U.S. Supreme Court sides with Florida's program protecting child

Posted at 4:34 AM, Jan 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-02 23:45:09-05

(WTXL) - Child advocates say a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision upholds the idea that what is in the best interest of a child is the most important factor in contested parental proceedings.

In a ruling last month, the court sided with Florida's Guardian Ad Litem program over a man who claimed to be the biological father of a child born addicted to cocaine in 2015.

The drug-dependent newborn had been taken into the system at six days old.

The potential birth father only made his intentions to seek custody of the baby boy known, on the eve of a termination of rights hearing, that would have made the child legally

free for adoption by his foster parents.

The fight between the potential dad and the state worked its way through the court system until last month.

At that point, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a state court ruling that said the man had waited too long to assert his parental rights.

Thomasina Moore says the state is always willing to work with birth parents who are struggling to raise a child as long as they are trying.

She says that was not the situation in this case.

The child involved is now two years old and has since been adopted by a family from Gainesville.

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