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In re Mercedes W. R.

SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK APPELLATE DIVISION SECOND JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT


January 5, 2010

IN THE MATTER OF MERCEDES W. R. (ANONYMOUS). AND ELLEN C. (ANONYMOUS), APPELLANT.
ST. VINCENT'S SERVICES, INC., ET AL., RESPONDENTS. (PROCEEDING NO. 1)
IN THE MATTER OF COLLEEN E. R. (ANONYMOUS). AND ELLEN C. (ANONYMOUS), APPELLANT.
ST. VINCENT'S SERVICES, INC., ET AL., RESPONDENTS, (PROCEEDING NO. 2)

In two related proceedings pursuant to Social Services Law § 384-b to terminate parental rights on the ground, inter alia, of mental retardation, the mother appeals from two orders of fact-finding and disposition (one as to each child) of the Family Court, Queens County (Richroath, J.), both dated December 3, 2008, which, after a fact-finding hearing, found that she is presently and for the foreseeable future unable, by reason of mental retardation, to provide proper and adequate care for the subject children, terminated her parental rights, and transferred guardianship and custody of the children jointly to the Commissioner of Social Services of the City of New York and St. Vincent's Services, Inc., for the purpose of adoption.

Published by New York State Law Reporting Bureau pursuant to Judiciary Law § 431.

This opinion is uncorrected and subject to revision before publication in the Official Reports.

REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P., JOHN M. LEVENTHAL, ARIEL E. BELEN and LEONARD B. AUSTIN, JJ.

(Docket Nos. B-13091-06, B-13090-06)

DECISION & ORDER

ORDERED that the orders are affirmed, without costs or disbursements.

Contrary to the mother's contention, the Family Court properly found that the petitioner established, by clear and convincing evidence, that she is presently and for the foreseeable future unable, by reason of mental retardation, to provide proper and adequate care for the subject children (see Social Services Law § 384-b[3][g], [4][c]; Matter of Justin Ja-Cquan G., 41 AD3d 716; Matter of Jason Brian B., 33 AD3d 996; Matter of Lisa Marie S., 304 AD2d 762; Matter of Karan Ann B., 293 AD2d 673; Matter of Shaneeka Tysheeka J., 281 AD2d 626). The uncontroverted testimony of the Mental Health Services psychologist revealed that the mother had significantly impaired adaptive functions, sub-average intellectual functioning, limited understanding of child rearing and child development, and required supervision, and that because of her mental retardation, the subject children would be in danger of becoming neglected if they were returned to her care (see Social Services Law § 384-b[6][b]; Matter of Justin Ja-Cquan G., 41 AD3d 716; Matter of Samantha R., 306 AD2d 487).

Further, the Family Court properly credited the opinion of the Mental Health Services psychologist over that of the mother's friend (see Matter of Amanda Ann B., 38 AD3d 537). The Family Court's determination regarding the credibility of witnesses is entitled to great weight on appeal (see Matter of Nelson-Waller v Waller, 60 AD3d 1068, 1068-1069; Matter of Ford v Pitts, 30 AD3d 419).

RIVERA, J.P., LEVENTHAL, BELEN and AUSTIN, JJ., concur.

20100105

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