This was a very sad case. Ms. G is the mother of A.G. (now age 8) and L.S. (now age 5). The State removed the children from Ms. G’s care in 2005 and they were declared dependents in August 2005. In October 2006, Ms. G had another child (M.S.). M.S. never left the care of Ms. G and never lived with A.G. or L.S. In March 2007 the State petitioned to terminate Ms. G’s parental rights as to A.G. and L.S. The petition stated that the reasons for termination were drug and alcohol abuse, neglect of the children, domestic violence, and serious mental health problems. The facts set forth an ugly history. Ms. G made an effort to clean up her act, but the facts reflected that she just wouldn’t go 100% of the way. This was evidenced by her refusal to cooperate with mental health evaluations and urine tests for drugs. In addition, the assessments of the children’s attachment to their mother were not positive.
In the end, the court terminated Ms. G’s parental rights and disallowed any visitation between M.S. and the other two children. Ms. G appealed.
Unfortunately, the Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court and found that the evidence did support the trial court’s findings and affirmed those findings. However, the Court of Appeals did reverse the trial court’s order regarding the visitation between M.S. and the other two children. The court did not have jurisdiction over M.S. because he was not a party to the action. A little silver lining.
What I found strange about this case was the fact that in the midst of terminating the parental rights of the mother as to two of her children, the third child was completely ignored. If she wasn’t a fit parent as to two of the children, then why was she allowed to keep the third?