In the Matter of Shaquan D. M. (Anonymous), also known as Shaquan M. (Anonymous). New York Foundling Hospital, respondent; Shaquanna M. (Anonymous), appellant. Docket No. B-2729-13
S. Hecht, Forest Hills, NY, for appellant.
Gartenstein, Long Island City, NY, for respondent.
Seymour W. James, Jr., New York, NY (Tamara A. Steckler and
John A. Newbery of counsel), attorney for the child.
WILLIAM F. MASTRO, J.P., L. PRISCILLA HALL, LEONARD B.
AUSTIN, BETSY BARROS, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
by the mother from an order of fact-finding and disposition
of the Family Court, Kings County (Ilana Gruebel, J.), dated
March 29, 2016. The order of fact-finding and disposition,
after fact-finding and dispositional hearings, found that the
mother permanently neglected the subject child, terminated
the mother's parental rights, and transferred
guardianship and custody of the subject child to the
petitioner for the purpose of adoption.
that the order of fact-finding and disposition is affirmed,
without costs or disbursements.
2009, when the subject child was four months old, the police
were contacted by the maternal grandmother, who observed the
mother clutching the child to her chest while pacing and
mumbling to herself. When the police responded, it took four
officers to safely remove the child from the mother. The
mother was then taken to a hospital for psychiatric
evaluation and treatment, and the child was placed in foster
February 2013, the petitioner commenced this proceeding
pursuant to Social Services Law § 384-b to terminate the
mother's parental rights on the basis that she was unable
to provide adequate care, supervision, and guidance for the
child due to her mental illness, and that the child was
permanently neglected. After fact-finding and dispositional
hearings, the Family Court found that the mother permanently
neglected the child, terminated her parental rights, and
transferred custody and guardianship of the child to the
petitioner for the purpose of adoption. The mother appeals.
to the mother's contention, the petitioner established,
by clear and convincing evidence, that it made diligent
efforts to encourage and strengthen her relationship with the
child, which efforts were specifically tailored to the
mother's individual situation (see Social
Services Law § 384-b[a]; [g][i]; Matter of
Haley ZZ. [Ricky ZZ.], 19 N.Y.3d 422, 429; Matter of
Sheila G., 61 N.Y.2d 368, 380-381; Matter of Elijah
M.A. [Mohammed A.], 135 A.D.3d 744, 746). These efforts
included, inter alia, making referrals to mental health,
parenting, and housing services, following up with those
programs, encouraging the mother's compliance with the
programs, and facilitating visitation (see Social
Services Law § 384-b[f]; Matter of Haley ZZ.
[Ricky ZZ.], 19 N.Y.3d at 429; Matter of Star Leslie
W., 63 N.Y.2d 136, 142). Despite these efforts, the
mother failed to plan for the child's future. The mother
failed to successfully complete a mental health program,
manage her mental health issues, or gain insight into her
previous behavior and the need for services, and she was
either late to, or entirely missed, numerous supervised
visitations with the child. Thus, there was clear and
convincing evidence of the mother's permanent neglect of
the child (see Social Services Law §
384-b[g]; Matter of Tsulyn R.A. [Deborah A.], 135
A.D.3d 935, 936; Matter of Joshua E.R. [Yolaine R.],
123 A.D.3d 723, 726; Matter of Christina M.R. [Lynette
Cassandra C.], 101 A.D.3d 1021, 1022).
the Family Court properly determined that termination of the
mother's parental rights was in the child's best
interests (see Family Ct Act § 631; Matter
of Stephon B.M. [Barry J. M.], ___ A.D.3d ___, 2017 NY
Slip Op 03180, *2 [2d Dept 2017]; Matter of Hector V.P.
[Mariana V.], 146 A.D.3d 889, 890; Matter of Chanel
C. [Vanessa N.], 118 A.D.3d 826, 828-829). Contrary to
the mother's contention, the entry of a suspended
judgment was not appropriate in light of her continued lack
of insight into her problems, and her failure to acknowledge
and address the issues preventing the return of the child to
her care (see Matter of Lasuree A.B. [Carla S.B.],
141 A.D.3d 578, 579).
mother's remaining contention is without merit.
MASTRO, J.P., HALL, AUSTIN and ...