VA: Dad loses custody of 8 children, Mom MIA?

Started by TerryGale, Aug 10, 2005, 03:00 PM

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They went to a great deal of trouble to discuss what was wrong with Dad and the home, but what was Mom's part??  Was Mom retarded, mentally ill, or missing?
Court upholds termination of father's rights in abuse case - LINK

RICHMOND, Va. -- The Virginia Court of Appeals upheld a judge's decision to terminate the parental rights of a man who kept his eight children isolated in a tiny, dilapidated home without electricity or plumbing.

A three-judge panel on Tuesday rejected Granville Frazier Toms's claims that there was insufficient evidence to terminate his rights and that officials should have tried to help him before taking his children.

The family's primitive living conditions came to light when Hanover County sheriff's deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call on Jan. 28, 2003. All but one of the children fled into the woods, without coats or gloves to protect them from near-freezing temperatures. They emerged about eight hours later, at 3:30 a.m., and were taken to a hospital for evaluation.

Deputies described the Toms residence as a trash-filled 16-by-16-foot unfinished structure with no separate rooms. The family used an outdoor bathtub and a crude outdoor latrine, and the yard was littered with liquor bottles and beer cans.

Toms showed up about 30 minutes after deputies arrived. He refused to help find the children and was arrested, and the children were put in foster care. Toms remains in prison after being convicted of seven misdemeanors and two felonies for child abuse and neglect.

Circuit Judge John Richard Alderman approved the Hanover County Department of Social Services' recommendation to terminate the parental rights of Toms and his wife, Laura, and to seek adoption for six of the children.

Testimony at the hearing indicated that the children had received no education or health care. They scored below the first percentile on developmental tests and initially communicated with a court-appointed guardian only by grunting and body language.

Frazier Toms suffered from delusional thinking, paranoia, social phobias and other mental health problems, experts testified, along with a history of alcohol abuse dating to age 6.

The appeals court agreed with Alderman that it was unlikely Toms could remedy the problems quickly enough to be able to provide the children a decent home life.

"Toms's life has been badly scarred by destructive patterns of alcohol abuse and debilitating bouts of mental illness," Judge D. Arthur Kelsey wrote in the unanimous opinion. "These long-standing conditions go back to his childhood and cannot be explained away as recent, readily correctable, maladies. And they were severe enough to cause Toms to cloister his children in inhumane living conditions, to deprive them of routine medical care, and to do nothing to stop the steep regression in their developmental skills."

The court ruled that officials were not legally required to try to rehabilitate Toms before terminating his rights if they determined reunification would jeopardize the health and safety of the children
Other links here (all the same)..


Contrasting the story above to the story where a man was jailed and child removed due to a tummy kiss - there are times when children are indeed endangered.  But we seem to be getting increasingly hung-up on scrutinizing and reporting our neighbors...  We continue to be told "It's for the good of the children."

Report: Child deaths avoidable: Family, friends and neighbors must report abuse, Va. panel says


I would guess that if there was a mom she would have been mentioned.
Dead gone. does it matter?

I don't see the point - there are horrid parents in the world. Yet another case of it.


Quote from: "TerryGale"
Circuit Judge John Richard Alderman approved the Hanover County Department of Social Services' recommendation to terminate the parental rights of Toms and his wife, Laura, and to seek adoption for six of the children.

She does exist....just no info given.  Only the father is talked bad about.

Sir Percy

More inadequate reportage. Clearly mom Laura is in there but no mention about her circumstances. The man was at least shown to be inadequate due to inability rather than maliciousness. All in all, very little to go on.

I get annoyed when some people expect 'authorities' to keep their noses out. Agreed, there is too much  poorly made intervention into families, but there is a clear need for some children (and parents) to have that interest and attention.
vil, like misery, is Protean, and never greater than when committed in the name of 'right'. To commit evil when they are convinced they are doing 'good', is one of the greatest of pleasures known to a feminist.

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