Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The abandoned Taste of Chicago boy...

Has been in the news for about the past week. Today's Mary Mitchell's column touches upon this case. His father is now in the picture to gain custody of his son. Here's a little about the story...
The boy's mother, Marie Campbell, 29, was charged with felony child abandonment Monday afternoon. In an act born out of either callousness or desperation, Campbell turned the young child loose in the Taste crowd eight days ago with instructions to go to the Lost and Found tent.
The father has turned up but reading this article are we sure that this child being in his father's custody is in his best interest...
How does a 35-year-old man who works for a delivery company, lives in Lincoln Park and drives a convertible Mercedes argue convincingly that he couldn't afford a lawyer to go to court and fight for custody of his son -- if that son is a priority at all?

How does that man justify never paying a dime in child support?

"I tried to pay child support, but it was never ordered by the State of Illinois," Green told me.
So daddy may have some more issues. But at least now I suppose he's trying to step up to the plate and take custody of his child from the mother. But here's some more troubling issues...

"One question I have is why she didn't call her caseworker and therapist," said Robert Harris, the Cook County Public Guardian. "I get the impression she was overwhelmed and did not have backup."

Green claims he showed up in court with a lawyer when Campbell lost custody in 2003. But there are no court documents or child welfare reports that show the father asked for legal custody.

In fact, while Campbell was required to go through parenting classes and to see a therapist, Green claims he wasn't required to do anything. He was apparently granted visitation with his son at the foster mother's home but never completed the necessary steps to have unsupervised visitation.
On Monday, Green denied that he was asked by the court to undergo a drug screening or take a drug test. But he could not explain why he was never granted unsupervised visits with the 6-year-old, and why DCFS did not give him temporary custody of his son after he was removed from Campbell.

That's why I say there is a dead cat on the line.

Campbell may have her issues, but she jumped through all the hoops in order to get her son back. At one point, the single mother worked two jobs to provide for her son.
But Campbell obviously had little support from Green. Although the boy's father claims he didn't know her whereabouts, she apparently didn't know his either.

On Feb. 28, 2001, when the boy was barely a year old, Campbell filed for an order of protection against Green and it was granted on an emergency basis. That order was extended twice and expired on April 11.

But servers tried four times to locate Green in connection with that order, and they were not successful.

On Monday, Green denied there was any reason for those orders and that he had loved Campbell. He has two other children and they are with their mother.
Unfortunately for Mr. Green, his son is being placed with an aunt and uncle instead into his custody. DCFS according to this column claim that placing the boy with Mr. Green would be "inappropriate".

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