Parental Rights of Woman with Schizophrenia Terminated for Failing to Take Needed Medication

Fields v. Dinwiddie County Dep't of Social Servs., 614 S.E.2d 656 (Va. Ct. App. 2005)

The Virginia Court of Appeals ruled that a woman's failure to consistently take the medication needed to control her mental illness could serve as the basis for terminating her parental rights.  Diagnosed with schizophrenia, the woman lost custody of her son immediately after his birth.  At the hospital she had initially said that she did not know she was pregnant and then stated that she had become pregnant from a tomato seed she had eaten in a can of spaghetti.  She lived alone at the time in a condemned house with no running water and only one working electrical outlet...

Found in DMHL Volume 25 Issue 1