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Rights Terminated for Mental Illness & Substance Abuse

A mother who abused drugs and alcohol, who was delusional and refused to take her medications, and who admitted to sexually abusing her older son when he was an infant, loses her parental rights to her infant son in the Court of Appeals’ decision upholding the trial court.

A clinical psychologist testified that the psychotic disorder the mother was experiencing was “long-standing” and her prognosis for treatment was “very poor.” In his opinion, the evidence was “overwhelming” that she was not able to parent her infant son. Two months prior to the termination hearing, the mother tested positive for cocaine, marijuana, opiates and amphetamines. The mother had four other children, none of whom lived with her.

While mother sought treatment for and had made progress in her mental health issues, she acknowledged she was unable to care for her son at the time of the termination hearing. Her counselor acknowledged that mother’s mental health issues had required multiple hospitalizations in the past year. Despite evidence mother loved the child, she was unable to provide him with the stable home and care necessary to meet his needs.

Judgment affirmed.

Torres-Lara v. Accomack County Dep’t of Social Servs. (Per Curiam) No. 0109-14-1, Dec. 16, 2014; Accomack County Cir.Ct. (Lewis) Paul G. Watson IV for appellant; Carl H. Bundick for appellee; Marsha D. Carter, GAL. VLW 014-7-372(UP), 7 pp.

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