Children Services and the juvenile justice system is in need of reform. The need for the reform is illustrated by the local Baby M case. Baby M has spent just under 20 months of her life with the Anderson family, in Celina, as a foster child. She came into foster care due to a family crisis in her family of origin. However, the birthmother continued to maintain contact with Baby M and her foster parents, the Andersons, and visited weekly with her child throughout this time.
Recently, the birthmother opted to seek a private adoptive placement for Baby M with her foster parents. This was a considered decision made after consultation with an independent social worker and the birth mother’s own attorney.
The Mercer County Probate Court approved the plan as being in the child’s best interest and ordered Baby M to be placed with the former foster parents as an adoptive child. Such a placement will save Children Services money and give Baby M a permanent home. The Probate Court process will safeguard Baby M’s interest and provide her with an adjudication of her best interest.
The agency involved is not in Mercer County, but is a neighboring county’s agency.he agency and juvenile court are wasting valuable resources. In the meantime, Baby M has been removed from the only home she knows and has been sent out of state. Clearly, we need the state legislature to review and reform this process. It is not in the child’s best interest nor is it a good use of state funds. This is not efficient use of the court and prosecutor’s time or local government resources.
— Mark and Angie King, Celina
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