DYFS Insanity in New Jersey
The Appellate Court in an unreported decision recently upheld a judgment that terminated a defendant mother’s parental rights to three of her children and that granted guardianship of the three children to the plaintiff Division of Youth and Family Services affirmed. The three children never lived with their mother. The Appellate Cound held that the trial court in making its judgment was justified in considering the mother’s “long-term history” with DYFS, which included the loss of her parental rights to nine other children (!) and properly concluded that the mother’s capacity to parent had not improved materially, that DYFS had provided “significant” services to her to no avail, and that the best interests of the three children required the entry of the judgment.
How does one begin to dissect this case?
Well the good news is we have now established the nine strikes and you're out rule in New Jersey when it comes to terminating parental rights. As you might imagine its pretty hard to take away someone's kids. You pretty much have light them on fire before a court will take them away permanently. If you just get caught standing over your gasoline soaked kids with a lighted match, then your OK. Parent of the year material. However, now we know that if you somehow manage to lose nine kids -- nine! -- you're pretty much going to lose any others you have. This appeal looks like a huge waste of time and judicial resources.
The bad news is there are now 12 kids that my taxes are paying to support and their fates are now in the hands of DYFS which seems like it manages to kill a kid every other month. It's also a good bet that the mother's appeal was funded by Legal Services or a similar program which is funded by, who else, taxpayers. How can this woman be allowed to reproduce? Since the decision is unreported and I didn't read the full text of the decision, I am going to go out on a limb and guess the mother is probably a drug addict. Substance abuse is a factor in the majority of DYFS cases, as high as 80-90% of the cases. You would think that after losing nine kids due to drug addication there would be some justification to say "no more" without violating the Constitution. Once again I can't recommend my favorite charity Project Prevention enough. There's chapters in Newark and Atlantic City. Give'em some scratch. Maybe in the long run it might lower your taxes if the State ins't warehousing as many crack babies, badly, and the state legislature doesn't figure out some new way to waste money. Oh, wait never mind. New Jersey not waste as much money as possible -- like that will ever happen.