Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Case Law Development: Mother's Mental Illness Justified Lack of Contact with Children

A tragic case, said the trial court, but the adoption had to be denied because mother’s consent was required.  Mother had tried to kill one of the three children involved in this case and had been hospitalized for mental illness ever since then.  A order of protection had been issued against her, prohibiting her contact with the children.  The Ohio Court of Appeals held that, in those circumstances, mother’s failure to contact or support the children was justified, as it was not the result of her intentional conduct, but rather resulted from her mental illness.  Accordingly, her children could not be placed in adoption without her consent.

In re Mitchell Children, 2005 Ohio 4841; 2005 Ohio App. LEXIS 4386 (September 15, 2005)
Opinion on the web at (last visited September 20, 2005 bgf)

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