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Parents lose legal custody after mother flees with child

When a young mother found out that Child Protective Services had been called over a claim that her infant child was being subjected to neglect, she made a very rash decision and fled the area with her baby. While this is never advisable, parents in Connecticut and across the nation can understand the panic and fear that comes with any threat to one's parental rights, especially when parents feel strongly that they have done nothing wrong. In addition, news reports across the nation highlight the many cases in which state CPS workers wrongfully remove children from their homes, which can sometimes leave fit and loving parents in lengthy and expensive fights to regain legal custody.

In this case, authorities went to the family's home after receiving a report that the 7-month-old infant seemed undernourished. The 46-year-old father spoke with social workers, and a search of the family's home was conducted. Authorities claim that the property contained marijuana plants, which led to the father's arrest. The 21-year-old mother was not at the home at the time, and authorities claim that comments made by the father led them to be concerned for the safety of both mother and child. As a result, a massive search effort was initiated.

The mother soon returned to the area and cooperated with state authorities. The child was in fact removed from the family's care, and a judge recently ruled that the child will remain in the care of the state until a plan can be constructed that enables her parents to provide adequate care within the home. It is unclear how the drug charges against the child's father will factor into that process.

When a family in Connecticut or elsewhere is facing claims of neglect, it is imperative to react in a manner that is within the letter of the law but which also mounts a firm legal defense of the family's parental rights. In this case, the mother was breastfeeding the child, which can sometimes lead to a slow rate of weight gain. Both parents assert that their daughter was small but always seemed healthy. Had they cooperated with authorities from the onset, the outcome of their case may have been very different. As it stands, they may have a serious battle ahead as they fight for legal custody of their little girl.

Source: wftv.com, "Judge orders baby Penelope to remain in state custody", May 19, 2015

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