Parental Rights Terminated Over Exorcisms and Stubbornly Untreated Mental Illness and Substance Abuse and Long Term Incarceration

Mother and Father have two Children together, now two and three years old.

Father is incarcerated as a result of a conviction of burglary and assault. Father abuses substances.

Mother is mentally ill, but unwilling to take her medications.

Mother takes Children to a church and requests an exorcism for them. She had not fed the Children in three days and admitted to hearing voices and fighting the impulse to hand the Children over to the devil.

The Children are taken into child protective custody, held to be dependent and placed in foster care.

Where they remain for three years.

During which time neither Mother nor Father complies with their court-ordered case plan.

Mother was repeatedly placed in psychiatric hospitals, suffering from paranoid schizophrenia.

She self-medicated with illegal drugs and allegedly received stolen property.

Her visits with the Children were few and far between … and she often slept during them.

The Children were disturbed by the visits and acted out afterwards.

Upon Father’s release from confinement, he relapsed, reoffended and indulged his addiction after his release again.

Although Father visited Children when he wasn’t confined, they did not establish a familial bond.

Foster family seeks to terminate Mother’s and Father’s parental rights and adopt Children.

Family court trial judge concluded that it was in the Children’s best interests to terminate Mother’s and Father’s parental rights so that their adoption could go through.

On appeal to an intermediate level court, the ruling was upheld. The court noted that the parents had not been able to parent for three years and did not seem inclined to do so.

Read more in this New Jersey Law Journal article: Parental Rights Terminated for Mother Who Sought Exorcism .