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A Tale of Two Mothers Fighting for Custody and Safety

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times for these two mothers. If you are active on Twitter or Facebook, you've probably seen this popular hashtag #StandWithNanHui.main-events-tale-of-two-cities_bc-thumb-300x382-92949.jpg

#StandWithNanHui Case Draws Attention to Domestic Violence

Nan-Hui Jo isn't a celebrity. She is a mother who fled to South Korea with her daughter to escape what she described as emotional and physical abuse by her former partner and her daughter's father.

Jo's former partner, Jesse Charlton, has admitted to grabbing the woman by her throat and tossing her against a wall.

Despite that assertion, a California jury decided the mother was guilty of child abduction.

The judge has delayed sentencing until April 1. However, it's possible that the mother will be convicted and deported. In that case, the child would return to her biological father, Charlton.

Several groups, including Asian-American, domestic violence, and immigration advocates have rallied in support of the mother and recently organized a rally at the San Francisco Office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and Customs and Order Protection.

No one knows what the outcome will be until the judge rules on April 1.

West Virginia Mother Regains Her Family

In another case, a West Virginia Circuit Court terminated a mother's parental rights. The mother appealed because she said the court:

  1. Abused its discretion by not granting her a dispositional period.
  2. Failed to place the children with their maternal grandmother.
  3. Allowed the children to remain in their paternal aunt's care.
  4. Discounted the progress she made in her own recovery

The issues involved in this case included allegations of "severe domestic violence" as well as alcohol and drug abuse in the presence of an infant child. Child Protective Services became involved due to both parents' abuse of alcohol and prescription drugs.

Mother Takes on Circuit Court and Wins

About a year after Child Protective Services were involved, the mother completed a psychological evaluation, received counseling, and completed an inpatient substance abuse program.

The report by Child Protective Services even noted that she had successfully maintained sobriety and had positive interactions with her children.

In the following months, the circuit court held "improvement review hearings." With respect to the mother, all of the outcomes were positive.

The mother eventually moved into a residential sober living program where she became the house president, continued with therapy, and found employment.

However, the circuit court determined that her living arrangements were not appropriate for children.

Appeals Court Sides with Mother

The appeals court concluded that the mother completed both inpatient and long-term outpatient treatment programs for her addiction. In addition to her therapy, she participated in group therapy and was in a twelve-step program.

The appeals court also decided the termination of the mother's parental rights was not warranted and that the priority now needed to be on reunification of the mother with her children.

The appeals court instructed the circuit court to "expeditiously" set a hearing for a gradual transition period for the reunification process.

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