Parents with Continued Relapse could Lose Children
A House Bill up for consideration in Guntersville, would have parents lose the custody of their children in the case of failing to remain sober after two attempts at treatment in a five year period. The fear with this bill is that parents that desperately need treatment will avoid going in for help for fear of relapse.
Another concern is about the State’s ability to handle the increased need for foster care. One amendment that will be considered is to take the alcohol portion of the bill out focus on controlled substances. The reason for the measure was as a result of a case were parents addicted to meth we permitted to maintain custody of their children, even after multiple failed treatment attempts.
The legislation would not be mandatory, but would allow the judge to use his or her discretion on a case by case basis. The plan is to ultimately provide an option for stronger protect of children that are in danger in the home.
State law currently allows courts to end parental custody in numerous instances, such as abuse, neglect, abandonment or imprisonment of the parent. Existing law also allows for termination of custody for “excessive use of alcohol or controlled substances, of a duration or nature as to render the parent unable to care for needs of the child” so the legislation seems excessive to some Legislators.
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