Important Ruling By New Jersey Supreme Court
Decided June 1, 2010

If link does not work Google New Jersey Division Of Family Services v C.M.

[URL="https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A7408DYFSvCM.pdf"]https://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/opinions/supreme/A7408DYFSvCM.pdf[/URL]


In summary, psycological harm due to severing a bond between a child and his/her foster parents cannot, in and of itself, serve as a reason for Terminating a Parents Rights. This will impact many cases. I understand that bonding evaluation may no longer take place.

Read for yourself as I am no lawyer and my summary is a real summary..
Wow! Such a heart breaking case for all involved. I'm not familiar with NJ law. Are there further levels of appeal?
The link is broken so I have not read the report.

But stop and think about it for a minute...

A baby is in his/her mothers womb for 10 months...they know their mother, her smell, her voice, her touch.

A baby/child is raised by their mother and father (sometimes) and bonds to those parent(s) and based on the circumstances that the adults cause the baby is removed...the baby/child is bonded but removed.

A baby/child lives with foster parents while the parents either work their case and fix their issues or not...and I am assuming we are talking about those parents who worked their case plan and fixed their issues...

If the parents work their case and fix their issues then the child goes home - to the original bond...

So how would the foster parents bond be any more valid than the original bond? Simply because the foster parents want to adopt?

Kind regards,
Dickons
I read the entire case and all I can say is "Wow"!
I have only had time to briefly skim the report, so I don't know the specifics of this case and can't answer as to whether I think this decision is fair in regards to the facts of this case, but in general, I feel that it is wrong not to consider the bonding of the child in permanency decisions.

My baby has been with me since birth. She is now nearly 6 months old. She has never even met her birth mother outside of the womb, so I am the only mother she knows. I believe even at this young age, it would be hard for her if she were to be returned to her birth mother. Even so, 6 months isn't a long time and I do agree that had her birth mother been able to really straighten out her life, she should have gotten her back. But what about a year from now? Or two? Or three? At what point does my daughter's right to permanency supersede her birth mother's right to be her mother? It's not about the foster family wanting to adopt, it's about the child's right to form bonds that won't be broken. It's not their fault that this was denied them in their birth families. It shouldn't be denied them in their long-term foster families, as well.

As I said previously, I don't know the specifics of this case, but if I read correctly in my quick skim, this child was born and placed in foster care in January 2005 and is now over 5 years old. Assuming he has been with the same foster family all this time, what a tragedy for him that he is now going to be torn away from the only family he knows. After all, I'm sure no one ever told him his life was only temporary.
Dickons said...
The link is broken so I have not read the report.

But stop and think about it for a minute...

A baby is in his/her mothers womb for 10 months...they know their mother, her smell, her voice, her touch.

A baby/child is raised by their mother and father (sometimes) and bonds to those parent(s) and based on the circumstances that the adults cause the baby is removed...the baby/child is bonded but removed.

A baby/child lives with foster parents while the parents either work their case and fix their issues or not...and I am assuming we are talking about those parents who worked their case plan and fixed their issues...

If the parents work their case and fix their issues then the child goes home - to the original bond...

So how would the foster parents bond be any more valid than the original bond? Simply because the foster parents want to adopt?

Kind regards,
Dickons


Yeah, ok. So, what about a child who is in fostercare for 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, etc. when the parents fix their issues? Do you think a child's life stands still? What happens when the secondary bond (I use that term since you used original) is stronger? Then what?

And, who says the fosterparents "simply" want to adopt? What if the FPs never went into it thinking of adoption? Can you leave room for the thought that just maybe the child really is better off left where he/she is?

If I have learned anything it's that there is nothing simple about the fostercare process. Every case must be decided based on that case.
here's anotherl ink to the case

[url=http://www.leagle.com/unsecure/page.htm?shortname=innjco20100611377]Laws, Life, and Legal Matters - Court Cases and Legal Information at Leagle.com - All Federal and State Appeals Court Cases in One Search[/url]
Thanks wcurry...

It is not the mother who 'took' to long. It was not an abuse or neglect case it was because the mother had two of the most severe illnesses a person can face - not just one very painful debilitating illness but two.

It was the court system that was in the wrong and took too much time and only after the court ruled TPR and no further visitation that bonding occurred between the child and the foster parents and that the original bond was still there...And they TPR'd after failing to prove 1,2, and 4 of the 4 prong test?


Kind regards,
Dickons
I'm not sure I read what everyone else read, but what I got was a father, who had an affair, got a girl pregnant and didn't know about it until the child was 18 months old. When he found out, he refused to take the child due to being married with children of his own and stated in court he did not want the child. Much, much later, when his wife through him out, he then decided he want the child. In the meantime, this child spent the first years of their life with the foster partents and didn't know the father.
I read the link wcurry posted which was about a mother with MS and Severe Scoliosis...

Kind regards,
Dickons
Dickons said...
I read the link wcurry posted which was about a mother with MS and Severe Scoliosis...

Kind regards,
Dickons

That's a totally different case than the OP. The initials for that case are CM not DM.
I read the link wcurry gave us. Is that the case the original OP was talking about? If not, can someone post a link to that case (I tried googling it, but wasn't very successful). Thanks.
[url=http://njcriminallaw.blogspot.com/2010/06/nj-division-of-youth-and-family.html]NJ Criminal Law- Recent Cases: NJ Division of Youth and Family Services v. C.M. (A-74-08)[/url]

This blog is about the case, but cuts off partway through. It's the only info I've found on google that doesn't require a paid subscription.
mykids1027 said...
I'm not sure I read what everyone else read, but what I got was a father, who had an affair, got a girl pregnant and didn't know about it until the child was 18 months old. When he found out, he refused to take the child due to being married with children of his own and stated in court he did not want the child. Much, much later, when his wife through him out, he then decided he want the child. In the meantime, this child spent the first years of their life with the foster partents and didn't know the father.


Yes, this is the case. And, in this case I believe the decision is accurate in returning the child to biodad. I think he made reasonable efforts to take care of the child once he knew about the child.

The concern I have is that this ruling is being applied to all cases as now the Supreme Court has ruled that bonds between FC and FPs can't be considered as it relates to TPR.

106 page case was there yesterday but is gone now (maybe too many people looking at it..smile).
Biological dad does not want the child when he's married and wants child when wife throws him out?? The child should stay with the family he/she is with.
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