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Court affirms termination of parental rights for drug-using mom, dad

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A mother who used methamphetamine while pregnant and continued to abuse drugs after her children were judged in need of services was properly denied parental rights, as was the children’s often-absent father, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled Thursday.

The Sullivan Superior Court did not err or abuse discretion in its decisions to place the children with grandparents and revoke parental rights in In the Matter of the Term. of the Parent-Child Rel. of A.P. & Au.P.; M.H. & T.P. v. The Indiana Dept. of Child Services, 77A01-1202-JT-59.

The appeals court noted that mother M.H. passed only four of 53 drug screens under court supervision that resulted from the CHINS adjudication and that father T.P. indicated he was uninterested in services and failed to participate.

“Mother’s strong bond with the children does not eradicate the effects that her continued behavior has and will have upon them. Based upon the family case manager’s and the guardian ad litem’s testimonies, and upon the totality of circumstances … we cannot conclude that the trial court erred in determining that termination is in the children’s best interests,” Judge Rudolph R. Pyle III wrote for the unanimous court.

The court also rejected the father’s and maternal grandmother’s arguments that the father had developed a bond with the children during unauthorized visits. “Given the trial court’s discretion to determine the credibility of evidence, including evidence regarding Father’s continuing pattern of neglect towards the children, we cannot say that the trial court erred in giving credence to the guardian ad litem’s and family case manager’s professional opinions regarding the best interests of the children,” Pyle wrote.

 

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  1. As an adoptive parent, I have to say this situation was as shameful as it gets. While the state government opens its wallet to the Simons and their friends, it denied payments to the most vulnerable in our state. Thanks Mitch!

  2. We as lawyers who have given up the range of First amendment freedom that other people possess, so that we can have a license to practice in the courts of the state and make gobs of money, that we agree to combat the hateful and bigoted discrimination enshrined in the law by democratic majorities, that Law Lord Posner has graciously explained for us....... We must now unhesitatingly condemn the sincerely held religious beliefs of religiously observant Catholics, Muslims, Christians, and Jewish persons alike who yet adhere to Scriptural exhortations concerning sodomites and catamites..... No tolerance will be extended to intolerance, and we must hate the haters most zealously! And in our public explanations of this constitutional garbledygook, when doing the balancing act, we must remember that the state always pushes its finger down on the individualism side of the scale at every turn and at every juncture no matter what the cost to society.....to elevate the values of a minority over the values of the majority is now the defining feature of American "Democracy..." we must remember our role in tricking Americans to think that this is desirable in spite of their own democratically expressed values being trashed. As a secular republic the United States might as well be officially atheist, religious people are now all bigots and will soon be treated with the same contempt that kluckers were in recent times..... The most important thing is that any source of moral authority besides the state be absolutely crushed.

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  5. Based on several recent Indy Star articles, I would agree that being a case worker would be really hard. You would see the worst of humanity on a daily basis; and when things go wrong guess who gets blamed??!! Not biological parent!! Best of luck to those who entered that line of work.

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