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Woman fights to adopt grandson at Utah Supreme Court

DCFS » Agency says grandmother didn’t qualify to adopt boy from state custody.

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Pierce said visitation was "terminated because she couldn’t behave herself. She had said [to the foster mother] in the presence of the child, ‘I don’t like how things are going. I’m going to fight this.’ The child reacted to this."

Collins disputes Pierce’s account.

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Collins had already filed paperwork in the case, but since her daughter was still trying to keep her maternal rights, she sought visitation, partial custody or adoption. When the papers were filed, a clerk didn’t ask for an extra $4 filing fee required for adoptions, said her attorney, Ron Wilkinson. That meant her petition wasn’t filed as an adoption request.

After discovering the error, Collins worked to complete a background check and home screening. With her daughter out of the house, she said a DCFS worker told her she had passed.

In November 2011, her daughter’s parental rights were terminated. But the worker who had screened Collins wasn’t at a hearing the following month. The foster parents’ adoption request went through.

Meanwhile, the adoptive family has grown to love the boy, said their attorney, Charisma Buck. "They love the child just as if he were their own."

The Utah Supreme Court took the case under consideration. No immediate deadline was set for a decision.

"No matter how [this case] is resolved," Pfrommer said, "there will be heartbreak."


Twitter: @lwhitehurst

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Tribune reporter Brooke Adams contributed to this story.

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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