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In re Perry M.

Supreme Court of New York, First Department

November 14, 2013

In re Sjuqwan Anthony Zion Perry M., etc., A Dependent Child Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., and Charnise Antonia M., et al., Respondents-Appellants, Lutheran Social Services for Metropolitan New York, et al., Petitioners-Respondents

Carol Kahn, New York, for Charnise Antonia M., appellant.

Todd D. Kadish, Brooklyn, for Steven M., appellant.

Carrieri & Carrieri, P.C., Mineola (Ralph R. Carrieri of counsel), for respondents.

Tamara A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Amy Hausknecht of counsel), attorney for the child.

Gonzalez, P.J., Friedman, Sweeny, Moskowitz, Clark, JJ.

Order of disposition, Family Court, New York County (Susan Knipps, J.), entered on or about March 28, 2011, which, upon a finding that respondent mother violated the terms of a suspended judgment, terminated the mother's parental rights and, upon the additional finding that respondent father's consent was not required for the adoption of the subject child, committed the custody and guardianship of the child to petitioner agency and the Commissioner of Social Services for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed, without costs.

The father failed to demonstrate that he provided the child with fair and reasonable financial support, according to his means. Therefore, even assuming he visited regularly, he failed to satisfy the requirements of "consent father" under Domestic Relations Law § 111(1)(d) (see Matter of Latricia M., 56 A.D.3d 275 [1st Dept 2008], lv denied 12 N.Y.3d 705 [2009]). As a "notice father, " his rights were limited to notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard concerning the child's best interests, which he received (see Matter of Alyssa M., 55 A.D.3d 505 [1st Dept 2008]).

The record supports the court's finding that the mother failed to comply with the terms and conditions of the suspended judgment by failing to obtain suitable housing for the child during the term of the suspended judgment (see Matter of Gianna W. [Jessica S.], 96 A.D.3d 545 [1st Dept 2012]; Matter of Kendra C.R. [Charles R.], 68 A.D.3d 467 [1st Dept 2009], lv dismissed in part, denied in part 14 N.Y.3d 870 [2010]). During that period, the mother continued to reside in shelter housing for couples with the father. Although she located an apartment after the expiration of the term of the suspended judgment, the court properly determined that her anticipated move to an apartment with the father, who continued to abuse drugs and refuse treatment, would not provide suitable housing for the child. Thus, the mother failed to demonstrate that she had made any progress in overcoming the specific problems that led to the child's removal (see Matter of Jonathan J., 47 A.D.3d 992 [3d Dept 2008], lv denied 10 N.Y.3d 706 [2008]). Nor does the record present "exceptional circumstances" that would warrant a one-year extension of the suspended judgment (see Family Court Act § 633[b]).

A preponderance of the evidence supports the court's conclusion that the termination of the mother's parental rights, and adoption by the kinship foster mother, with whom the child had resided since birth with his three half-siblings, is in the child's best interests (see Matter of Mykle Andrew P., 55 A.D.3d 305 [1st Dept 2008]; Matter of Elizabeth Amanda T., 44 A.D.3d 507 [1st Dept 2007]).


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