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I provide experienced legal guidance in family law, divorce and special education law. I represent parents and families throughout western Massachusetts.

Disabled Massachusetts mother gets legal custody of daughter

A 21-year-old mother with a mild intellectual disability has recently won a legal battle against the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families to gain legal custody of her 2-year-old daughter. The young mother was fighting the case for 2 years to reunite with her baby, who was taken away from her when she was 2-days-old and placed in a foster home.

According to the welfare officials, the mother was incapable of taking good care of her daughter due to her disability. She also found it difficult to change the baby's diaper right after childbirth. Some official records also revealed that she forgot to feed the baby at night, since she was unable to properly read the time on the clock. This incident took an emotional toll on the mother, who says that she suffered a lot to get her daughter back.

The young mother is living with her parents, who also requested welfare officials give their granddaughter back because they will able to take a good care of her. But, their request was rejected even after the grandmother of the little told officials that she took an early retirement.

However, the Department of Justice finally considered their request and encouraged the family to seek legal custody of the child. The family law court finally granted custody to the 2-year-old's grandmother. They also agreed with the fact that the state acted illegally with the mother and her family.

The family filed a complaint against the welfare department in June as they were consistently denied guardianship without their case being considered. Then, the US Department of Health and Human services and the Justice Department issued a report to officials that supported the young mother. The report also stated that the family should receive fair compensation for their pain and suffering.

If someone faces child custody or guardianship issue, they should understand their rights completely. Most parents understand what kind of arrangement serves the best interests of the children. Before taking any step or filing a complaint, it may be beneficial to seek advice from a family law attorney.

Source: Today, "Disabled mom wins daughter back after legal battle," Susan Donaldson James, March 12, 2015

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