A custody battle in Arizona is ongoing between two foster parents and the biological father of a 9-year-old girl and 5-year-old boy. The biological father of the siblings reportedly raised the daughter until the parents separated; the mother was six-months pregnant at the time. When the boy was allegedly born exposed to methamphetamine, both children were placed into foster care with a Kingman couple in 2009.
While the foster mother reportedly told the biological father in court that communication between him and the children could continue, the foster couple also wanted to adopt the children and petitioned to have the parental rights of both biological parents severed in 2010. The father fought to keep his parental rights, but the court determined that he had abandoned the children since they were out of his care for more than 15 months.
The foster couple adopted the children in 2012, but an appellate court agreed with the father’s appeal in 2013. The biological father was said to had found a job and house, stayed sober for more than a year and contributed for the children when financially able. The foster parents won emergency guardianship of the children, who currently live with them. Both parties are preparing for further litigation.
In a case between a couple going through a divorce, a court tries to determine what is in the best interests of children when deciding on custody and visitation rights. In a case involving a biological parent, the parent has rights and may be given custody as long as he or she is able to properly care for a child. A family law attorney might provide assistance in adoption cases or custody disputes.
Source: Phoenix New TImes, “Kingman Couple Battling Biological Father Over Custody of Adopted Children“, Ashley Cusick, September 19, 2014