Attorney says DCS could not legally take Lawrence Co. baby from home with mother's past

Photo courtesy Matt Tidwell

3-month-old baby Addilyn is still fighting for her life at Vanderbilt University Medical Center after police say her father attempted to kill her. The mother of the child is charged with neglect and FOX 17 News discovered in the past, she has had two other kids taken from her custody.

It has community members questioning why this baby was allowed in her care.

“Under the United States constitution, your parental rights are protected rights,” Attorney Shae Forgety said.

He said DCS couldn't take this child just because of the mom's history, and once a case is closed, they typically don't follow back up with the parent.

“You would think that they'd be able to keep track of every family and every child, but that's the reality, there's just not enough resources for that to happen,” Forgety said.

Unfortunately, victims slip through the cracks all the time.

“I was a kid. I was only six-years-old at the time, so I didn't really know right from wrong or anything,” one victim tells FOX 17 News.

FOX 17 News isn’t identifying this victim, but he knows all too well what an abusive household looks like.

“My mom's husband, my step father, was also the football coach,” he said, “Disciplining me on the football field, I thought was normal, but again, you're not kicking other players, you're not grabbing other kids by the face mask and pushing them to the ground.”

He said it wasn't until his teens that he realized he'd been physically, verbally and emotionally abused for years.

“He was quite the manipulator, so I don't think there were any signs outside of the home that anything was really going on,” he said.

Now, when he hears about cases like little Addilyn's he wants to fix the situation.

Both of Addilyn's parents are expected to appear in court on February 7.

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