JammedUp News

News

N.Y. Judge orders drug-addicted mother of four not get pregnant

February 17, 2017  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
N.Y. Judge orders drug-addicted mother of four not get pregnant

Are you in a legal jam? Find a Lawyer, Bail Bondsman or Private Investigator on JammedUp.

A judge in New York is facing backlash after ordering a drug-addicted mother of four, who has been a prostitute, not to get pregnant again until she has obtained custody of her infant son.

Family Court Judge Patricia Gallaher indicated that the order is meant to increase the woman’s chances of being rehabilitated and reunited with the child “without a newer baby making that less likely to happen.”

Other people are raising all of the woman’s kids.

“Society and problems are changing, especially with the incredible rise in the use of heroin, and this court needs to adjust instead of doing the same tired routine which does not solve the problems in so many cases,” the Rochester judge said in the order that was signed in December.

The Democrat & Chronicle first published about the case this week.

Jeanne Flavin, a sociology professor at Fordham University, said the order “reflects a profound disregard for human rights and dignity of pregnant and parenting women.”

Family Court Judge Patricia Gallaher wrote that the order is meant to improve the woman’s chances of being rehabilitated and reunited with the boy “without a newer baby making that less likely to happen.” (NYCOURTS.GOV)

“If the courts and our child welfare systems were committed to the health and well-being of families, they would ensure people have supportĀ in order to feed, shelter, educate, and care for their children,” Flavin stated, who serves on the board of directors of the National Advocates for Pregnant Women, which is a reproductive justice group.

The order supplemented a finding of neglect against the drug-addicted mother, identified as Brandy F., that set out a program for her to follow.

Public Defender Tim Donaher, whose office in Monroe County represents the woman, said he is appealing the decision on Tuesday.

The order also includes a promise that the woman would not be jailed if she violates it and gets pregnant.

Gallaher’s order reveals that the infant was born prematurely in July “and exhibited signs of withdrawal immediately after his birth.” Two other children were born addicted to drugs and were removed from the mother’s care in 2011 and 2014.

Her case is “exactly the kind of case where the respondent neglectful mother should be using birth control,” wrote the judge

A 16-year-old son has been living with his grandmother since 2007 after having access to a hypodermic needle while in his mother’s custody.

The mother confessed to using methadone, crack cocaine, and alcohol while pregnant with her infant son. She also admitted that she has worked as a prostitute.

Her case is “exactly the kind of case where the neglectful mother should be using birth control,” the judge wrote, who has since retired.

She ordered the Department of Human Services to satisfy any birth control costs.

The New York Civil Liberties Union is considering helping with an appeal, according to the Democrat & Chronicle.

The case is similar to a Monroe County ruling by a judge Gallaher served under as a law clerk back in 2004. An appeals court ultimately removed the no-pregnancy terms in that order, which Gallaher referred to as “cutting edge.”

Gallaher said the current heroin epidemic has made such a provision even more urgent today.

“Having no more pregnancies,” she added, “should be ordered like the drug and mental health treatment and parenting classes provisions which are boilerplate now.”

Get the latest news from the world of crime