Friday, November 21, 2008


I wrote about this story a while back. It is frustrating to see that the state won this. The mother makes an adoption plan and the state steps in to circumvent her plan. They also take the infant away from the adoptive parents that were a part of her adoption plan. I wonder if this adoptee will be considered in the monies that the state receives for every child placed for adoption through foster care. With the mother being addicted to drugs, this child will probably be considered special needs. So that agency gets additional funds for that child.

Here is the link and the story.

County agency wins ruling in adoption case
Wishes of mother not recognized

By Rachel McGrath
Friday, November 21, 2008
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A Ventura County agency has prevailed in a battle over whether it has the right to ignore a birth mother's wishes regarding the future of her newborn.

After a daylong hearing in juvenile court on Wednesday, a judge ruled in favor of the county regarding the contested adoption of a baby girl born in Oxnard in late September.

The judge backed the actions of the county Children and Family Services in overruling the wishes of the birth mother from Oxnard and refusing to recognize the legality of a petition filed by a Newbury Park couple to independently adopt the child.

"We're disappointed," said Michelle Erich, the attorney for Luke and Jozette Jacobellis. "We don't believe the decision is in line with the facts and the law. We did not prevail, and we are considering our options."

The birth mother, Misty Lopez, 28, and her attorney had argued in court that the infant was legally adopted by the Jacobellis shortly after she was born at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, and that the county violated Lopez's parental rights in refusing to recognize the independent adoption plan and her right to decide her child's future.

On Sept. 26, two days after her daughter was born, Lopez went before a judge and signed a waiver revoking all her rights to her daughter so that the family she had chosen could take the baby home from the hospital.

However, county Child Protective Services filed a dependency case saying that the child would be in danger if returned to her mother, who had failed a toxicology screening, even though Lopez said she didn't want the child returned to her but, instead, to be placed with the Jacobellis family.

The baby was placed with county-approved foster parents. As a result of Wednesday's ruling, Lopez has been notified that her parental rights will be terminated March 2 so that the foster family caring for the child can adopt her.

Calls requesting comment from Children and Family Services, the agency that includes Child Protective Services, were not returned on Thursday.

Attorneys representing Lopez and the Jacobellis alleged that Child Protective Services seemed more interested in punishing a mother with a history of drug abuse and who does not have custody of her other children than with abiding by the law.
E.W. Scripps Co.

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