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Indian couple comes to New Jersey, may lose child to DCF

According to media sources, earlier this summer an Indian couple visiting New Jersey for the husband's business is now embroiled in a legal matter with the state's Department of Children and Families (DCF). Shortly after they arrived in the country, the couple's one-year-old son reportedly fell from his bed and sustained injuries to his head. He was soon taken to Morristown Memorial Hospital and eventually was operated upon by physicians there.

The situation has quickly become a complicated international family law matter.

Less than a month later, the parents' access to their son became restricted. According to them, the Department of Children and Families of New Jersey is not allowing the couple to see their son for more than two hours each week. Additionally, those short meetings must be in the presence of a representative from the child protective services agency.

The restrictive access began on Sept. 6 and may continue for some time. The boy's grandfather, still in India, is concerned that his 28-year-old son and his 25-year-old daughter-in-law will have their child taken away from them, likely stripping the grandfather of a close connection with his grandson. According to a recent court hearing on Sept. 7, the father was told that he must return on Sept. 14 with an attorney.

According to the child's grandfather, the DCF argued that his son should not be allowed to return home to India with the boy and his wife. It is believed that the agency wants to take custody of the child, which likely means that the boy will end up in foster care because the couple has no relatives in the U.S., eliminating the possibility that a family member could be assigned custody.

International matters such as this can be very complex and expensive. The expected outcome in this case is uncertain.

Source: Hindu, "New Jersey child services restrict Indian techie's access to son," Shiv Sahay Singh, Sept. 9, 2012

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