exposing the dark side of adoption
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Malayia Knapp speaks out about suing adoptive mother


DES MOINES – A woman who said she was abused by her adoptive mother explains why she is now suing her in court.

Author: Brynn Carman

DES MOINES – A woman who said she was abused by her adoptive mother explains why she is now suing her in court. 

Malayia Knapp says she waited until now to file the lawsuit against her adoptive mom because she is finally old enough to do so. She was adopted by Mindy Knapp when she was 10. Now she is 19.  

“So the lawsuit now, I didn’t know it had to be a year after I turned 18, which is kinda funny because I turned 19 yesterday and so we came just in time,” said Malayia Knapp. 

Malayia says ever since she ran away in 2015, she’s been waiting to serve her adoptive mom papers for the abuse she caused Malayia and her siblings inside their Urbandale home. 

“I have wanted to get help for my siblings because I haven’t seen them since December 2015, but no one really listened,” said Malayia Knapp. “So we talked to tons of people and finally we have a lawsuit.”

Now with a big team in her corner, Malayia is seeking justice. The list of counts Mindy Knapp, Malayia’s adopted mother face are lengthy. Malayia is suing Mindy for assault, battery, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, severe emotional distress as a bystander, outrageous conduct. 

“Ultimate goal in the lawsuit is to get justice for me and my siblings,” said Malayia Knapp.

Malayia says she’s not stopping with Mindy. She plans to involve Iowa DHS for workers’ wrongdoing as well.

When asked if she plans to sue the DHS Malayia answered, “ultimately, ultimately that is the goal. We just have to sue Mindy to get to DHS.”

Malayia says DHS needs to be held accountable for what happened to her, and the other children who have been affected by what she says is a flawed system. 

“I want them to have the responsibility of what went on in the case and for others to realize how detrimental it is for the kids involved,” said Malayia Knapp. “I mean we’ve already had two young women die within the last nine months, and that should not be happening.”

Since her escape and speaking out, Malayia says she is trying to be a role model for what kids in the DHS system deserve. 

“My siblings and the others who are being wronged by the state, but there is no voice for children,” said Malayia Knapp. “Especially the two girls that died, they didn’t get to have a voice. And because I got out I want to be the voice for the kids who don’t have a voice.”

After Malayia escaped, Mindy was convicted of two counts of abuse. She was then able to return home. We reached out to Mindy for comment, she wasn’t home when we knocked on her door. Mindy is still taking care of Malayia’s siblings. Malayia says she hopes this lawsuit will remove her siblings from the home permanently.  

There is currently an investigation into DHS and its practices. That’s being conducted by an outside group. 

2017 Aug 15