‘It took me seven years’: St. Louis woman adopts five siblings so they can stay together

Dollita Okine December 07, 2023
After a seven-year custody battle, La Tonya Ruff (middle with hair pulled back) has at last been able to unite and maintain a family. Photo: KSDK

After a seven-year custody battle, La Tonya Ruff has at last been able to unite and maintain a family. “It took me seven years to get this family back together, getting them back one by one,” Ruff told KSDK.

The relieved guardian explained that she used to babysit the kids in 2012, but she was not told when the children were placed in foster care. She even established a daycare after learning she enjoyed caring for children. 

Ruff was granted guardianship of one of the children, Tiana, in 2022, and she had custody of Ashton and Trevione in the spring of 2023. Along with attending their births, she also adopted Dayton and Ky’La, two little siblings

Ruff started making plans to keep the siblings together after the older kids, Tiana, Trevione and Ashton, were featured in a news segment called “A Place to Call Home,” looking for a more permanent living situation, as reported by KDSK.

The guardianship of two older boys was finalized during Ruff’s recent court appearance. Out of respect, she adopted the two youngest siblings and became guardian of the elder children. The elder children requested that their parents’ names be kept on their legal paperwork, including their late father’s name.

The court’s decision allows the siblings to grow up in the same residence. Ruff said, “I gave them their forever home, and I wouldn’t have it anything other way. It isn’t an easy job, and I knew it wouldn’t be, but the purpose behind it all makes it even more worth it. We are family.”

With the holidays quickly approaching, Ruff said that the timing couldn’t be better.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 7, 2023


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