ourselves drawn to,” Shelly said.

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