In the Matter of Angela H. F. (Anonymous), also known as Angela F. (Anonymous), also known as Angela H. P. (Anonymous). New York Foundling Hospital, petitioner-respondent; Shombe M. (Anonymous), appellant, et al., respondents; Administration for Children's Services, nonparty-respondent. (Proceeding No. 1) In the Matter of Shombe M. (Anonymous), appellant,
Sophia F. (Anonymous), respondent, New York Foundling Hospital, respondent-respondent; Administration for Children's Services, nonparty-respondent. (Proceeding No. 2) In the Matter of Shombe M. (Anonymous), appellant,
New York Foundling Hospital, respondent; Administration for Children's Services, nonparty-respondent. (Proceeding No. 3) Bronx County Docket Nos. B-17307-09, P-6023-15, V-15109-15
- September 26, 2017
Anthony DeGuerre, Staten Island, NY, for appellant.
Gartenstein, Long Island City, NY, for petitioner-respondent
in Proceeding No. 1, respondent-respondent in Proceeding No.
2, and respondent in Proceeding No. 3.
Zachary W. Carter, Corporation Counsel, New York, NY (Fay S.
Ng and Qian Julie Wang of counsel), for nonparty-respondent.
Jacobs, Great Neck, NY, attorney for the child.
REINALDO E. RIVERA, J.P. CHERYL E. CHAMBERS COLLEEN D. DUFFY
ANGELA G. IANNACCI, JJ.
DECISION & ORDER
by the father from an order of fact-finding and disposition
of the Family Court, Queens County (Joan L. Piccirillo, J.),
dated July 15, 2016. The order, insofar as appealed from,
upon a decision of that court dated May 20, 2016, made after
a hearing, determined that the father's consent to the
adoption of the subject child was not required pursuant to
Domestic Relations Law § 111 and that the petitioner was
authorized to consent to the adoption of the child.
that on the Court's own motion, the notice of appeal from
the decision is deemed to be a premature notice of appeal
from the order of fact-finding and disposition (see
CPLR 5520[c]); and it is further, ORDERED that the order of
fact-finding and disposition is affirmed insofar as appealed
from, without costs or disbursements.
subject child was born in March 2006, and her birth
certificate did not identify a father. In September 2006, the
child was removed from the mother's custody and placed in
foster care under the supervision of the New York Foundling
Hospital (hereinafter the agency). In 2009, the agency
commenced a proceeding in the Family Court, Bronx County, to
terminate the mother's parental rights, alleging that
although Shombe M. (hereinafter the father) was named as the
father in an agency record, he was not entitled to notice of
the proceeding, and his consent to the child's adoption
was not required. In October 2012, the court terminated the
mother's parental rights. In January 2014, the court
determined that the father's consent to the adoption was
the father commenced a paternity proceeding in the Family
Court, Bronx County. The Family Court Judge presiding over
the proceedings was subsequently transferred to the Family
Court, Queens County, the proceedings were transferred to
that court, and the paternity proceeding was assigned a
Queens County docket number. During the pendency of the
paternity proceeding, the agency commenced an adoption
proceeding. On August 12, 2015, the Family Court, Queens
County, issued an order of filiation adjudicating the father
to be the child's father. The court then held a hearing
to determine whether the father's consent to the adoption
was required and whether it was in the child's best
interests to be adopted by her foster mother. After the
hearing, the court determined that the father's consent
to the adoption was not required and that it was in the
child's best interests to be adopted by her foster
mother. The father appeals.
Family Court's determination that the father's
consent to the adoption of the child was not required was
supported by clear and convincing evidence (see
Domestic Relations Law § 111[d]; Matter of Jasiah
T.-V.S.J. [Joshua W.], 112 A.D.3d 717). The father
failed to meet his burden of establishing that he maintained
substantial and continuous contact with the child through the
payment of support and either regular visitation or other
communication with her (see Matter of Robert O. v Russell
K., 80 N.Y.2d 254, 264; Matter of Jason Brian
S., 303 A.D.2d 759).
father's contention that he was denied his right to due
process by the Family Court's determination to strike the
testimony of a witness is unpreserved for appellate review
(see generally Matter of Kleevuort C. [Fredlyn V.],84 A.D.3d 1371). In any event, the contention is without
merit. The court did not improvidently exercise its
discretion in striking the witness's testimony when,
after granting an adjournment once to permit her to continue
her testimony, she failed to appear on time on the adjourned
date (see Matter of David L. Jr. [David L.], 118
A.D.3d 468; Matter of Amilya Jayla S. [Princess Debbie
A.],83 A.D.3d 582). The evidence at the hearing
established that it was in the ...