ILNews

COA affirms parental termination in child’s best interest

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrint

A mother’s inability to adequately care for her child, leading to the girl’s failure to thrive, supports the termination of mother’s parental rights, the Indiana Court of Appeals held Thursday.

In In the Matter of the Termination of the Parent-Child Relationship of C.W. (Minor Child), and J.W. (Mother), v. The Indiana Department of Child Services, 26A01-1303-JT-113, mother J.W. argued she was denied due process during the child in need of services and termination proceedings and that the evidence doesn’t support removing her daughter C.W. Shortly after her birth, C.W. was hospitalized and diagnosed with failure to thrive; she also had apneic episodes when she would stop breathing. The Department of Child Services took custody of the girl and placed her in foster care.

C.W. was alleged to be a CHINS because J.W. cancelled doctor appointments, improperly fed her daughter, and allowed the girl to sleep on her stomach despite the risks. Over the course of 18 months, the mother didn’t significantly improve her skills with feeding her daughter or keeping her safe from household dangers. The trial court granted DCS’ petition to terminate parental rights in February.

J.W. claimed that a social worker told her that C.W. wouldn’t be returned and she should consider termination of parental rights. J.W. argued this led her to believe cooperation with services was “futile” and denied her due process. The appellate court rejected the claim because she did not show she was deprived of the chance to be heard at a meaningful time and in a meaningful manner.

The evidence supports ending J.W.’s parental rights. The evidence shows she was unable to understand C.W.’s needs and develop the necessary skills to satisfy those needs. The mother also didn’t believe she needed intervention by service providers. The findings of fact support that termination of parental rights was in C.W.’s best interests.
 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Indiana State Bar Association

Indianapolis Bar Association

Evansville Bar Association

Allen County Bar Association

Indiana Lawyer on Facebook

facebook
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

ADVERTISEMENT