Parental Rights Termination and Drugs. Here’s an example of a case where the parental rights were terminated by the Court due to drug use.
The Court of Appeals affirmed the termination of the mother’s parental rights to her 10-month-old daughter, holding that the trial court did not err in finding that the child was deprived, the mother was the cause of the deprivation and the deprivation was likely to continue, where the mother had a 12-year history of drug addiction and repeatedly used methamphetamine while pregnant; neither of the mother’s two other children were in her custody; the mother had multiple felony drug convictions and was in jail after the child’s birth; the mother failed to financially support the child until four weeks before the termination hearing; the mother had five separate residences since the child’s birth; the mother made no attempt whatsoever to visit the child until she filed her motion for visitation when the child was nine months old; and the mother was willing to reconcile with the father, who was also addicted to methamphetamine and had not completed any type of drug treatment. The Court also held that termination was in the child’s best interest, based on the evidence of the mother’s prior drug problems, her failure to support or develop any bond with the child, her willingness to reconcile with the father, and the paternal relatives’ desire to adopt the child.
Parental Rights Termination and Drugs. For more information see the Georgia case: In the Interest of Z.P., A11A2183 (02/24/12)
If you have questions about Parental Rights Termination and Drugs, a divorce settlement agreement, contempt, or if you are considering filing a divorce, please contact the contact the Remboldt Law Firm, LLC at 404-348-4081 for a free phone consultation.
Placement of 2-year-old twins in custody of their uncle and aunt until their 18th birthday, vacated, and case remanded, as juvenile court’s order did not include finding that referral for termination of parental rights and adoption was not in twins’ best interest, as required for award of long-term custody.
Order quashing purported uncle’s objections to prospective parent’s adoption petition and dismissing him from adoption action, REVERSED, since trial court misinterpreted O.C.G.A. § 19-8-15; and § 19-8-15 states: ‘ “If the child sought to be adopted has no legal father or legal mother living, it shall be the privilege of any person related by blood to the child to file objections to the peittion for adoption;” ‘it was undisputed that child did not have legal father living; even though child’s biological mother was still alive, she was not his legal mother, since her parental rights were terminated; since child did not have legal father or legal mother, uncle, who was allegedly related by blood, had right to file objections to adoption petition; trial court erred in quashing uncle’s objections without first determining whether he was bood relative.
Parker v. Stone, A10A1306 (09/14/10), 10 FCDR 3061
Denial of foster parent’s petition to adopt her foster daughter, REVERSED; since no evidence supported denial of adoption petition and trial court improperly infringed on DFCS’s authority; foster parent petitioned superior court to adopt child, which trial court denied on the basis that placing child with foster parent was against public policy, since foster parent was not married to man with whom she lived; no evidence supported denial of adoption petition and all witnesses, including guardian ad litem appointed by trial court, testified that adoption was in child’s best interest and that removal of child from foster parent’s home would be devastating; OCGA 19-8-3(b) does not prohibit this adoption, since ‘”[a]any adult person , including but not limited to a foster parent, meeting the requirements of subsection (a) of this Code section shall be eligible to apply” for adoption; public policy, as set forth in OCGA 49-5-281(a)(20), dictates that foster parent, who has fostered child for more than 12 months, should be first choice as permanent parent where appropriate; order directing DFACS to remove child from foster parent’s home infringed upon authority of DFACS as legal custodian with right to determine physical placement of child.
In Re Petition of Thersa Goudeau to Adopt a Minor Child, A10A1720; A10A1721 (08/27/10), 10 FCDR 2881
Denial of former foster parents’ petition to adopt minor, AFFIRMED; trial court did not err in holding that foster parents lacked standing to pursue adoption, because OCGA 19-8-5(a) provides for adoption, if living parents have voluntarily surrendered their rights in writing to third person pursuing adoption and, in this case, parents surrendered their rights to minor’s maternal grandmother; trial court did not err in disregarding OCGA 49-5-281, Foster Parent’s Bill of Rights, because trial court did consider foster parents throughout doption process and Department of Human Services has absolute discretion in adoption decisions; evidence supported trial court’s decision that it would be inminor’s best interest to remain at material grandmother’s house; previous appellate deicsion, holding that there was no evidence supporting finding that adoption by maternal grandmother was in minor’s best interest, did not demand finding that adoption by foster parent was in child’s best interest; foster parents’ argument based on OCGA 19-8-18(d) rejcted, because that section is based on peitions brought pursuant to OCGA 19-8-5, which was inapplicable.
Owen v. Watts, A10A0774 (04/13/2010), 10 FCDR 1448
Judgment in parties’ divorce case, REVERSED, as trial court erred in ruling that appellant was estopped from denying obligation to support appellee’s minor child, who was not appellant’s biological or adopted child; although appellant signed application to amend child’s birth certificate to list him as her father and give her his name and he allegedly promised to take care of her and be her father, there was no evidence that his promise caused appellee to forego valuable legal right to her detriment; appellant identified child’s biological father, acknowledged that child was aware of his identity and stated that she never sought support, because he did not want anything to do with child.
GA attorney disbarred for violating Georgia Rules of Professional Conduct; attorney failed to file adoption petition for one client after she paid him $900 to represent her in that matter, did not respond truthfully to client about status of matter and misrepresented facts in response to Investigative Panel; in second matter, attorney failed to ensure that his client’s incorporation documents were registered with Secretary of State, moved his office and disconnected his phone and did not respond to Investigative Panel; in third matter, attorney did not return his child support clien’ts full retainer after opposing party paid him full $1500 fee and attorney never provided client with her files or with copies of her court docuemnts; attorney’s prior disciplinary history was an aggravating factor.
A GA parent who tests positive for marijuana and cocaine at the inception of a case, has a history of marijuana use, lacks stable and suitable housing, has no stable employment, does not pay child support and continues to reside with the children’s other parent, who has a chronic drug and alcohol abuse problem supports the termination of the parent’s parental rights to her children.
If a court grants a parent application for discretionary appeal, the parent can not show harm from the juvenile court’s alleged failure to provide a transcript.
A juvenile court does not abuse its discretion in determining the children should stay in their stable foster home , where the children have bonded with the foster parents and the foster parents wished to adopt them rather than a grandparent who is away from home for months at a time.
In the Interest of J.J. A09A1330 (07-17-09)
Judges: M. Anthony Baker, Cherokee Juvenile Court; Bernes, Smith, Phipps