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Mom’s progress leads court to reverse termination

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A Grant County mother who lost parental rights to twin children won a reversal of the termination order after the Indiana Court of Appeals noted her progress in areas of concern to the Department of Child Services.

The twins were born in 2007, and since then mother K.B. and the children’s father were arrested after a domestic dispute, and K.B. had been accepted into a drug court program for treatment of a prescription drug abuse problem. She has complied with drug court terms, has maintained an appropriate home, has been working and visiting regularly with her girls, the order noted.

“In light of the undisputed evidence that mother had eight months of solid progress in each area of concern, we conclude that DCS did not meet its burden of demonstrating that the conditions resulting in removal would not be remedied. Therefore, we reverse,” Judge Terry Crone wrote in a unanimous opinion.

The court said there was evidence that K.B. was invested in her recovery through the drug court process and had shown no cause for concern during the previous eight months.

“When a parent has been involved with drugs or an abusive relationship, there will always be concern about relapse. However, this is not a case where the parent’s progress has been inconsistent or last-minute. We do not feel that it is necessary to speculate about mother’s potential for relapse. There are no longer any immediate concerns about her ability to parent the twins, and her ability to cope with the added responsibility can be quickly assessed without substantial risk of harm to the twins,” Crone wrote.

The order said that while the ruling will cause some disruptions in the twins’ lives, they had a loving relationship with their mother and termination also would be a disruption.

“It is well established that the involuntary termination of parental rights is an extreme measure that is designed to be used as a last resort when all other reasonable efforts have failed,” Crone wrote in reversing.
 

 

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