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'Change is possible': Raytown mom reunites with her kids after overcoming drug addiction

Brittney Hallman
Posted at 5:18 PM, May 09, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It’s almost Mother’s Day, but this year the holiday carries more meaning for one Raytown mom.

Brittney Hallman lost custody of her children in 2017 while she battled drug addiction.

“I literally had my kids removed from my arms,” Hallman said. “Shortly after that, I was pregnant with my fourth child, and again had my child removed from my arms when he was 4-days-old.”

She said she’s fought drug addiction since she was 15.

Hallman grew up watching her mom fight the same fight.

Without her children or a home, she had to make a choice.

“If I’m never going to get my kids back, what’s the point of going on? So it was just a really dark place in my life,” Hallman said.

But a photo of her children changed everything.

“I was sitting in my car, looking at a picture of my kids. I was homeless, literally down and out,” she said. “I just remember looking at all of their faces and was like, 'Brittney, you can never change if you don’t start changing things.'"

According to the 2022 United States National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 46.8 million Americans age 12 and older battled a substance use disorder in the past year.

Brittney started rehab and recovery. The UMKC Child and Family Services Clinic stepped in. The clinic serves parents who qualify at or under the national poverty guidelines. The clinic took on Brittney’s case pro bono.

“That’s one of the things we’re proud of is the fact that we are able to provide that service and it doesn’t cost the family any money,” Director Wendy Ross said.

The clinic has placed 1,137 kids in permanent housing since it opened in 2000.

Two years after Brittney lost her kids, the UMKC program helped her get them back.

“I just try to look forward to the future Mother’s Days,” Brittney said.

Brittney Hallman's kids

Her life has new meaning, but her purpose remains the same: to be the mother she’s always pictured.

“They’re so proud of me, and the love that they give me, it literally means everything,” she said.