Healthcare Worker Says She Lost Custody Of Kids Due To Risk Of Exposure At Job
Stroud, OK – A tribal judge granted an order removing children from their mother’s custody because she works in the healthcare field and could be exposed to coronavirus.
The mother posted a copy of the Sac and Fox Nation District Court judge’s order to social media that said the decision was made “due to respondent’s exposure to Coronavirus. The Petitioner, alleged and submitted documents, that the respondent alleged proximity to Coronavirus,” KFOR reported.
It also cited the fact that one of the children was at high risk for the virus.
The document said the mother had “a proffered history of alleged neglect by the respondent,” but she said that’s not true.
She said the children’s father had been charged with domestic abuse by strangulation for his attack on another woman, KFOR reported.
The mother said she and his other victim had both had protective orders filed against him that have since expired.
Oklahoma City family law attorney Brian Putnam said that the state has too many healthcare practitioners for such an order to stand, according to KFOR.
“It’s difficult for me to foresee a scenario where just because someone works in the medical field, that’s a viable reason to take away their kids,” Putnam said. “Oklahoma has an enormous medical community so if you play that out to its logical conclusion, everybody in the medical field would be at risk of losing their kids in a custody battle just because they work in a medical facility.”
However, he also said that it’s likely more cases involving coronavirus would be filed in the courts as the pandemic progresses, KFOR reported.
Putnam said parents who are granted custody under coronavirus-related circumstances should do everything possible to mitigate damage to the children, and permit as much contact via other means as possible.
He also said the custodial parent should expect to give the other parent more in-person custody after the pandemic threat has passed, KFOR reported.