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Termination of father's parental rights upheld on appeal

June 6, 2012

A father with a history of incarceration and substance abuse properly had his parental rights to his four minor children terminated, an Indiana Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday.

The court upheld a ruling in the Wabash Circuit Court, In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of: D.W., K.K., Ke.K., & L.W.; and J.K. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, No. 85A05-1109-JT-591, revoking the father’s parental rights.

The case involves four minor children of J.K. and their mother, who is not a party to the suit. The children, now between the ages of 2 and 8, were placed into foster care beginning in late 2009 after the mother was living in a car or leaving the children in the care of others while J.K. was incarcerated. Both parents admitted to the allegations within the Department of Child Services petitions for children in need of services that suspended their parental rights pending completion of mandated substance-abuse treatment and counseling.

When J.K. was released, he initially completed a substance-abuse assessment, but did not comply with or failed required random drug screens or mandated counseling. Court records said the father tested positive for drugs from marijuana to heroin and did not accept offers for treatment.

“We determine that the trial court’s findings supported its conclusion that the conditions causing the children’s continued removal from Father’s home will not be remedied,” Judge Patricia Riley wrote. “As Father does not dispute any of the trial court’s other conclusions of law, we also find that the trial court did not err in terminating Father’s parental rights to his four minor children.”

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