The Supreme Court of Rhode Island recently issued a decision in which the court terminated a mother’s parental rights to her son. The mother had her son in 2017 when she was seventeen years old. The mother planned to live with her stepfather who had a history of physical or sexual abuse against a child and had previously been convicted of second-degree child molestation. A Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) investigator told the mother she could not live with her stepfather due to his history. The investigator also said that the mother could not allow contact between the child and her stepfather. The mother then went to live with her mother. However, shortly after that, the mother and the child went to live with her stepfather. The son was removed from the home, and the mother was reportedly unwilling to move from her stepfather’s home.
The mother attended weekly supervised visits with her son. However, it was later discovered that the mother’s stepfather was present during one of the visits. A family court concluded that the mother had not demonstrated an ability to protect her son, and DCYF filed a petition to terminate her parental rights, who had been in DCYF’s care for over twelve months. A family court later terminated the mother’s parental rights. The mother appealed the decision.
Termination of Parental Rights