Disabled Mother’s Parental Rights Reinstated Where She Can’t Comply with Case Plan Through No Fault of Her Own

Florida Mother is disabled. Mother takes prescription drugs for pain from her disability.

Department of Children and Families removes Child, places her with maternal grandparents and establishes case plan for Mother to regain custody of Child.

The case plan requires Mother to obtain a medical evaluation from the University of Miami (U of M) ”to explore non-narcotic alternatives to her pain management.”

U of M charges for such evaluations, so Mother applies for financial aid due to her indigency. Mother is wait-listed.

Because the U of M medical evaluation does not take place “timely” due to Mother’s inability to pay for it, the trial Court terminates the disabled Mother’s parental rights and awards permanent guardianship of Child to grandparents. Just as though Mother is indifferent to the case plan.

On appeal, the ruling is reversed and the Mother’s parental rights are reinstated. Reason: parental rights may not be terminated where it is impossible for parent to complete case plan through no fault of parent.

Read more in this Miami Herald article: Mom gets second chance at child’s custody.