A unique child custody case involving abuse, neglect, and a form of dwarfism has made headlines in California and throughout the country. According to court documents, this case has been in and out of family court for the better part of a decade, and the children's father claims that the constant delays have caused additional physical and emotional harm to his children.
The case began with the parents' divorce in 2004. Following their split, they shared custody of their son and daughter until 2005, when the father had to move to a different state for a job. The mother was granted primary physical custody of the children.
Two years after the custody change, the daughter reported that she had been the victim of abuse. She alleged that a family member had abused her at her mother's house. In response, her father filed a motion for a modification of the child custody order. Following an investigation, the judge presiding over the case ordered that the children be removed from their mother's home.
However, the judge was soon removed from the case after it was found that he had a conflict of interest. That was just the first of many delays in the case, which is finally scheduled to go to trial this month.
Recently, the father claimed that his son has suffered severe emotional neglect at his current home, causing him to develop psychosocial dwarfism. In his court filings, the father alleges that his 11-year-old son is the size of a 7-year-old, and that he may lose 10 inches off his predicted adult height if the issue is not remedied soon.
Source: Tulsa World Enterprise, "Dwarfism linked to neglect: Oklahoma child's health at the center of custody battle," Ziva Branstetter, Feb. 3, 2012
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