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Court Decides Whether to Terminate Parental Rights

 

In three related proceedings pursuant to Social Services Law § 384–b and Family Court Act article 6 to terminate parental rights on the ground of permanent neglect, the mother appeals from three orders of disposition of the Family Court, Nassau County (Dane, J.)(one as to each child), all dated December 22, 2010, which, upon a fact-finding order of the same court dated January 8, 2010, made after a fact-finding hearing, finding that she permanently neglected the subject children, terminated her parental rights and transferred child custody and guardianship of the subject children to the Commissioner of the Nassau County Department of Social Services for the purpose of adoption. The appeal from the order of disposition brings up for review the fact-finding order.

On the contrary to the mother’s contention, the Family Court properly found that she permanently neglected the subject children Shanea R. and Kyshawn F. The petitioner established by clear and convincing evidence that it made diligent efforts to assist the mother in maintaining contact with the children and planning for the children’s future ( see [95 A.D.3d 885]Matter of Star Leslie W., 63 N.Y.2d 136, 142, 481 N.Y.S.2d 26, 470 N.E.2d 824;Matter of Sheila G., 61 N.Y.2d 368, 373, 474 N.Y.S.2d 421, 462 N.E.2d 1139). These efforts included repeated referrals of the mother to drug treatment programs, the monitoring of her progress in these programs, repeated advice to the mother that she must attend and complete the drug treatment programs, and the scheduling of regular visits between her and the children (see Matter of Jada Ta–Toneyia L., 66 A.D.3d 901, 902, 886 N.Y.S.2d 640;Matter of Deajah Shabri T., 44 A.D.3d 1060 1061, 844 N.Y.S.2d 410;Matter of Distiny Angelina N., 18 A.D.3d 755, 756, 795 N.Y.S.2d 685).

Despite these efforts, the mother failed to plan for the children’s future (see Matter of Anthony R. [ Juliann A.], 90 A.D.3d 1055 1056, 937 N.Y.S.2d 72;Matter of Beyonce H. [ Baranaca H.], 85 A.D.3d 1168, 927 N.Y.S.2d 121;Matter of Teshana Tracey T. [ Janet T.], 71 A.D.3d 1032, 896 N.Y.S.2d 470). Furthermore, the Family Court properly determined that it was in the best interests of the children to terminate the mother’s parental rights (see Matter of Star Leslie W., 63 N.Y.2d at 147–148, 481 N.Y.S.2d 26, 470 N.E.2d 824;Matter of Beyonce H. [ Baranaca H.], 85 A.D.3d 1168, 927 N.Y.S.2d 121;Matter of Jada Ta–Toneyia L., 66 A.D.3d 901, 886 N.Y.S.2d 640;Matter of Deajah Shabri T., 44 A.D.3d at 1062, 844 N.Y.S.2d 410;Matter of Distiny Angelina N., 18 A.D.3d 755, 795 N.Y.S.2d 685).

Under the facts of this case, where the child Kyshawn F. is severely disabled, requiring 24–hour professional care in a nursing facility, and where, as conceded by the petitioner, he remains emotionally attached to his mother, we modify the order of disposition with respect to him so as to provide for post-termination visitation by the mother. Accordingly, we remit the matter to the Family Court, Nassau County, to determine, following a hearing, if necessary, the extent and frequency of post-termination visitation between the mother and that child that would be in his best interests ( see Matter of Seth M., 66 A.D.3d 1448, 885 N.Y.S.2d 824;Matter of Samantha K., 59 A.D.3d 1012, 872 N.Y.S.2d 813;Matter of Josh M., 61 A.D.3d 1366, 877 N.Y.S.2d 784;Matter of Bert M., 50 A.D.3d 1509 1511, 856 N.Y.S.2d 758;Matter of Kahlil S., 35 A.D.3d 1164 1165, 830 N.Y.S.2d 625).

Accordingly, it is ordered that the appeal from the order of disposition pertaining to Shannen F. is dismissed as academic, without costs or disbursements, as that child has attained majority age ( see Matter of Francisco Anthony C.F., 305 A.D.2d 410, 758 N.Y.S.2d 501); and it is further, ordered that the order of disposition pertaining to the child Kyshawn F. is modified, on the facts and in the exercise of discretion, by adding thereto a provision directing that the mother shall have post-termination visitation with the child Kyshawn F.; as so modified, the order of disposition pertaining to the child Kyshawn F. is affirmed, without costs or disbursements, and the matter is remitted to the Family Court, Nassau County, for a hearing, if necessary, to determine the extent and frequency of post-termination visitation between the mother and the child Kyshawn F. that would be in his best interests; and it is further, ordered that order of disposition pertaining to the child Shanea R. is affirmed, without costs and disbursements.

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