Cobb County Superior Court granted custody of three children to their maternal grandparents, but Georgia’s Court of Appeals reversed that decision, returning the children to their mother. The Court examined the evidence and felt that the mother “had a stable job and living environment, had completed substance abuse treatment and passed drug tests, had and continued to receive treatment at https://www.childinjuryfirm.com/ativan-lorazepam for her metal health issues, maintained a strong bond with her children, and was capable of addressing the children’s psychological needs.”
The Supreme Court decided that the Appeals Court disregarded the evidence used by the trial court to place the children in the grandparents’ custody. The Supreme Court noted that the mother “stayed overnight at places other than her fiancé’s residence, that she received no income from her alleged employment and that she may not have been drug free.” The mother also did not contact her children’s psychologists, missed frequent appointments with her psychiatrist, and lied to the therapist regarding her drug and alcohol use. The Supreme Court showed that the trial court’s assessment was not founded on erroneous facts and that the court provided substantial evidence that the grandparents were better suited to care for the children.
The Appeals Court vacated its decision upon reviewing the Supreme Court’s findings and adopted the Supreme Court’s decision as its own.
Georgia’s Appeals Court Denies Legitimation
After methamphetamine was discovered in his system, a newborn baby was placed into the care of the Department of Family and Children Services (DFACS). The presumed father filed a petition to legitimate the child and at the hearing, the mother testified against him, believing that his behavior would not change. He had been in jail waiting for trial on charges of possession of methamphetamine, possession of tools for the commission of a crime, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a criminal offense.
The Cobb County Juvenile Court determined that the father had the opportunity to rehabilitate himself from drug use and chose not to do so, did not provide diapers or clothes to his son, did not attend parenting classes, and had only finished some of the case plan created by DFACS. The mother also wanted the child to remain with his foster family in whose care he’d been since his birth. This led the court to deny his petition to legitimate his child.
The putative father appealed, hoping that Georgia’s Court of Appeals would find him a suitable parent. The Court reviewed his case and noted that the evidence supported the trial court’s decision. The Court also determined that the court’s “consideration of the putative father’s interest in caring for [the child], his ability to support the child if placed in his care and the child’s current placement as part of the best interests analysis” met with the stipulations provided by O.C.G.A. § 15-11-26. The Appeals Court supported the trial court in its judgment to deny the presumed father’s petition to legitimate.