This continues the case of Alma S. whose parental rights to her two children were terminated by the ruling of the Arizona Supreme Court. The trial court ruled in favor of termination, but was reversed by the Court of Appeals that was in turn reversed by the state’s highest court. Therefore, as things stand now, the children will remain separated and be adopted. Without intervention by the U.S. Supreme Court, Alma S. is out of luck.
The opinion by the Court of Appeals reveals a shocking abuse of power by the Department of Child Safety. From the appellate court’s description of the Department’s behavior, it appears plain that railroading the children into foster care and then into adoption was the plan all along. Put simply, the evidentiary basis relied on by the DCS and the trial court was woefully inadequate to support termination of Alma’s rights. Worse, DCS handpicked experts to opine in favor of termination and then restricted the information those experts received for the purpose of enhancing the prospects of terminating Alma’s parental rights.
At some point, Alma was living with a man who’d fathered one of her children. The other father was in prison. She went to work one day and left the kids with him. When she returned, it appeared one of the children had been on the receiving end of physical abuse. The next day, Alma asked her sister to take the kids to the doctor to ascertain whether abuse had occurred. She did so, the doctor reported the matter to DCS and the children were taken into care.