In a child protective proceeding, the Appellate Division considered whether the mother had taken sufficient steps to be reunified with her children.
In New York , if there is evidence that a parent has abused or neglected his (or her) child, the Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) has the authority to remove the child. Even though there was a finding of neglect, the ultimate goal is always to reunify the child with his or her parent or parents. Typically this does not happen quickly. Instead, there is a process that can take many months, involving a of steps.
There are instances when reunification is not possible or is not in the best interests of the child. In such cases, the parents will permanently lose their parental rights and the children will be eligible for adoption. One way for a parent to permanently lose his (or her) parental rights is abandonment. If a parent has lost communication with the child for at least six months, then the ACS can file a petition to terminate parental rights. In instances where the child has been removed due to allegations of neglect and the parent did not follow through with steps to address the issues that led to the removal for more than one year after your children entered foster care, then the ACS can file a petition to terminate parental rights. Another reason that a parent may permanently lose parental rights is due to mental illness, mental retardation, or severe and repeated abuse.