The case so far

The trial begins Sept. 25 in the parental rights case of the couple whose toddler son nearly died in foster care in November 2015.

The state Department of Children and Families petitioned to terminate the parental rights of Kirsten Fauquet and John Stratzman, whose son became known as "Baby Dylan" last year. The child was the subject of an investigation by the Office of the Child Advocate after he was removed from his parents' home, placed in the care of an unlicensed relative and nearly starved.

Fauquet has five children; Stratzman is the father of three of them.

The agency removed four children from the couple's home due to allegations of neglect on June 12, 2015, according to DCF documents. The department later took custody of a fifth child, born June 8, 2016, shortly after Fauquet gave birth, documents show.

DCF cited the family's financial problems and Fauquet's mental health issues among reasons for removing the children, according to its neglect petition filed in court. A social worker who visited shortly after Fauquet gave birth said the house was dirty and the children were dirty, documents said.

Fauquet said she was feeding her toddlers lunch when DCF arrived, she'd just had a baby and she was in pain. She said the state took her children, placed her son in a home where he was injured, then turned her pain over losing them into a mental health problem and is now using that to try to sever her parental rights.

DCF does not comment on individual cases due to confidentiality.

Fauquet and Stratzman, who previously lived together in New London, are now living with her mother in Groton. Fauquet works full time as a certified nursing assistant in a retirement care community. Stratzman also works.

Torrington attorney Lisa Vincent, who represents Fauquet, said she will argue that the couple is prepared to give the children a safe and appropriate home, that terminating Fauquet's parental rights is not in the children's best interests and DCF failed to make reasonable efforts to reunify the family. 

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