Developmentally Disabled Couple Says DSS Trying To Take Away Their Baby

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by Kirk Hawkins

GASTONIA, NC--James and Jessica are fighting for the right to have a role in raising their daughter, Gabriella. "To this day I can't believe I'm a father to a beautiful girl and I'm very happy,"
said her father, James Moore.

But, the Department of Social Services in Gaston county is looking at the possibility of terminating their parental rights. "All I know is I want her home with me because she's my daughter,"
said the mother Jessica McGee.

Gabriella has been in foster care since she was born last year because her mother was 17 at the time. And because both her parents suffer from developmental delays. As a result, they are allowed a short visitation each week. But, transportation to those visitations has become an issue.
The family says DSS won't provide it. And won't allow Jessica's Sister-in-Law to help as a driver or even a guardian. She asked us to conceal her identity. "They just want a relationship with their daughter. Even if they can't  take care of her right now they still should get to see her,"

Even though they say DSS knows why they are missing their visitations, Jessica and James say they refuse to help and are forcing them to struggle to remain in their daughter's life. "Even though they may take my rights away, I'm still her father. But  if they take my rights away I want to be in her life and I can't have that," said Moore.

A voicemail left with the Director of DSS in Gaston County has not yet been returned. James and Jessica will learn about the fate of their parental rights during a court hearing Tuesday morning in Gastonia.

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