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Parents battle court over child custody of newborn

Pennsylvania parents may be interested in an unusual child custody case. Parents in another state are not fighting each other for custody of their new-born daughter but their local county juvenile court instead. The child custody battle began in the hospital just after the birth of the little girl.

The mother was suffering from unbearable morning sickness during her pregnancy and rejected prescriptions of opiates by her doctors because she did not want to harm her child in any way, nor did she want to become addicted to the drugs. Instead, she and her husband decided she would use medical marijuana to combat the pain. Their research into the drug showed that THC would not reach the baby once it was absorbed in the mother’s body.

After the baby was born, the hospital ran several tests that were normally run on babies born to families on Medicaid or some type of public assistance. The parents receive no assistance, as they both work and have private insurance. The baby’s urine test was clean but a stool sample showed some effects from the mother’s marijuana use. Even though the baby was very healthy at the time of her birth, the county’s family and children services department would not let the couple take the baby home.

The attorney for the couple was able to convince the agency to place the baby with a family member. The magistrate presiding over the case refuses to listen to testimony on the intended use of the tea nor will she acknowledge witness statements from the county family agency, who now feels the baby should be placed with her parents. Until the court date next month, the parents are able to visit with their daughter every day and are building a familial relationship with the child.

Child custody cases can be complicated. One or both parents may feel as though they are fighting an uphill battle. For Pennsylvania parents facing a similar conflict, finding an advocate who will stand with them may make the battle a little easier.

Source: abc-7.com, “Couple wants custody of baby back”, Suzanne Stratford, Nov. 3, 2015

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