Childhood Victim of Domestic Violence Rebounds and Educates Others On Moving Beyond Abuse

Child’s home was oppressive with domestic violence.

Child’s most vivid childhood memories are of huddling with her mother and sister.

When she was five, her mother fled, leaving her and her sister with the abuser.

The abuser redirected his focus on the girls.

The abuser mostly had custody of the girls.

But, eventually, they were able to have visitation – and some peace – with their mother.

There eventually came a happy ending for this family.

Child grew up to marry a non-abuser.

Her mother married again, a non-abuser.

Child became community education and prevention specialist at a “Y” Crisis Center.

She is bringing her family’s story to life to help “educate and motivate” others.

With a a multimedia presentation depicting her mother’s and her and her sister’s efforts to move beyond the abuse.

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Read more in this Enid [OK] News & Eagle article: Prevention worker to share her family’s history with domestic violence.

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Child Welfare Agency Swoops Into Hospital Nursery to Snatch Newborn Baby Girl from Private Adoption … and Place Her Into Foster Home Instead

A California Mother is known to the local child welfare agency as a drug user. Mother has had other children taken into protective custody and placed into foster care.

Mother wants to avoid that happening to coming Baby. Mother arranges for this Baby to be adopted through a private adoption.

All is in place. Mother gives birth to Baby at hospital.

And then … local child welfare agency takes newborn Baby into protective custody from the hospital … with a view to placing Baby with a different prospective adoptive mother.

The agency could not care less about the private adoption. It insists that its juvenile dependency case supersedes the private adoption – even though it appears that the dependency case was filed after the private adoption paperwork was completed.

The dependency case is entirely premised on the danger to the Baby if returned to live with the Mother – which was not going to happen.

A court will soon decide who gets the Baby. The child welfare agency has refused to divulge why it removed the Baby before the Baby could be placed into the physical custody of the adoptive parents.

Prrivate adoption attorneys suggests that the local child welfare agency is being punitive toward substance-abusing biological parents like Mother, while their charge is only to protect children. Punishment, where appropriate, should be left to other governmental agencies. If provision is made for the private placement of an otherwise dependent child, a dependency case is a waste of public funds.

The private adoptive parents are angry. And so is the biological Mother, who wanted to insulate this Baby from the foster care system.

Read more in this Ventura County Star article: Custody of local baby in dispute.

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Under Nebraska Law, Sex Offender Guaranteed Due Process in Termination of Parental Rights to Offspring From Rape of a Minor

Nebraska Father repeatedly rapes thirteen year old Girl (daughter of his girlfriend). Girl conceives Child.

Girl gives birth to Child. Girl voluntarily gives Child up to foster care, intending for him to be adopted.

Foster family seeks to adopt Child. But first, Father’s parental rights must be terminated.

At the termination hearing, it comes out that the state has failed to provide proper notice to the Father and otherwise to protect Father’s rights to due process.

Nebraska law draws no distinction between a father who becomes a father as a result of sexually assaulting a minor, and any other father. They are all the same and the process for terminating their parental rights is the same for all of them.

The termination process was re-started from scratch, this time, with the Father’s rights being fully respected and protected. Following the full procedures comes at the additional expense of six to eight months in the adoptive family’s and Child’s lives and thousands of dollars to taxpayers.

But it should stick, in spite of possible appeals by Father.

The foster family-turned-adoptive family are determined to do what they can to change the laws in Nebraska to streamline termination of the parental rights of a sex offender.

In this case, the Father’s parental rights were terminated as much as anything because he refused to participate in a sexual offender treatment program in jail.

Had he sat through a treatment program then, his parental rights might not have been terminated – and he might eventually have gotten custody of Child.

Nebraska is not unique among the states in this respect.

Read more in this North Platte [NE] Telegraph article: Court documents reveal mistake in adoption case.

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Tennessee Court’s Charge to Determine Best Interests of Children is Complex in Unusual Child Custody Case

Tennesee Husband and Wife have two young boys.

Schoolteacher-intern Wife had affair with former student.

Husband was convicted of shooting and killing Wife’s former student.

Husband was convicted of reckless homicide. Sentencing is pending.

Previously, the Court ordered that Husband and Wife should have equal timesharing with their sons. Then Wife secretly left the area with the children and allegedly was involved with other teenaged boys.

More recently, Wife’s contact with the children was restricted by court order, presumably both for her previous flight and for her exercise of poor judgment with teenaged boys.

And Husband’s contact with the children was also restricted by court order, due to the reckless homicide of which he was convicted.

The Husband was deprived of contact with the children for a year.

As a result of both parents being barred from contact with the children, the Court awarded temporary custody of the boys to the Husband’s mother and sister.

The Court’s charge of determining what is in the best interests of the children is more challenging in this case than in most. So the Court tapped some expert assistance.

The Court appointed a guardian ad litem for the children. (A guardian ad litem is a lay advocate for the best interests of children.)

The Court also appointed a psychologist for the children.

The guardian ad litem recommended more and less restrictive contact between the children and their father.

The psychologist conducted two therapeutically-facilitated visitations between the children and their father.

After the second session, the therapist also recommended both more and less restrictive contact between the children and Husband (now ex-husband).

For the moment, that means visitations that are not supervised by a therapist, but that are supervised by another adult relative.

The Wife has had one therapeutically-supervised visitation with the children.

In time, barring the unexpected, visitation with Husband, at least, would likely be progressively less restrictive.

Husband’s sentencing is coming up early next month. His sentence could range from probation to four years’ incarceratoin.

Thereafter, the family Court will have to decide what is in the best interests of the children with regard to permanent custody of them.

