Judge Bars Meeting Between Mom and Boy Seeking Freedom from Parents
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) _ A judge has denied a request for a mother to visit with her 12-year-old son, who is suing for termination of her parental rights, noting that the boy doesn’t want a meeting prior to Thursday’s trial.
Circuit Judge Thomas Kirk on Monday also ruled out plans for a lawyer to intervene in the trial on behalf of the younger brothers of the boy, known in court documents as Gregory K.
Kirk noted that Gregory does not want to see or talk to his mother, Rachel K., and that two mental health advisers have recommended against such visits.
Gregory has been granted the right to sue to seek his freedom and adoption by a Lake County foster family with whom he has been living since last October. He claims abuse, neglect and abandonment and has lived with his mother only seven months in the past eight years.
Gabriel Kaimowitz, lawyer for Gregory’s younger brothers, argued that the boys would be negatively affected if the judge ruled in favor of Gregory and they are permanently separated from each other.
Kirk ruled that the brothers could appear as witnesses in the proceedings beginning Thursday but that their lawyer could not question witnesses or influence the trial. The boys’ interests are adequately represented by their mother, who has a lawyer, Kirk said.
Jeremiah, 10, and Zachary, 8, live with Gregory’s mother in St. Louis. The boys’ parents are divorced, and the father is not contesting Gregory’s suit.
Kaimowitz referred to Gregory as a ″Prince Charming″ who seeks adoption by a family of better economic means ″without regard to the rights of the rest of the family.″
Rachel, 30, was in the courtroom but did not speak.
At an earlier news conference, she said, ″I begged to call him and see him, but I couldn’t get anybody to listen.″ ″I would like to give Gregory a chance to talk about the problems and everything we’ve been through,″ Rachel told reporters. At another point, she added, ″I don’t want my son brought up in the Mormon faith. We’re Catholics.″
The judge also set conditions by which Rachel’s lawyer, Jane Carey, could question an agent for Gregory and the foster family in negotiations to sell the film rights to the story.
″The child has a right to a movie deal,″ said the foster father, who is also Gregory’s co-counsel in the lawsuit. ″We cannot sit back and see a property right go out the window.″
Rachel’s attorneys are appealing Kirk’s ruling allowing the boy to bring suit, they are seeking to have Kirk removed from the case and, if that fails, they want the court to hold separate trials on the issues of terminating parental rights and adoption.