In Re: Emily
A parent can neglect minor children, if the parent allegedly issues false reports about their health that lead to uncomfortable and unnecessary medical tests and procedures. After the biological father and mother separated in February 2012, the five minor children, ages 2 to 9, resided with the mother in Uncasville. In July 2013, the father observed first- and second-degree burn marks on the 2-year-old's shoulder, and he took pictures with his phone. A pediatrician, Dr. Walia, did not credit the mother's explanation that the 2-year-old burned his shoulder on his stroller and said, "Ow!" The mother reported to the Department of Children and Families that she received a text message from a caretaker's relative that alleged that the father paid the caretaker to burn the 2-year-old. The department investigated and did not find that the father was responsible. The father and the children's doctor reported that the mother requested treatment for the minor children for serious illnesses—such as a heart murmur, grand mal seizures and cerebral palsy—without evidence that they suffered from serious illnesses. Dr. Nina Livingston, of the Connecticut Children's Medical Center, indicated that the mother's false medical reports resulted in one hospital admission and many uncomfortable and unnecessary tests and procedures. The court found, by a fair preponderance of the evidence, that the minor children were neglected and were in immediate physical danger. The court also found that the mother sought to alienate the minor children from the father. The court granted sole custody to the father, with supervised visitation with the mother once per week. The court ordered the father to keep the mother informed about significant medical, educational and social events. The mother may not contact the minor children's teachers or enter school grounds while school is in session.