(CN) – A child was properly removed from his parents’ home because he was so malnourished that he stopped growing, a Texas appeals court ruled.
J.G. was 8 years old, with the size and stature of a 3-year-old. J.G. was the only one of the five children who did not have his own bed, as he slept on a pallet next to his mother’s bed. His siblings made fun of his short stature.
Medical workers gave him some food, and J.G. began to panic when he heard his mother’s voice.
“She knows I ate. She always knows when I eat. I shouldn’t have eaten,” he said.
J.G. was diagnosed with psychosocial dwarfism, a rare condition in which an abused child will stop producing growth hormones. After J.G. was removed from the home, he grew eight inches in a year and gained 22 pounds.
J.G.’s parents tried to regain custody, claiming that J.G. was not abused but rather had stomach problems when he ate too much.
The Fourth Court of Appeals in San Antonio upheld the trial court’s termination of parental rights to all five children, ruling that the parents had not changed their attitudes in 18 months without the children.
“A reasonable factfinder could have formed a firm belief or conviction that termination of the … parental rights was in the children’s best interest,” Justice Steven Hilbig wrote.