Teen Mom star Amber Portwood's daughter is now a ward of the state of Indiana, RadarOnline.com has learned exclusively.
It's a dramatic development in the ongoing saga of the MTV star, whose troubled life has played out on national TV.
Portwood and Gary Shirley appeared in an Anderson, Indiana courthouse Tuesday afternoon for an emergency child placement hearing concerning their two-year-old daughter Leah.
The 20-year-old mother of one and her baby's father were at the Madison County Circuit Court for a 2:30pm closed hearing regarding placement of their child.
One source told RadarOnline.com: "Leah is a ward of the state."
That means that as the Department of Child Services assesses Leah's living situation the child technically becomes a ward of the state, even though she is currently staying with Shirley.
A ward of the state is an adult or child whose guardianship is determined by a judge who appoints a government agency to oversee the ward of the state's affairs.
RadarOnline.com also learned that the Indiana Department of Child Services supervised Portwood's visit with Leah at Gary's house on Tuesday after court.
Following the short hearing, DCS escorted Portwood to Shirley's home so she could have a one-hour visitation with Leah.
Shirley and Portwood declined to answer questions outside of court after the Tuesday hearing.
One source, who was at the courthouse, told RadarOnline.com that Gary and Amber appeared extremely friendly toward each other.
DCS will monitor Amber's progress and also determine if Gary's home is suitable for Leah to remain in permanently.
Amber can still fight for custody.
As RadarOnline.com previously reported, DCS has placed a six-month monitoring period on Portwood, in the wake of her televised assault on Shirley that aired on MTV while her daughter Leah was present, resulting in domestic violence charges from the police.
DCS has been probing Leah's living situation at Shirley's house and asked for certain changes that Shirley will comply with, one source told RadarOnline.com.
Under Indiana law, if a child is found to be a "child in need of services" (CHINS) the child then becomes a ward of the state. A hearing is usually held within 48 hours where DCS looks for placement for the child, generally with a family member.
Portwood gave Leah to Shirley recently, believing the toddler would be better off with him right now.
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