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Child custody suspended after infant tests positive for drugs

A small child remains in the custody of a family member after she tested positive for marijuana and alcohol at birth. Welfare workers went to work researching the parents' past and backgrounds to determine if they could care for the child. In California and other states, child custody rights may be suspended if parents abuse drugs and alcohol.

Authorities had been following the complex relationship between the couple for some time because of their reputation for violence towards others. They said the pair often wore masks or covered their faces, carried knives, and used pepper spray. Investigators had experience with them for many years and claimed they both have a history of mental illness and were heavily involved with the Department of Children and Family Services while growing up.

Staff at DCFS noted that scheduled visits made by the father to see the child while in foster care were sporadic and rarely reached the allotted two-hour time limit. His visits ceased when he was incarcerated and later died from stab wounds. The mother's visits were not much better. She claims the two were engaged, but he used drugs, had mob affiliations and led a double life. She has since been charged with the stabbing death of her boyfriend.

Because of the severity of the charges against her, the woman has since surrendered her parental rights. Child custody remains with relatives, pending legal adoption proceedings. In California, family members who are concerned about the welfare of children in the custody of those struggling with addiction or mental illness may consider contacting an attorney for advice and guidance.

Source:, "Child taken away from parents who shared long, troubled past", Edith Brady-Lunny and Ryan Denham, April 9, 2018

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