Fort Worth foster mom fighting for more rights after child's death




Posted on June 22, 2012 at 10:48 PM

Updated Saturday, Jun 23 at 11:44 AM

FORT WORTH - Her name was Miracle Murray-Skinner. And home video of her proves what an adorable, sweet, smart little girl she was.

In March 2011, she was smiling on the swings as she spent a day at the park with her foster family, counting to 100 without missing a beat.

By summer 2012, Miracle was gone.

"I was supposed to protect her," said Nakisha Jackson, who had been Miracle's foster mom since she the child was six weeks old.

The first week of June, Miracle, now six years old, went to spend time with her biological father in Oklahoma. At the end of the week, a case worker called Jackson with haunting news.

Miracle drowned.

"It was like somebody had just grabbed my heart and took it out," Jackson said.

She felt like she'd lost a daughter, and she couldn't even bury that daughter. Miracle's biological mother had lost parental rights, but her father had not.

"Since her dad still had his rights, he would be the one to make all the decisions as to where her body would be buried," Jackson explained.

She wanted to lay Miracle to rest at a family plot in Fort Worth, but she didn't have that right. Miracle's body stayed in a county morgue for 13 days. She was cremated Thursday.

"You parent these kids, you love them, you embrace them, you take them into your home, and when it comes to final decisions, you have to stand back in the corner," Jackson said. "You're told, 'We don't want you to be a part of that.' And that's not fair."

She's hoping someone in a position of power takes notice and reconsiders what kind of rights foster parents are given.

Jackson also said it's not only about rights. She said it's also about respect.