Read more in this Knoxville [TN] News Sentinel article: McLean visits to expand.

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The Lengths Some Will Go to Hoping to Avoid Child Support …

Canadian immigrant Father is ordered to pay child support.

Father prefers not to pay child support.

Father allegedly attempts to change his identity to evade child support obligations.

Father is charged with fraud.

And bigamy.

And impersonation by forging citizenship papers.

A lot of charges just to avoid paying child support …

Read more in this Calgary Herald article: Calgary man charged with bigamy, fraud, now charged with impersonation.

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Oregon Decides Who Decides What Happens to Divorcing Couple’s Frozen Embryos

Couple seeks help in conceiving child.

Couple has six embryos, frozen, in reserve.

Couple make agreement with embryo storage facility that provides that Wife has final say over what becomes of the embryos.

Then couple decides to divorce.

So, what happens to the embryos?

Husband wants to donate them to some other couple in need.

Wife wants to destroy them.

Wife doesn’t want someone else raising her biological child, and fears future attempts to reach out to her other biological child.

Notably, Husband does not attack agreement as ambiguous or against public policy.

An Oregon intermediate level appeals court recently upheld the trial court’s ruling that the contract is enforceable, and therefore Wife has the right to decide what happens to the embryos.

The court reasoned that this was a “deeply personal life choice” that should not be made by the government or the courts.

Read more in this Medical News Today article: Oregon Appellate Court Rules Frozen Embryos Can Be Destroyed In Divorce Case.

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Tennessee Determined to Collect Child Support – Even from the Wrong People

Some custodial parents get absolutely nowhere trying to collect child support. And they might have the impression that their state could not care less.

Not so of the state of Tennessee.

A Tennessee mother sought child support from the alleged father of her baby.

The state of Tennessee contacted the Illinois resident, a married man expecting a child with his wife, by mail. His pregnant wife saw the mail first.

She told his whole family about it.

The alleged father advised the state of Tennessee that this was a case of mistaken identity. In support of his position, he cited the different middle initials and social security numbers of the presumably real father and himself.

But the state of Tennessee paid him no heed and did not relent in its mission. It next served the alleged father’s employer with a wage garnishment order for child support.

And then the straw that broke the camel’s – alleged father’s – back: the state of Tennessee served his employer with an order to add the child to his health insurance coverage.

All commendably efficient on the part of the state of Tennessee … if they only had the correct father.

But they didn’t.

Which, to their credit, they did eventually realize.

But not before subjecting the alleged father to a good deal of embarrassment, stress and frustration.

As a result, the alleged father filed a lawsuit against the state of Tennessee.

For defamation of character, to the tune of more than $50,000 in damages – plus punitive damages.

One can only wonder whether the state of Tennessee goes after all alleged deadbeat parents with the zeal with which they pursued this alleged father.

Read more in this [Madison County, Illinois] Record article: State of Tennessee sued for seeking child support from wrong man.

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Troubled Economy Sparks Child Abuse, Especially Sexual Abuse

Big corporations, their shareholders and employees aren’t the only ones hurt by the shaky economy. Nor are small businesses, their owners and employees.

In San Antonio, community resources are noting other increasing casualties of the financial markets: there is reportedly a marked rise in the incidence of child abuse – especially child sexual abuse.

One local facility, ChildSafe, aims to help children in crisis and their families.

Their Teddy Bear Room is equipped with stuffed animals to make children more comfortable before law enforcement interviews them.

Lately, the Teddy Bear Room (and similar places) are being utilized by hundreds more children than usual.

Over the last six weeks alone, ChildSafe has had twice as many child abuse victims come through their doors.

Even families they’ve helped in the past are seeking additional services now due to the economic slump.

Sadly, troubled families and/or family members have to remember and be reminded that their children are not at fault.

Read more in this [San Antonio, TX] WOAI NBC TV article: Poor Economy May Lead To Child Abuse Crisis.

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US Mother of Children Allegedly Abducted to Brazil by Their Father Waits and Waits for Action to Bring Them Home

Massachusetts family court awards visitation to Father. Mother and children move to New Hampshire.

Father picks up kids in New Hampshire for visitation – but doesn’t return them. Massachusetts court says it can do nothing.

Father allegedly absconded with children to Brazil, using bogus birth certificates for the children and a reportedly forged letter from Mother. The Mother learns that the children were sighted there.

What stands out about this case is that the Mother is close friends with a state representative. Unfortunately, the effort to politicize the case does not seem to be speeding up or improving the outcome. Even though the representative is very motivated to get up to speed on the procedures governing international child abductions.

The Mother has filed an application for return of the children to the US with the US State Department. But, despite Mother’s connections, the case is progressing slowly. The Mother blames it on bureaucracy and lack of interest.

The Mother is concerned that the delay will permit removal of the children to yet another country. One that may not be a party to the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction.

The Mother has been advised not to head to Brazil to bring the children back herself. Like so many other parents in this situation, in the final analysis, there doesn’t seem to be much she can do, except wait and hope.

Read more in this New Hampshire Seacoast article: Support grows for mother of 2 missing girls.

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Report of Child Neglect Made by … Mother’s Drug Dealer

A Canadian woman is fighting termination of her parental rights to her 8 and 10 year old daughters.

The children are in child protective custody while their mother serves time on the charge of “corrupting children”.

The kids were reportedly found sleeping on the floor next to a litter box in a home in which there was no food or refrigerator, but cocaine was in easy reach.

Addicts were shooting up in plain sight of the children.

Conditions were so horrendous that the call to the police to report the neglect of the children actually came from the mother’s alleged drug dealer.

Read more in this Calgary Herald editorial: Kids should come first.

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