A Scotti family photo of Jaidon. (Source: Dione Scotti)
SPARTANBURG, SC (FOX Carolina) -
It has been five years since the death of Jaidon Morris, who was nearly 2 years old at the time.
Jaidon was known to love to wear hats and shoes. His foster family still keeps pictures of him on their fireplace mantle.
It started in 2007 when the Scotti family got a phone call to provide foster care for Jaidon in an emergency situation. He had been released from the hospital and was put into the Department of Social Services system.
"We watched him really grow and develop, to walk, take first steps, his teeth - just really grow from an infant into a child," said Dione Scotti, Jaidon's foster mother.
Jaidon spent nearly a year with the Scotti family. Then, they got another phone call. A judge ruled that the toddler would be returned to his biological parents.
"It was decided they would send him home," Dione Scotti said. "So they notified us in the afternoon about 5 and he had to be back with his parents within 24 hours."
Scotti told FOX Carolina she was concerned when Jaidon was returned to his birth family. Within days, fear became reality. Another phone call led the Scottis to an Upstate hospital.
Jaidon was on life support. He died shortly after their visit. An investigation revealed in court that Jaidon died from an overdose of prescription adult cough medicine. His biological grandmother and father were convicted of homicide by child abuse and are currently in prison.
Following Jaidon's death, Dione Scotti said she made a promise to do something to protect other children.
"If children are being sent back home, they are being sent back to a safe environment, an environment where parents have learned to cope with issues," Dione Scotti said.
Scotti worked with Republican State Rep. Mike Forrester to draft Jaidon's law. Some of the requirements include, that parents lose their rights to their children if they are convicted of homicide by child abuse, fail three drug tests a year or do not undergo court-ordered treatment.
The law passed the State House, but it is not yet on its way to a Senate subcommittee.
Dione Scotti remains hopeful that the law will be approved and signed by Gov. Nikki Haley. She said it would be a fitting tribute to a child she loved so much.
"It would mean a lot," she said. "It would mean a lot. It would mean that nobody's going to undergo the same situation that he underwent and the areas that failed him won't fail somebody else."
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