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Going to jail doesn’t end father’s parental rights

The fact that a father was given a lengthy prison sentence for drug offenses doesn’t automatically mean he should lose his parental rights, says the Kentucky Court of Appeals.

The state had argued that the father’s rights should be terminated due to “abandonment and neglect.”

But the court said the father didn’t intend to go to jail, so he didn’t deliberately abandon or neglect the child. It also noted that he had had an overall positive influence on the child before going to jail, and that prison visits with the father were beneficial to the child.

The state has to show more than the mere fact that the father committed a crime, the court said.

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