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Home » Turner Law Offices Blog » Court Denies Dickson County Foster Parents Custody of 9-Year-Old Girl

Court Denies Dickson County Foster Parents Custody of 9-Year-Old Girl

tn Child Custody

This past week, a juvenile court judge in Dickson, TN blocked the attempt of Middle Tennessee foster parents to regain custody of a child they had raised for 8 years.

9-year-old Sonya McCaul has lived with foster parents David and Kimberly Hodgin for the past 8 years, up until January 29, when she was returned to custody under her biological father, who lives in Omaha, Nebraska and had just been released from federal prison.

The Hodgins have been fighting to regain custody of Sonya since losing her in January, stating, “[She] doesn’t deserve this pain…. We will never stop, ever, until we get her home in Dickson County.”

The two main sides of the case had come down to a match between the legal rights of the biological parents, and an argument of “the best interest of the child.”

Although the biological father has had a rough past and had been jailed in federal prison, he has complied with every request of the court. Hillary Duke, Sonya’s court-appointed guardian, has stated that Sonya is doing well, and that she could have been reunited with her father much earlier if the foster parents hadn’t interfered with the state’s earlier attempts.

The Tennessee Department of Children’s Services is in support of the action, having long believed that a child best belongs to their biological parents. They assert that, barring any circumstances that might endanger the child, one or both of the biological parents should have the right to raise their own children.

On the side of the foster parents, however, is the “Bring Sonya Home” movement. Their main argument is that the focus should not about the biological or foster parents, but the child herself. They attest that Sonya has her own rights, and shouldn’t be forced out of a home, where she has grown up almost her entire life, just for the sake of her biological father’s legal rights.

If you or a loved one are currently going through a custody battle over the rights of your children, call today to speak with a child custody attorney. You shouldn’t be denied the right of raising your children, and an attorney would stand by your side and defend your family.

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