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2 Foster Parents Say They’re No Longer Banned

An Arleta couple, who filed a lawsuit complaining that county officials stopped sending foster children to their home because their son had been exposed to the AIDS virus, said Thursday that the county several months ago offered to resume placing foster children with them.

The couple, Paul and Elke Hart, alleged in their Los Angeles Superior Court suit, filed Wednesday, that the county action damaged their livelihood and reputation, caused them emotional distress and violated a City of Los Angeles ordinance banning discrimination against AIDS victims.

They are seeking $60,000 in lost income, $150,000 in general damages and $3 million in punitive and exemplary damages, according to their attorney, William S. Greene of Los Angeles.

The Harts and county officials said Thursday that the ban the couple complained of is no longer in effect.

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An official of the Los Angeles County County Department of Childrens Services said the county last spring reinstated the Harts to its list of approved foster parents. The official would not discuss the case in detail, but said the decision was based on evolving county policies toward AIDS.

The Harts have so far declined to take any more children, however, because Elke Hart recently had a stroke, the official said.

The Harts said they were informed in August, 1985, that they had been removed from the list of approved foster parents after a county social worker learned that their son, Michael, had AIDS antibodies in his blood, although he does not actually have the deadly disease. The Harts’ son has not lived with them for several years but is a frequent visitor.


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