Review board says Dalton grandmother is "too old" to get custody of great-granddaughter

Hall says a DFCS worker placed Rose with her more than a year ago, because her own mother was in legal trouble over drugs. (Image: WTVC)

A Dalton great- grandmother says her parenting ability is being judged unfairly.

A review panel in Georgia says the 73-year-old is too old to have permanent custody of her 16-month-old granddaughter.

Rose is the reason Carolyn Hall and her fiance wake up every day.

"We're on the go just about all the time with her," Hall said.

Hall is Rose's 73-year-old great-grandmother. Her fiance, Avery Keck, is 63.

Hall says a DFCS worker placed Rose with her more than a year ago, because her own mother was in legal trouble over drugs.

"He called me and asked if I'd take her in and I said 'yes,'" Hall said.

But, now, Hall and Keck fear Rose could be taken away.

A judge asked a citizen review panel to review Rose's placement.

Hall says she was shocked at their recommendation that came out in December.

"That we was too old?" she said. "I didn't expect that."

Monday on the phone, we talked to the man in charge of training the review panel coordinators.

Robert Bassett says there's no standard age considered "too old" to care for a child. Panel recommendations are given on a case by case basis.

But, when we asked him whether age is considered often in cases he's seen, he said, "not really."

With no health issues besides some occasional back pain, Avery says he and Hall are fully equipped to raise Rose in her own family.

A much better situation, they say, than going into the foster care system already flooded with children who need homes.

"She has a stable home, people that love her, take care of her," Avery said. "She's just a happy little girl here."

According to DFCS, as of last week, more than 13,600 kids are in state care right now.

Bassett says it's up to the judge to consider whether Rose would have a legitimate chance of finding a new home, or if it's better she stay in her current situation.

A date for that hearing has not been set yet.

Hall says she and Keck would like to attempt to adopt Rose but that takes hiring a lawyer for nearly $3,000. She's hoping DFCS will simply transfer custody to her on its own.

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