State's Mistake Denies Father Rights To His Child

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

In April 2006, Eggleston got a surprising letter from the Foster Care Review Board saying his child's mother had attempted suicide the previous summer and the child had been made a ward of the state.

"They told me that she had been in foster care with her grandmother for almost a year. Wow. I had no clue, and by that time -- well, they knew where I was to take my money, but how come no one ever notified me?" Eggleston said.

Attorney Amy Geren now represents Eggleston. She said that because the state dropped the ball, Eggleston missed out on an opportunity to gain custody of his child. He is suing the state.

"They knew exactly where to find him. They just didn't make any attempt to notify him. If the custodial mother is not able to care for that child, the first choice should be to place that child with the non-custodial parent," Geren said.

This is Nebraska's first test case for a new law that allows state officials to give more than just a "no comment" on child abuse and neglect cases. LB 782, just signed within the last couple weeks, allows Landry to release information about children who are state wards.

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