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Connecticut parents fight to regain custody of daughter

Frequently, custody battles are a direct result of divorce proceedings in which parents are unable to agree on the best outcome for their child or children. However, custody disagreements are not necessarily fought between disputing parents. Sometimes, hospitals or courts conclude that the best decision for a child is to be in the custody of outside entities. This is the case with a 15-year-old girl from Connecticut, who is currently in the center of a dispute between her parents and the Department of Children and Families of Massachusetts.

She was removed from the custody of her parents more than a year ago when two Boston hospitals diagnosed two different diseases in the girl. At one hospital, she was given a diagnosis of an uncommon mitochondrial disorder; the second hospital, however, diagnosed her with a suspected psychological disorder that doctors believed may have come about as the result of medical abuse by her parents.

She was put in the custody of DCF, and her parents have since made multiple attempts to have her returned to their custody. While she currently resides in a group home in Massachusetts, in the permanent legal custody of DCF, she is being transferred to a facility in Connecticut within the next month. Her parents, however, are displeased with this decision and maintain that their daughter should be returned home and placed in their custody.

Sometimes, difficult situations regarding custody arise that are out of your control. Seeking counsel that is aware of your state’s laws and regulations regarding alleged abuse, parental rights and custody battles may be helpful in achieving the most favorable outcome.

Source: Boston Globe, “Justina Pelletier to transfer to Conn. facility,” Patricia Wen, May 5, 2014

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