Dept of Human Services v. N.B

Summarized by:

  • Court: Oregon Court of Appeals
  • Area(s) of Law: Family Law
  • Date Filed: 02-26-2014
  • Case #: A154475
  • Judge(s)/Court Below: Schuman, S.J. for the Court; Duncan, P.J.; and Wollheim, J.
  • Full Text Opinion

A marked improvement in mental health condition is not necessarily sufficient to overcome the Court's wardship as to children.

Mother appeals the granting of court wardship over her five children. Mother, diagnosed with "medical child abuse," a condition wherein Mother feigned ailments in her children for the purpose of securing unnecessary medical treatment, forfeited control of her children to the court. The court ordered Mother to engage in therapy and counseling, which she did. While engaging in therapy and counseling, Mother bore the fifth child, fathered by a registered sex offender. She regained custody of her other four children. The newborn child did not gain proper weight, however, and DHS became concerned. Dr. Leonhardt, a pediatrician assigned to the case, diagnosed newborn child as suffering from medical child abuse. The state removed all five children from Mother's care. Mother challenged the ruling of the juvenile court which found that Mother was unable to correct issues relating to her parenting. The Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the evidence was sufficient to support the juvenile court's finding. Additionally, the continued risk of harm to children outweighs any improvement in Mother’s condition for the purpose of analyzing whether the ward of the Court should continue. Affirmed.

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