An unusual and controversial custody battle has resulted in a win for one mother who has been fighting with the state to regain custody of her daughter. The child custody case centers on a teenage girl with severe medical and behavioral problems that require professional care. Her mother adopted her at the age of five, and was fully aware of her special needs. In fact, those needs were the very reason behind the woman’s desire to provide the child with a loving home, which is also the case for some Florida families who have opened their hearts and homes to special needs children.
Unfortunately, the girl began having severe violent outbursts, and the mother had to resort to calling the police on multiple occasions. She took the child to the hospital to try and get the proper level of care. However, social workers felt that the mother’s decision to leave the teen in hospital care was a form of neglect. The state then took steps to remove the child from her mother’s care.
This led many special needs advocates to rally around the mother. The argument was made that her choice to adopt a special needs child was indicative of her commitment to providing the best possible care for the girl. The fact that she was unable to obtain that care outside of leaving the girl hospitalized is more an issue of resources rather than neglect, advocates assert.
In a recent hearing, the mother had her child custody rights returned after no evidence of neglect on the mother’s part was found. The teen is now living in a residential facility that specializes in providing the care that she needs, and her mother is able to visit with her there. It is unclear what the future will hold for this family, but the case has certainly been lauded by special needs advocates as a win for families facing similar challenges, in Florida and beyond.
Source: 12news.com, “Special needs advocate wins court battle for custody of adopted daughter“, Joe Dana, June 2, 2016