The Idaho Supreme Court handed down a ruling early today affirming the termination of an Idaho man's parental rights. The unidentified man had custody of his 14-, 13- and 12-year-old children after their mother surrendered the children to social services in Virginia in 2000. What followed was, according to the court, years of neglect, substance abuse and domestic violence in the presence of the children. According to court documents the children had never been to a dentist or doctor and all three were at least one grade level behind in school.
In 2010, the father's parental rights had been terminated but he took his appeal all the way to the state's highest court. But this morning, in a unanimous decision, the Idaho Supreme Court wrote: "The magistrate court carefully weighed the bond between Father and the children, but found the children's need for stability, in combination with Father's lack of meaningful progress on his case plan, demonstrated that termination of his parental rights was in the children's best interest."
While the case is certainly not the first and unfortunately not the last of its kind in Idaho, the document offers insight into the process that could lead to a parent's rights being terminated.