State Asks Judge to Restore Custody to Parents of Teen After 16 mo. Medical Imprisonment

The Massachusetts Department of Children and Families (DCF) made a dramatic change recently in its 16-month episode involving teenager Justina Pelletier, asking a juvenile court judge if the agency can return the girl to her parents.

The Boston Globe and other papers reported that the change of heart by DCF came after the agency removed its longstanding opposition to sending Justina back home, saying that her parents, Lou and Linda Pelletier — who have been fighting to have their daughter returned — have now met conditions that the agency sought from them. As a result, all parties will now ask a judge to sign off.

The Globe reported:

Judge Joseph Johnston had given the state permanent custody of Justina in March, after a highly publicized battle involving dueling diagnoses from doctors at Boston Children’s Hospital and Tufts Medical Center and allegations of medical child abuse leveled against her parents.

In his March ruling, Johnston had sharp words for the Pelletiers, faulting them for behavior he contended had scuttled previous attempts at compromise.