In the Matter of Lierre J. M. (Anonymous), also known as Jane Lierre M. (Anonymous), also known as Jane M. (Anonymous). New York Foundling Hospital, respondent; Melissa L. D. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 1) In the Matter of Courageous J. M. (Anonymous), also known as Courageous M. (Anonymous). New York Foundling Hospital, respondent; Melissa L. D. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 2) In the Matter of Christina A. R. (Anonymous), also known as Christina R. (Anonymous). New York Foundling Hospital, respondent; Melissa L. D. (Anonymous), appellant. (Proceeding No. 3) Docket Nos. B-3554-14, B-3555-14, B-3558-14
Anthony DeGuerre, Staten Island, NY, for appellant.
Gartenstein, Long Island City, NY, for respondent.
Seymour W. James, Jr., New York, NY (Tamara A. Steckler and
Susan Clement of counsel), attorney for the children.
C. BALKIN, J.P., L. PRISCILLA HALL, SANDRA L. SGROI, BETSY
DECISION & ORDER
by the mother from three orders of fact-finding and
disposition (one as to each child) of the Family Court,
Richmond County (Arnold J. Lim, J.), all entered March 7,
2016. The orders, insofar as appealed from, after
fact-finding and dispositional hearings, found that the
mother permanently neglected the subject children, terminated
her parental rights, and transferred custody and guardianship
of the children to the Commissioner of the Administration for
Children's Services of the City of New York and New York
Foundling Hospital for the purpose of adoption.
that the orders of fact-finding and disposition are affirmed
insofar as appealed from, without costs or disbursements.
petitioner commenced these proceedings to terminate the
mother's parental rights to the subject children on the
ground of permanent neglect. After fact-finding and
dispositional hearings, the Family Court found that the
mother had permanently neglected the children, terminated her
parental rights, and transferred custody and guardianship of
the children to the petitioner and the Commissioner of the
Administration for Children's Services of the City of New
York for the purpose of adoption. The mother appeals.
establish that a parent has permanently neglected a child, an
agency must establish by clear and convincing evidence that,
for a period of one year following the child's placement
with the agency, the parent failed to maintain contact with
the child or, alternatively, failed to plan for the future of
the child, although physically and financially able to do so,
notwithstanding the agency's diligent efforts to
encourage and strengthen the parent-child relationship"
(Matter of Karina J.M. [Carmen Enid G.], 145 A.D.3d
893, 894; see Social Services Law §
384-b[d], [a]; Matter of Star Leslie W., 63
N.Y.2d 136, 142). Contrary to the mother's contention,
the Family Court properly found that 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,
including facilitating visitation, repeatedly providing the
mother with referrals for drug treatment programs and mental
health evaluations, and advising the mother of her need to
attend and complete such programs and of the consequences of
her failure to do so (see Matter of Destiny A.K. [Barbara
M.], 147 A.D.3d 758, 759; Matter of Angel M.R.J.
[Rachel R.], 124 A.D.3d 657, 658; Matter of Kaydance
H.G. [Carmen M.], 122 A.D.3d 630, 631; Matter of
Dianelys T.W. [Malik W.], 121 A.D.3d 801, 801-802;
Matter of Melisha M.H. [Sheila B.R.], 119 A.D.3d
788; Matter of Jaquan Tieran B. [Latoya B.], 105
A.D.3d 498; Matter of Todd Andre D. [Kenyatta L.],
88 A.D.3d 876; Matter of Racquel Olivia M., 37
A.D.3d 279, 280). The court also properly found that, despite
the petitioner's efforts, the mother failed to
consistently maintain contact with the children or adequately
plan for the children's future (see Matter of Hector
V.P. [Mariana V.], 146 A.D.3d 889, 890; Matter of
Melisha M.H. [Sheila B.R.], 119 A.D.3d at 788;
Matter of Elasia A.D.B. [Crystal D.G.], 118 A.D.3d
778, 779). The mother's belated partial compliance with
the service plan was insufficient to preclude a finding of
permanent neglect (see Matter of Elasia A.D.B. [Crystal
D.G.], 118 A.D.3d at 779; Matter of Tarmara F.J.
[Jaineen J.], 108 A.D.3d 543, 544). Accordingly, the
court properly found that the mother permanently neglected
Family Court providently exercised its discretion in
declining to conduct an in camera interview with the child
Christina (see Social Services Law §
384-b[k]; Matter of Alysa R.S. [Marie R.S.], 141
A.D.3d 532, 533; Matter of Samuel DD. [Margaret
DD.],123 A.D.3d 1159, 1163; Matter of Georges P.
[Yvelisse A.],103 A.D.3d ...