Lauren Book praises 4th DCA decision on termination of parental rights in abuse cases

The court upheld a 2014 law expanding situations where parents can lose custody given evidence of child abuse.

Democratic Sen. Lauren Book says a Court of Appeals panel made the right call upholding a 2014 law expanding officials’ ability to terminate parental rights in child abuse cases.

Book, a survivor of child sexual abuse herself, pushed for that legislation before joining the Senate.

The 2014 law was used to take away four children from a woman — who the court identified as “V.S.” — after officials found evidence she abused one of those children. Lawmakers added language to the state statute, reading, “Proof of a nexus between egregious conduct to a child and the potential harm to the child’s sibling is not required” for parental rights to be terminated.

After V.S. lost her four kids, she sued, arguing the language was unconstitutional and that no threat to the other children existed. Wednesday, the 4th District Court of Appeal rejected that constitutional challenge, upholding the law.

“I applaud the 4th District Court of Appeal’s ruling, which provides protections for vulnerable children against known predators and abusers,” Book said Thursday in a Thursday.

“Ninety percent of the time a child is harmed, it’s

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