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)
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Continuation of custody of minor mother’s 2-year-old child with DFACS, affirmed, as juvenile court did not err in holding review hearing without mother present; pretermitting whether court erred in not continuing hearing, mother failed to establish that she was harmed by not being present, as she did not allege that her attorney did not adequately represent her interests or that juvenile court erred in its disposition of case; juvenile court did not err in admitting certain unauthenticated documents, as all helpful information may be received in proceeding involving child custody, other non-hearsay evidence supported juvenile court’s findings, and mother failed to show how she was harmed by documents’ admission.
Award to their maternal grandparents of permanent custody of two special needs children who had previously been adjudicated deprived, affirmed, with limited visitation to parents, as clear and convincing evidence showed that parental custody would harm children and that grandparents’ custody would best promote children’s health, welfare and happiness; while parents consistently failed to attend to children’s special needs and physical well-being, grandparents had served as children’s primary caregivers for several years, were fully cognizant of their special needs, were actively involved in securing services and therapies for children and charting their progress, and were in position due to their retirement to carefully monitor children on daily basis; for same reasons, juvenile court did not abuse its discretion in denying parents’ motion for reunification, which sought to modify or vacate unexpired deprivation order based on alleged change in circumstances.
In the Interest of D. W. and L. W., A11A1463; A11A1464; A11A1465 (09/15/11)
Finding that minor child was deprived, reversed; no clear and convincing evidence showed that mother was unfit to care for child; evidence that child was wearing only diaper during summer day, lack of variety of food in home, physical discipline of child, and dirty home did not support finding that child had been or would be harmed; additionally, no evidence showed that mother’s failure to accept support services harmed child.
Order terminating children’s father’s parental rights, affirmed, as children were deprived, father was unable to provide proper care for children, deprivation was likely to continue and termination was in children’s best interest; after being granted unsupervised visitation with children, father beat one child with belt on child’s buttocks, legs and thighs resulting in child’s hospitalization, father was arrested for child cruelty, and when asked about incident by juvenile court, he exercised Fifth Amendment rights; father had cognitive problems that affected his ability to parent and to implement skills learned in parenting classes and counseling, he had history of anger management problems, engaged in angry outburst in telephone call with evaluating psychologist, admitted to physically disciplining one child in connection with toilet training and displayed anger in regards to one child’s toilet training.
Termination of mother’s parental rights to her child, affirmed; clear and convincing evidence authorized juvenile court to rule that child’s deprivation was likely to continue and was likely to harm him; mother gave birth to child in prison, she was without home of her own and unable to provide housing for child, she was unemployed and unable to provide for child’s financial needs, and she suffered from mental health problems for which she allegedly failed to take her medicine; mother also failed to bond with child and did not contact child or DFACS for 16 months that he was in DFACS custody; termination of mother’s parental rights was in child’s best interest, since there was testimony regarding bonding of child with his foster parents, who wished to adopt him, and danger of foster care drift, if permanency was not established.
Dismissal of deprivation complaint, affirmed, as juvenile court acted within discretion in finding that there were no reasonable grounds to find that minor was deprived; minor tested positive twice for Chlamydia but mother and step-father tested negative for disease; mother was cooperating with investigation; minor had not been exposed to disease through penetration, and case manager testified that DFACS did not believe minor was in any immediate danger of harm within home.
Termination of mother’s parental rights to her three children, AFFIRMED, as evidence supported it; mother had history of displaying bizarre, paranoid behavior, she stopped taking her prescribed medication and skipped her mental health appointments, she failed to clean her home, she provided no evidence of employment or ability to pay monthly living expenses, she failed to pay child support and she failed to maintain bond with her children.
Termination of father’s parental rights, AFFIRMED, as evidence supported it; father never contacted children nor DFACS during his 5-year incarceration, he failed to maintain or establish meaningful bond with children, essentially abandoning them and, even before his incarceration, he only saw children sporadically, despite his purported concern that mother abused drugs; continued deprivation was likely to cause harm due to children’s emotional and psychological frailty and termination was in children’s best interest.
Deprivation order AFFIRMED as evidence supported it; mother repeatedly subjected children to unwarranted and unnecessary forensic interviews and medical exams in her unsuccessful attempts to substantiate sexual abuse by their father.
In the Interest of S.K. and A.K., A09A1357 (11/13/09)