Bring Klava home

Bring Klava home

April 2, 2022
Signatures: 3,514Next Goal: 5,000
Support now

Why this petition matters

Started by Regina Shprinzes

If two years and nine months ago someone told me about the tragedy I am about to share, I would never have believed it could happen. Yet here I am today, telling my story and trying to figure out how this horrible ordeal became my very own nightmare.

My name is Marina Umanskaya. I am a mom of a beautiful and loving 11-year-old daughter. My daughter was born prematurely at 30 weeks and experienced significant delays in many developmental areas, including being unable to speak until she was 3.5 years old. At 20 months old, my daughter was diagnosed with autism. She was also diagnosed with congenital hypotonia (poor muscle tone) and general anxiety and has sensory issues and a lack of danger awareness. Since her diagnoses, my daughter had been receiving appropriate treatment from early intervention programs, CPSE services, sensory gyms, various classes, and extracurricular activities to support her development. With love and support, she was thriving. My daughter was a happy child. She enjoyed play dates with friends, singing, dancing, swimming, playing chess, and her life was full of joy.

On January 24, 2020, both our lives were plunged into an abyss, as my girl was taken away from me. Almost three endless years... I have been robbed of the happiness of living life with my baby and watching her grow.

Our nightmare started in family court, when the father of my daughter, whom I had been separated from since 2012 after our daughter was born, filed a petition for shared custody. The outcome of the case was not satisfactory to him, so he and his attorney attempted to persuade the court to reverse its decision by fabricating that I had a psychiatric diagnosis. When these unfounded statements were refuted by a forensic psychologist appointed by the court, the father and his attorney brought in their own doctor, a child abuse pediatrician, who without ever meeting me, without ever speaking to me (even on the phone), and without consulting any of the medical professionals who had previously observed my daughter and me, concocted that I had Münchausen syndrome by proxy.

Despite my daughter having an autism diagnosis established and confirmed by many highly qualified medical professionals, the child abuse pediatrician and her team asserted that my daughter did not in fact have special needs and that instead, I had programmed my daughter from birth to believe she had autism. The child abuse pediatrician’s initial letters to the court promised to “reprogram” my daughter - first in five days, then in one week, then in one month, then in a few months, and now she has just stopped providing any timing for this “reprogramming”.

The child abuse pediatrician (CAP) arranged for my daughter to be transferred to a specialty psychiatric clinic where my little frightened girl spent 9 months on medication and without the help she needed. My daughter was isolated from everyone she loves and trusts, from her family, friends, therapists, teachers, from those who could protect and love and support her. Her loving grandparents were even denied phone calls with her, and no information was provided about my daughter. Despite my daughter spending 9 months in an in-patient mental health facility being “deprogrammed”, the CAP team continues to insist that they need more time to “reprogram” my daughter.

My daughter’s pediatrician who had cared for her since 2016, described the CAP’s diagnosis of Munchausen by proxy as “ridiculous” and said she was “appalled” by this diagnosis. Psychologists’ reports presented in court testified to the validity of my daughter’s autism diagnosis and stated that this accusation of MBP is “egregiously inappropriate” and “borders on criminal intent”. Different psychologists’ reports, including court appointed forensics, also clearly stated that I do not suffer from Münchausen syndrome by proxy.

The courts refused to take any of these findings into consideration, instead relying on the sole diagnosis of a CAP who had never even examined me.

The CAP states that my daughter only shows certain maladaptive behaviors in front of me and never in front of anyone else. In the CAP’s testimony, she clearly stated that the first time she had ever seen my daughter was when my daughter came to the emergency room for dehydration after being in her father’s care for 6 days. The CAP also testified that she had never even observed my daughter interacting with me. Thus, how does she know my daughter only shows maladaptive behaviors while with me?

And now the CAP’s team insists that even visits should not be a possibility for me. Because I refuse to sign their papers agreeing to a Munchausen by proxy diagnosis, they want to completely deprive my child of her mother.

For almost three years, I had hope that I would find justice in family court. And now I realize that I have to seek justice elsewhere.

All I ask for is a fair trial, where all the facts, documents and witnesses will be examined. Examined without prejudice and bias. It is clear to me at this time I cannot prove my case in this court, simply by relying on facts and documents.

So here I am, left with a fake diagnosis, a mother deprived of her child... I have never felt so helpless and so defenseless as I do at this moment.

And I simply cannot delay taking action any longer.

The only way to get justice right now is to go public. To ask people to help: where do I go, who do I speak to? Any advice, any recommendations are greatly appreciated and will be absolutely invaluable. Maybe you have connections with journalists or other media personnel? I can provide all necessary documents, court transcripts, and specialists’ reports at short notice. My absolute best and probably only chance of being reunited with my daughter is for my case to be taken away from Brooklyn Family Court and transferred to the federal level.

Thank you in advance for any potential answer, for sharing our story, for any prayer, or a good wish for my only daughter.

God bless you all!


Support now
Signatures: 3,514Next Goal: 5,000
Support now