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Abandoned child now in foster care; mother seeks custody

A 5-month-old boy is at the center of what may be a complex custody case. The infant is currently being cared for in a foster home, supervised by the Florida Department of Children & Families. However, his mother argues that the person who abandoned him at a fire house did so illegally, and she wants him back.

The 28-year-old mother from Fort Lauderdale had left the child in the care of his father for a period of time. According to the report, the father left the infant with a friend when he decided to go to a rehabilitation center. An unknown individual took the child from this Hollywood home and left him in front of the fire station. The mother is now trying her best to get her son back; she currently has two court dates and the possibility of a trial to determine child custody.

While Florida does have a Safe Haven law, the law applies to infants less than a week old. The mother disputes that the individual had the legal authority to take her child to the fire station. However, police say the person who abandoned the child is unlikely to face any charges. The mother has stated that she will voluntarily enter into supervision and drug testing, as she has had problems in the past.

The mother has been allowed a visitation with her child and states she wants to raise him. When it comes to child custody, the court system will look at all evidence provided by all parties. The mother's argument that her child was not in her custody at the time he was abandoned may factor into the decision. The final decision will be made by determining what is in the best interest of the child. A family law attorney may be able to assist those in custody disputes navigate what can be complicated judicial waters.

Source: Sun Sentinel, “Mom wants abandoned baby back,” Robert Nolin, Feb. 14, 2014

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