In re Antonio James L., and Others, Dependent Children Under the Age of Eighteen Years, etc., Eric David L., Respondent-Appellant, Emily L., Respondent-Appellant, Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, et al., Petitioner-Respondent.
Office of Thomas R. Villecco, P.C., Jericho (Thomas R.
Villecco of counsel), for Eric David L., appellant.
D. Futerfas, White Plains, for Emily L., appellant.
R. Eyerman, New York, for respondent.
A. Steckler, The Legal Aid Society, New York (Amy Hausknecht
of counsel), attorney for the children.
Acosta, P.J., Richter, Mazzarelli, Andrias, Gesmer, JJ.
of disposition, Family Court, New York County (Susan K.
Knipps, J.), entered on or about June 10, 2016, which, upon a
finding of permanent neglect, terminated respondents'
parental rights to the subject children and transferred the
children's care and custody to petitioner agency and the
Commissioner for the Administration for Children's
Services for the purpose of adoption, unanimously affirmed,
without costs. Appeal from order, same court and Judge,
entered on or about May 18, 2016, which dismissed the aunt
and uncle's custody petitions for the children,
unanimously dismissed, without costs.
record shows by clear and convincing evidence that the agency
made diligent efforts to strengthen the parental relationship
between respondent father and the children by scheduling
visitation, and referring him for mental health services, a
parenting skills class, random drug screenings and sex
offender treatment (see Social Services Law §
384-b[f]; Matter of Elijah Jose S. [Jose Angel
S.], 79 A.D.3d 533, 533-534 [1st Dept 2010], lv
denied 16 N.Y.3d 708');">16 N.Y.3d 708 ). The father's claim
that it was inappropriate to require him to receive sex
offender treatment because no finding of sexual abuse was
entered against him is unavailing. The Family Court entered
such a finding in a fact-finding order entered on or about
February 13, 2013 (almost two years before the permanent
neglect petition was filed), after it determined that a child
he was legally responsible for saw child pornography on his
computer and that he had participated in chat rooms where
child pornography was discussed.
record also shows by clear and convincing evidence that the
agency exercised diligent efforts to strengthen the parental
relationship between respondent mother and the children by,
among other things, scheduling visitation, referring her for
mental health treatment and random drug testing, and urging
her to enter and complete her services (see Matter of
Jordane John C., 14 A.D.3d 407, 407-408 [1st Dept
addition, the record demonstrates by clear and convincing
evidence that the parents permanently neglected the children,
despite regularly visiting them, by failing to comply with
the agency's referrals for services, complete necessary
programs, attend mental health therapy regularly, and gain
insight into the reasons for the children's placement
into foster care (Matter of Tiara J. [Anthony Lamont
A.], 118 A.D.3d 545, 546 [1st Dept 2014]; see
Social Services Law § 384-b[a]). The record also
shows that the mother refused to separate from the father
even though she was made aware that not doing so would impede
the return of the children to her care (118 A.D.3d at 546).
determination that it was in the children's best interest
to terminate the parents' parental rights and free them
for adoption is supported by a preponderance of the evidence
(Matter of Star Leslie W., 63 N.Y.2d 136, 147-148
). Neither parent demonstrated that they were close to
completing their service plan or had a realistic plan to
provide the children with an adequate and stable home
(see Matter of Malachi P. [Georgette P.], 142 A.D.3d
883, 884 [1st Dept 2016]). Furthermore, the record shows that
the children were placed in the foster mother's care when
they were very young (see Matter of Fernando Alexander B.
[Simone Anita W.], 85 A.D.3d 658, 659 [1st Dept 2011]).
aunt and uncle's appeal from the order dismissing the
custody petitions is dismissed. Their proof of service states
that only the Administration for Children's Services was
served with their notice of appeal and appellants' brief
even though they were required to also serve those papers
upon the parents, the agency and the attorney for the
children (see Family Ct Act § 1115; CPLR
since the custody order is incorporated into the order of
disposition, and since the parents argue, in the alternative,
that the children should have been placed with the aunt and
uncle, we will consider the order.
Court properly determined that dismissal of the custody
petitions is in the children's best interests (see
Matter of Azmara N.G. v Jesse Stephanie S., 93 A.D.3d
404 [1st Dept 2012], lv denied19 N.Y.3d 803');">19 N.Y.3d 803
). The children found stability and a loving home with
the foster mother, where they have lived for almost five
years. Further, the record shows that the aunt and ...