A New York Criminal Lawyer says that New York Statutes relating to the removal of children from their natural parents is clear. The state will do everything possible to keep families together. Often the attempt to reunite natural families does more harm than good. Being a parent is more than bringing a child into the world. It is a big responsibility. It takes maturity and strength of character. People who are addicted to drugs or alcohol do not have the ability to care for children. Their addiction can lead to a hazardous home environment for children. Unfortunately, addicted individuals often lack control over their emotions and actions. This lack of control may lead to domestic violence. A home where the parents are violent toward one another is a home filled with fear. Children are generally unsupervised and often neglected entirely.
A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said that New York authorities will remove the child or children until they feel that it is safe for them to be returned to their parents. The parents are required to attend parenting classes and often drug and alcohol treatment before the children are returned. However, sometimes the children are returned during the classes. In some cases, the parents are unable to resist the pull of their addictions and chose their addictions above the lives of their children. In these cases, the New York Family court Act §1089 details the steps that are required to free the children so that they can be adopted by parents who are capable of caring for them.
In some cases, the children are removed, and reunited numerous times over several years before the state petitions to free the children for adoption. One case of this nature began with the parents of seven young children. A New York Criminal Lawyer said the entire family lived in a one room shelter apartment together. The children, ages nine, eight, four, one ½, and five months, were born to parents who were addicted to drugs and alcohol. The father was a convicted batterer of the mother. For the following ten years, these children were removed and replaced five times. Each time, the parents would claim that they were going to take the classes. They never did. The father was enrolled in counseling for batterers, but he never attended the classes. The parents were drug tested repeatedly. Each time that they were tested, they either failed the tests or the urine samples showed that they were tampered with. Most likely when they switched urine from a child for their own in an attempt to pass the test.
Each time that the children were returned to the mother, an order of protection was issued prohibiting the father from harming either the mother or the children. When those orders were repeatedly ignored, the state began to issue orders that prohibited the father from returning to the apartment at all. The father and mother who would allow him to return also ignored these orders. The constant refusal of both parties to comply with court orders was creating a situation where the family was facing forced removal from the shelter. Yet over a ten-year period, the father never attended a batterer’s intervention program. Neither the mother nor the father ever attended mental health, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, or domestic violence counseling.
When the social services would attempt to check on the welfare of the children, they often found the door locked and were refused entry in the shelter room. When they were admitted into the room, they would often find that the children were without food. The children did not attend school regularly in one year, one of them was absent from school 78 days out of the year. Eventually, when the two older female children were in their middle teens they were returned to the parents and stayed until they reached the age of maturity. By then, the damage of their childhoods had become apparent in their lives. One of the girls was incarcerated for weapons charges. Shortly after the arrest, the families case was turned over to the Jewish Child Care Agency. The family was assigned a new foster care agency and the relationship appeared to be improving. The parents were complying with the agency during home inspections. They were communicative to their new case agency and the reports were looking good. The children were returned one last time. The five younger siblings were returned. The two older girls reached maturity and were released from family court supervision. The younger children experienced differing degrees of trauma from the ten years that they were shuffled between foster care families and their addicted parents.
In April 2010, they were returned for the last time. They were removed again by June of that year. The infant who had spent his entire life mostly in foster care was experiencing severe issues. These issues were mainly associated with an inability to manage or control anger. His brother who had only been one and ½ years old when he was first removed from the parents was also experiencing these issues. The three middle children, all girls, were having fewer issues than the two boys and seemed to be adjusting well in their foster families.
The youngest boy was determined to be a threat to the safety of himself or others after he attempted to harm his foster parents. He was admitted to the facility along with his brother in June of 2010. The parents did not visit their sons. The parents rarely visited their sons or the girls. After one scheduled visit where the parents did not show up and all of the children were present, the boys became violent and the littlest one threw himself from the foster parent’s car. He was taken to the hospital and received a psychological evaluation. The doctors called his mother the following day and she refused to go to the hospital to meet with the doctors or to see her child. This was devastating to the child. He was ultimately released and then readmitted when he was unable to adjust to the repeated neglect of his parents.
Ultimately, the court determined that it was not realistic to assume that these parents were going to change. The original attempts to comply with the new governing agency had been short lived. They were soon back to their old ways of refusing to allow the case workers in to the room. They were not visiting the children and that was causing severe stress and trauma to the children. Toward the end of 2010, the ACS gave the parents $4000 to purchase furniture for the shelter room. The furniture was not purchased, and the money was spent. They refused to account for the disposition of the money. They did report for a court-ordered mental health evaluation. When they appeared in court in November of 2010 they were issued an in-court drug and alcohol test which was negative. The court was finally convinced that these parents were not going to provide a stable and loving home for the children and ordered the permanent removal of the child from their custody. The children were freed to be adopted. The younger two boys were housed in a mental health facility.
Thankfully , this story is not always the case. In some cases, parents do change. These parents want to do the right thing by their children. If you have been charged with domestic violence, sex crimes or assault it is important to get legal advice as soon as possible. At Stephen Bilkis & Associates our Child Custody Lawyers, have convenient offices throughout New York and Metropolitan area. Do not risk losing custody of