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Appeals court affirms terminating mother’s parental rights

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A mother who was close to reunification with her three children, deemed children in need of services, until she battered her fiancé in front of them had the termination of her parental rights affirmed by the Indiana Court of Appeals.

Mother S.C. has three children with V.C., one of whom was born while S.C. was incarcerated. Her children had been determined to be CHINS after she was arrested for theft and operating a vehicle while intoxicated when she was pregnant with the youngest child. The children were placed in foster care after she was arrested again and the children’s father was incarcerated.

She was on her way to reunification with the children when she got intoxicated and battered her fiancé in front of the children because he wouldn’t give her more than the prescribed amount of her prescription medication. The Department of Child Services changed the plan from reunification to termination of parental rights after her arrest from this incident. The three children were placed with their paternal grandmother.

In February 2012, DCS filed petitions to involuntary terminate her parental rights, which the court granted.

In In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of J.C., Et.C. & El.C.; S.C. v. Indiana Department of Child Services, 29A02-1210-JT-833, the COA ruled that DCS presented sufficient evidence that the conditions that resulted in the children’s removal were not likely to be remedied, and the findings support the court’s conclusion that termination was in the best interest of the children. Mother’s repeated drug use and criminal activity resulted in the children’s removal more than once. The evidence also supported finding of an adequate plan for the children’s future care. They were all in pre-adoptive placement with their grandmother, who had cared for them for almost a year when the termination proceedings ended.

 

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