734-359-7018
Now Accepting New Clients!
Blog

Cocaine use during pregnancy is evidence of neglect, therefore termination of mother's parental rights is proper

The trial court properly terminated the respondent-mother's parental rights to the child where the statutory grounds for termination were established by clear and convincing evidence and termination was in the child's best interests. It did not clearly err in finding that § (g) was established by clear and convincing evidence. Respondent failed to provide proper care or custody for the child by using cocaine during her pregnancy, which exposed him to a risk of harm and caused him to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms following his birth. "Prenatal drug use is evidence of neglect." The trial court did not clearly err in finding that she did not substantially comply with reunification services as ordered. Respondent failed to "obtain psychiatric and substance abuse evaluations to assess her needs, refused to cooperate with a life-skills worker, cooperated with a Families First worker but failed to benefit because she minimized her problems, failed to complete outpatient and inpatient substance abuse treatment, and continued to use drugs as shown by both positive drug screens and her admissions to a CPS worker." Respondent "made no effort to obtain a legal source of income and did not maintain stable, suitable housing." Her "last-minute attempt to participate in counseling was of little significance; she attended only one appointment, there was no evidence that she continued with treatment, and the therapist gave no prognosis for her recovery." A parent's "failure to participate in and benefit from a service plan is evidence that the parent will not be able to provide a child with proper care and custody." Thus, the trial court did not clearly err in finding that she was not reasonably likely to be able to provide proper care and custody within a reasonable time considering the child's age. It also did not clearly err in finding that § (j) was established by clear and convincing evidence. Respondent, who had "a long-term history of drug abuse, subjected the child to a risk of harm by using cocaine during her pregnancy. She minimized her drug problem, did not successfully complete inpatient or outpatient treatment, and continued to use drugs. She attended family visits while under the influence of substances and her condition was sometimes so bad that she could not be allowed to hold the child." The evidence showed that he was reasonably likely to be harmed if returned to her custody. Affirmed.


Don't let a bad decision, unfair contract, or a messy divorce get in the way of a promising future!
Contact the experienced team at Aldrich Legal Services today to schedule your free initial
consultation
and secure reliable and trustworthy representation today!
Get the Help You Need From a Team You Can Truly Count On: (734) 404-3000
734-237-6482
734-366-4405