Father wins custody of son after two year battle

A man who has been fighting for custody of his son for nearly two years, after the child was taken away from him in the hospital shortly after his birth, will get to take his son home.

A man who has been fighting for custody of his son for nearly two years, after the child was taken away from him in the hospital shortly after his birth, will get to take his son home.

The child, who cannot be named under the Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act, had been in the custody of Child and Family Services since his birth in January 2013. The father, who is aboriginal, has been allowed weekly supervised visits.

On Monday, Judge John Holmes ordered the son to be returned to his father immediately.

The father, whose name is also protected by the same provisions, was in Red Deer provincial court on Monday seeking to gain custody. The child had been under a temporary guardianship order.

The hearing was held after an application was made seeking a permanent guardianship order, putting the child in the care of Child and Family Services. The father said he signed the temporary guardianship order but has since regretted doing so.

The father’s counsel, Andrew Phypers, said his client has no history with child welfare and has no criminal record, but had been denied custody since the day his son was born.

Listed as the father on the birth documents at the hospital, the man was not deemed a parent after the child was taken from his mother. The mother has been deemed unfit to be a guardian for the child.

However, the father named the child, Phypers said. The lawyer also said the mother has had no contact with the child and is an addict.

Phypers argued there should have been a presumption of parentage for the father before that child was taken into custody. The man had to undergo a DNA test to prove he was the child’s father.

He then had to undergo a parenting capacity assessment. It was the outcome of that assessment that led Child and Family Services to seek the permanent guardianship order. The order would have put the child into foster care.

The report indicated that the father, whose first language is not English, has a low IQ and had difficulties with hearing and seeing, which could lead to difficulties with raising and caring for the child.

Shari Lewis, counsel for Child and Family Services, also said the assessment indicated that the father would have difficulty responding to unexpected circumstances.

Alcohol use was an issue. The father has never been in legal trouble as a result of drinking, but the mother of the child said their relationship deteriorated because of the father’s drinking. On the stand, the father admitted to drinking but said it was because of the stress of the almost two-year battle to gain custody of his son.

Phypers said there were flaws in the assessment of the father. The assessment relied on psychometric testing, a measure of a person’s skills, knowledge, abilities, attitudes and personalities traits. Phypers said the assessment did not draw on the observations of the supervisor who oversaw visits the father had with his son.

These visits, Phypers said, challenge the assessment as they give glowing reviews of the father’s parenting ability.

Phypers expressed his client’s frustration with the process, saying he first had to prove he was the child’s father and then had to prove he could be a parent.

Lewis expressed concerns about alcohol, saying even if the stress of gaining custody of his child goes away, raising a child has its own stresses. But she was also concerned that the father missed visits this year.

In his testimony, the father said there were many times he felt like giving up the fight to gain custody, but he was in court Monday continuing his fight.


Just Posted

Eager-beaver cannabis entrepreneurs already waiting outside Red Deer City Hall

Appications will be accepted on a first-come basis starting on Tuesday

Like father like son: Red Deer area Dreeshen family dedicates life to public service

There are three jobs that could be considered the Dreeshen family business:… Continue reading

Restaurant owner concerned about Gasoline Alley road changes

Nearly 20 trucks were lined up on the service road in front… Continue reading

Preliminary hearings set for two men charged in weapons and drugs bust

A Red Deer man and Sylvan Lake man are facing 80 charges

Eight dogs found in Innisfail hotel room were kept in cages

Eight dogs, kept in cages in a small hotel room in Innisfail… Continue reading

WATCH: Hypnotizing show at Westerner Days

Hynotist and mentalist Joshua Seth performs three times a day at Westerner Days

PHOTOS: River Town Saints rock Red Deer

River Town Saints play Westerner Days Friday in Red Deer

PHOTOS: Dogs, horses and more animals at Westerner Days

Westerner Park’s pavilions were filled with animals during Westerner Days

Red Deer residents can’t get enough mini-doughnuts

Mini-doughnuts were the biggest draw to Westerner Days according to a Red… Continue reading

Four-car crash, including RCMP vehicle, on Highway 2

Two sheriff vehicles were also involved in the collision

Divers hunt for 4 after Missouri duck boat sinks, killing 13

BRANSON, Mo. — Divers are searching Friday for four people still missing… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer’s noxious weeds are a goat’s dietary delight

Piper Creek Community Garden gets chemical-free weed control

‘Amazing Race Canada’ competitors face B.C. challenge

They drove Corvettes, mastered falconry basics, and ate blueberry pie in the Cowichan Valley

From hot to not? The Baloney Meter weighs in on Scheer’s economy claims

OTTAWA — “Justin Trudeau inherited a booming economy, but he’s squandering it.… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month