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Aunt attempting to adopt children despite obstacles

Three siblings, ages 7, 6 and 3, are currently in foster care and are the subject of a child custody and adoption dispute. Their aunt, a Utah woman, wants to adopt them to keep them in the family, but the foster parents evidently want to adopt them too. The children were removed from her brother's home earlier in the year after a neighborhood boy was allegedly accused of molesting the girls.

The children's mother missed a number of appointments after that with child welfare officials. According to her, the problem was that she did not have a vehicle to get to the appointments. She was then on probation as a result of a prior charge involving drug possession.

This caused investigators to scrutinize the fitness of her and her husband to be parents. Both of them had prior problems with substance abuse. In drug tests administered, the husband's urine tested positive for drug use. The mother managed to pass the urine test, but failed a hair follicle test.

While the children were initially taken to live with their grandmother, they wound up in foster care. A judge recently denied the aunt's petition to adopt them and get them out of foster care.

The petition was denied because a background check, which state law required to be completed along with a home study of the aunt's home, was not finished within a four month deadline. The judge also said the children were doing fine where they are and shouldn't be moved. The aunt is still trying to persist in her quest to adopt them.

Source: The Salt Lake Tribune, "Utah aunt fights clock to adopt children from foster care," Lindsay Whitehurst, Oct. 22, 2012

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