Another chance for mother who gave birth to drug-addicted son

If the child protection system in Minnesota still seems functional to you — despite the Star Tribune’s ongoing series proving that it’s not — then consider just four paragraphs in reporter Brandon Stahl’s story today on Cynthia Kiewatt, 43, who has had several chances to prove she’s fit to care for her two-year-old son.

The child was removed from a drug den earlier this month by authorities, within feet of a heroin-filled syringe, Stahl writes.

When the boy was born, he was already addicted to drugs. He was in foster care for only four months — weaned off the drugs by a couple who’d like to adopt him — when he was returned to Kiewatt.

She’s had her chances, most experts in Stahl’s story say.

So why is she likely to get the child back again?

Consider these four paragraphs:

The county attorney is simultaneously prosecuting Kiewatt for child endangerment and presenting a plan to reunite her with her son.

County Attorney Mike Freeman said he is not seeking to terminate Kiewatt’s parental rights, because those cases can be very difficult “for this office to prevail and must be analyzed with that in mind.”

Freeman also said the county “will follow all legal requirements, but we don’t believe this child should be returned to his mother.”

Nevertheless, in court Tuesday, Assistant County Attorney Erin Goltz presented the plan that would allow mother and child to reunite, and she also recommended that Kiewatt be granted supervised visitation with the child once she starts treatment.