Like many women, I had dreams of becoming a wife and mother, having a career that I loved, and traveling the world. Somehow, a few items appeared onto my bucket list that I never intended to be there. And somehow, once those items were achieved, they became more important than the ones I’d originally designated.
Having three or four children was on my original bucket list. Giving birth to my second child who was an 11 lb, 2 foot long baby changed all that. I became a foster/adoptive mother.
My husband and I adopted two children from the foster system. I planned to send them to public school and work full time. Adopting two children with trauma issues and an alphabet soup of diagnoses changed all that. I became a best-selling author.
I used to believe that our social services systems worked rather well—that is until I needed to rely on them for my children. Being forced into an involuntary custody relinquishment in exchange for mental healthcare changed all that. I helped hundreds of families and became a leading advocate.
To my bucket list I added and then checked off: becoming a public speaker, writing “Second Time Foster Child,” being appointed by the governor to a state authority, and winning several advocacy awards including a congressional award.
Through it all, I found my purpose in life when I became an “accidental advocate.”
P.S. I still want to travel the world
Toni Hoy 826 Arends Blvd.
Special Education Advocate Rantoul, IL 61866
Systems’ Consultant (847) 804-2088
I am a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA) and have taken numerous workshops, classes, and conferences on Special Education policy.
“Second Time Foster Child” is a book about a boy who became a second time foster child due to the trauma that he sustained prior to becoming a first time foster child. It’s a book about involuntary custody relinquishment for mental healthcare and our fight for our son’s entitlement to treatment. “Second Time Foster Child” by Toni Hoy is a nationally acclaimed best-selling non-fiction book.
I am the Advocacy Director for the Attachment & Trauma Network and serve on the Advisory Board for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Barrington Area. I am also an Illinois state trainer for NAMI Support Facilitators.
I am a parent with first-person experience who has walked in your shoes.
“The Hoyboy Law”
I helped draft and pass the “Custody Relinquishment Prevention Act” (Public Act 98-0808) which was signed into law on Governor Pat Quinn on August 1, 2014. Along with me, one of my sons testified at a House of Representatives committee hearing at our state capitol in Springfield, Il. This law forms an inter-government agreement which intercepts families on the brink of involuntary relinquishment to identify which agencies will serve the child’s need. This Act also requires the state agencies to file an annual report to the General Assembly and Governor outlining the numbers of involuntary relinquishments along with the reasons they occurred.
- 2010 Parent Advocacy Award-Family Defense Center
- 2011 Safeco Insurance Community Hero Award
- 2014 Hanover Insurance National Community Hero Award
- 2014 Angels in Adoption Congressional Award
- 2016 NAMI National Outstanding Member of the Year